Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel – Veg Version

Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel
Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel


Nombu Kanji / Gruel is prepared during the Islamic Month of Ramadan. It is a well known Iftar Meal usually taken after breaking fast.

“In India almost everybody stops to rejoice for a few minutes following the iftar sirens and adhan. Preparations for iftar commence hours before, in homes and at roadside stalls. The fast can be broken by eating dates or drinking water, if the former is not available. In places like Hyderabad, people break their fast with Haleem because it has a rich taste and is quite filling. In Southern states such as Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, Muslims break their fast with nombu kanji, a rich, filling rice dish of porridge consistency, cooked for hours with meat and vegetables. This is often served with bonda, bajji, and vadai.  Vegetarians of other communities are given a dish called surkumba which is prepared from milk. It is mainly done in certain parts of Karnataka.” – Wiki Source

I was introduced to this kanji by my mom’s friend who is a Muslim. My mom and me like this kanji a lot. Before marriage, my aunt used to give this kanji. I have not tasted this anywhere else. For past 2 years i had this craving for kanji, and i used to ask my mom to get this kanji from aunt. Finally i thought to prepare this at home and got the recipe from aunt. I made it little thick and had for lunch and dinner.  There are two versions to prepare this porridge. I’m sharing vegetarian version using carrots. You can also try this with minced meat.


Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup raw rice or broken rice
  • 1/4 cup siru paruppu (split yellow gram / moong dal) – washed
  • 1 tbsp channa dal ( kadala paruppu / bengal gram)
  • 1 medium sized onion – finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato – finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chilies – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 medium sized carrots – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves – optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick – optional
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 cup water
Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel


Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel

Method :

  • Wash raw rice and drain the water completely. Spread rice on a paper or kitchen cloth. Let it dry for few mins.


  • Grind in a mixer for a second. Make sure to not grind it as powder. If you have broken rice, then you can just wash the rice and drain the completely.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Tamper cloves and cinnamon. Add chopped onions and fry for a minute.


  • Add chopped tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Saute a while. Add green chilies, chopped carrots, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute a while.
  • Add broken rice, washed moong dal and channa dal. Saute it. Add water and salt to taste.


  • Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistles. Remove from the heat and once the pressure settles, add coconut milk to it and salt if needed.



  • Heat it on medium flame. Add more water if needed. Adjust the salt according to your taste. Serve hot.


Ramadan Nombu Kanji / Rice & Lentils Porridge / Gruel



  1. says

    That's an filling and comforting recipe after 15 hour fast…love the recipe…we make it with fine semolina and chicken/veg stock…would love to try this….Thanks for sharing…

  2. says

    I love this kanji very much. Every year my muslim friend used to bring it for me from mosque. I will not cook dinner that day. We all have this kanji piping hot. It is so filling and delicious.Beautiful pictures!!

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