Today I’m sharing with you a traditional dish which is part and parcel of Northern region of Kerala. This is not only traditional, but also healthy and an easy breakfast or dinner with out much ingredients. Gothambu Kanji/broken wheat gruel or porridge aka Burgul porridge is food which is consumed as breakfast or dinner dish. I have seen in my childhood that elders of the family have this for dinner as this is considered to be healthy, simple and nutritious. Northern part of Kerala is always famous for its culinary bonanza especially the muslim community. The elaborate meals are backed up by mid morning snacks which is usually these types of gruels or porridges.
This burgul porridge is a sweet dish in nature. But then you can turn it into bland or savory type according to your health specifications. We can also make it healthy and more nutritious by adding many veggies and fruits along with nuts and pulses., which I’ll be sharing with you sometime soon. Whole grain unrefined and unpolished wheat is the best variety of wheat for this. Cracked wheat aka sooji gothambu (what we call) is rich in protein and fibre. It is very low in fat and hence good for dieters. Cracked wheat can be added to many dishes while baking and cooking which will give a certain crunch , lighter texture and enhance flavor.
This gruel which I’m sharing today is really a fulfilling and energy dispatching one. Nothing much great or effort is needed to make this. Only thing to remember is the soaking of the wheat/bulgar. I always soak this in generous amount of water by changing the water often so that the gluten is washed out in a great way. I have used all healthy ingredients for making this gruel/porridge. Normal way of making this is by adding fresh cow’s milk and sugar. I’ve replaced it with coconut milk and coconut sugar. You can make this completely vegan by tempering it with coconut oil or cashew butter or olive oil.
I love the smell and taste of pure home made ghee. This gives me a sense of satisfaction and fullfillment. Every time I do the tempering, my thoughts wander to my childhood days. The smell of fresh milk boiling, aroma of fresh ghee, floating through the air and the taste of food, simply make me crave to rewind my life. Tempering is an important part for this dish. Shallots fried to golden crisp, emits an aroma which is so sedating, often I close my ways and breathe in and enjoy it for sometime. Cashews and raisins give that crunch and sourness which will give a rounded up taste to this porridge.
This is often my breakfast which keeps me energetic all through the day. You can prepare this in advance or overnight and use it for breakfast too. You can also cook the wheat and keep it as batches in fridge and freezer and add the coconut milk later when you use it. Enjoy cooking easy meals and recipes. I will be posting more and more easy recipes.
Wash and soak in water overnight or for 5 hours. Transfer to a pressure cooker with 2 cups water.Combine and stick the lid on and put the weight of the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame till the first whistle and then reduce the flame and cook for 15 minutes. Switch off the stove and keep till the pressure is released on its own.
Add the second cup of coconut extract along with coconut sugar. Mix up well. You can increase or avoid the sugar as per your preference. Combine and let it boil for 5 minutes. Adjust salt at this stage and mix up.
Add the thick/first extract of coconut milk. Combine homogeneously.
Reduce the flame and allow to simmer for couple of minutes. After a minute add the cardamom powder and keep stirring on low flame until you get the desired thickness.
Keep on low flame till the garnishing is done. Keep stirring after the thick coconut milk is added, otherwise it’ll stick to the bottom of the cooker
Heat a frying pan. Add the ghee and melt followed by the sliced shallots.
Fry till color starts changing to golden. Fry along with the shallots until it is roasted. Add to the shallots and cashew and fry till puffed up.
Switch off and add to the gruel/Kanji and put back the lid immediately
Continue to simmer for a minute and switch off the stove.
Serve after 5 minutes. You can loosen it if you want to have it as a drink or thicken it by simmering if you prefer a filling porridge.
Enjoy a healthy breakfast and stay healthy!!!!