Good Friday Kanji.

Kanjiyum Payarum Recipe / Good Friday Kanji / Kerala Rice Gruel Porridge

Rice Gruel and Green Gram Lentil Stir Fry / Kanjiyum Payarum Recipe / Good Friday Kanji Payar Recipe / Good Friday Rice Gruel Porridge / Kanji Recipe.

Good Friday (ദുഃഖ വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച്ച്ച) commemorates the death and crucifixion (കുരിശു മരണം) of Jesus Christ and His death on Cross at Calvary. It is the day Jesus willingly suffered and got crucified as sacrifice for our sins. To commemorate ourselves of what Jesus went through that day, Churches in Kerala have long services with lot of prostrates (കുമ്പിടൽ) on the bare floor of the church.

Basically we fast on Good Friday and feast on Easter Day. On Good Saturday / ദുഃഖ ശനിയാഴ്ച too we have very light meal or some vegetarian meal.

Kanji is associated with Good Friday and is very popular in the Christian households of Kerala. Kanji is a very simple meal, simple to prepare and is an apt meal for the day.

It is a day of contemplation and a day of sacrifice and hence we have this simple dish. Recommended Recipe accompaniments along with Rice Gruel are Cheru Payar Thoran Recip / Green Gram Stir Fry and Manga Achar / Kerala Mango Pickle.

Basically we fast on Good Friday and feast on Easter Day. On Good Saturday / ദുഃഖ ശനിയാഴ്ച too we have very light meal or some vegetarian meal.

People who attend Good Friday church have a light meal, Kanjiyum Payarum, serves with Green Gram Stir Fry with Coconut / ചെറുപയർ തോരൻ and a pickle, especially Mango Pickle. It is served after the Good Friday service in the church. It is supposed to be light, tasteless and bland. Even the kids take the same meal. But when you are tired, it tastes awesome and filling.
Kanji is a very popular dish in the Southern States of India. We take this especially on Good Friday / ദുഃഖ വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച്ച്ച. Good Friday is the 6th day of the Holy Week / ഹാശാ ആഴ്ച, which starts with Palm Sunday / ഓശാന ഞായർ and ends with Easter Sunday / ഈസ്റ്റർ സൺഡേ. Good Friday, the day Jesus was tortured and crucified is called ദുഃഖ വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച്ച്ച in Malayalam. Good Friday is the day we spend more time in prayer.

Another custom of Good Friday is to have കയ്പു നീര് / Juice of Bitter Gourd. It commemorates the drink offered to Jesus before being placed on the cross. It was a mix of wine and gall. Christians drink it just after the Good Friday service. For this, people stand in queues to get it. They give us a table spoon of this bitter gourd juice. As kids we used to merry make on looking at the facial expressions of the people coming from the queue, having this bitter juice. The meal kanji and payar comes after this kayppu neeru kudikkal ritual.

Most Kerala Christian Homes have only Kanjuyum Payarum on Good Friday. It is eaten either with Cherupayar Thoran, Mango Pickle and Coconut Chutney. This is being done keeping in mind the importance of the day.

Throughout the year, Kanji is mainly eaten on the days we fall sick with fever. It is a main dish for breakfast in many Indian cultures. It is equally good for dinner too. You can have kanji as a substitute for rice. It is healthy and low in calories.

I cannot forget the taste of this Kanji and Payar that I had in my childhood days after the Good Friday service of St. Thomas Malankara Church, Nalanchira, Trivandrum, where we had our Catechism classes. The Good Friday service used to start early at 6 or 6.30 am and finished at 2.30 pm. The entire believers who attended the service were so hungry and so the taste also would be so good. There would be so many volunteers assisting to serve this simple dish.

I wanted to post this recipe on the last Good Friday, i.e., Good Friday of 2016, but couldn’t do it as I was not having this par boiled rice with me at that time. This year too, my rice got over and searched in the Indian Super Markets here, where once something goes out of stock temporarily, then for a long time it’s difficult to get. The day I started to make this porridge, 2 sacks of this Palakkadan Matta Rice arrived on my door step from another city called Lubumbashi. It was about to reach here on last Saturday, but somehow it took another couple of days. Thank God. I was planning to make this porridge with dark red rice, rice we do not use very commonly for making this porridge. See, how God is guiding us through our every single decision and needs.

Here comes the Recipe of Rice Gruel..

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Serves: 5

Ingredients for Rice Gruel:

Kuthari / Double Boiled Rice – 1 ½ cups
Water – 8 cups

How to Make Good Friday Kanji:

Wash rice well under running water till clear. Put it in the pressure cooker. Add 8 cups of water. Add the required salt. Put on high flame till the first whistl. Then reduce the heat to low-medium and wait for the next 3 or 4 whistles. Switch off the stove and let it release the pressure on its own.

Now your Good Friday Porridge is ready to be served. The best combination of this porridge is with Cherupayar Thoran / Moong Dal stir fried in coconut masala, The Kerala Coconut Chutney and Pappad.

My Recipe Notes and Tips on Good Friday Porridge:

1. You can use any rice you like. But this par boiled rice gruel gives the authentic taste.
2. I have used 5 litre Pressure cooker. If you are going to cook only 1 cup of rice, then 3 litre pressure cooker is enough.
3. Rice: Water Ratio – 1 cup of boiled rice: 5 cups of water. It varies depends on the kind of rice, temperature of the stove etc.. Do a test on your first cooking trial based on this ratio and adjust the rest of the batches accordingly.
4. Once it gets cool, there is a chance of thickening. Boil ½ to 1 cup of water and add to this for making it light. Adjust the consistency of this gruel as per your likeness.
5. Now, an easy method.. Cook green moong and rice together in the pressure cooker by adding the required salt.. Sometimes I do like that.. If it is not for the Good Friday, you can add a handful of grated coconut along with this. The outcome would be awesome.. Try it out..

Pictorial of Rice Gruel:







Serve Kanji with Cherupayar Thoran and Coconut Chutney..
Happy Cooking


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Rice Gruel and Green Gram Lentil Stir Fry / Kanjiyum Payarum Recipe / Good Friday Kanji Payar Recipe / Dukhavelliyazha Kanjiyum Payarum / Kanji and Thenga Chammanthi Recipe / Good Friday Rice Gruel Recipe / ദുഃഖവെള്ളി കഞ്ഞിയും പയറും / ഗുഡ് ഫ്രൈഡേ കഞ്ഞി / Rice Gruel with Green Gram Stir Fry with Coconut.

Good Friday Kanji.

Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 15 mins


Kanji or Rice Gruel or Porridge is a very simple dish prepared specially on Good Friday. It is eaten with Green Gram Stir Fry, Coconut Chutney and Mango Pickle. 

Keywords: kanji on good Friday, Kanjiyum payarum recipe, rice gruel porridge recipe, dukhavelli kanjium payarum, kerala, holi week, Christian, easter

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