Kerala's own superfood: Pazhankanji, the ultimate summer refresher

Traditional rice porridge/payaru kanji. Photo: Shutterstock/Santhosh Varghese

Pazhankanji, also known as leftover rice gruel, stands out as Kerala's indigenous superfood, celebrated not only for its incredible health benefits but also for its refreshing taste, making it the perfect summer dish to rejuvenate your body.

Pazhankanji lost its place on our dining tables with the rise of fast food in our daily lives. However, pazhankanji, if consumed right, could be one of the most nutritious breakfast items, offering a unique blend of taste and health benefits, especially ideal for the warm summer months.

Photo: Shutterstock/Santhosh Varghese

Soaked overnight (for around 12 hours), the rice in pazhankanji undergoes a fermentation process that results in increased levels of lactic acid, consequently elevating potassium and iron content. For instance, 100 gm of rice contains 3.4 mg of iron, which surges to an impressive 73.91 mg after soaking overnight, contributing to stronger bones. Pazhankanji also emerges as a rich source of vitamins B6 and B12, rarely found in many other food items.

Preparing pazhankanji at home is simple. Cook parboiled rice the previous evening and, once cooled, add enough water without refrigeration. The next morning, mix in curd, crushed shallots, green chillies or bird eye chillies, and salt. This concoction provides a refreshing and nutritious start to your day, offering sustained energy.

Photo: Shuttestock/P.V.R.M

Pair pazhankanji with a side of chutney made from roasted coconut, salted mango, lime pickle, and roasted papad for a delightful culinary experience. For a unique summer drink to cool down the body, try pazhankanji juice, made by adding crushed shallots and salt to the leftover rice water.

Bring back this forgotten superfood into your daily routine and experience the wholesome goodness of pazhankanji, a true Kerala treasure.

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