Kayi Ganji: Coconut Flavoured Rice porridge

It is my go-to recipe for a lazy, Simple, soulful meal on weekends or rainy/winter evenings. This recipe of Kayi Ganji is not our traditional recipe. My way of making a one-pot meal is by mixing my mom’s Theli saru, nothing but rice starch Rasam and rice.

 Amma used to make fantastic ginger flavoured Rasam by using drained rice starch of cooked rice. We sisters used to enjoy Hot white rice with Amma’s theli saaru and pickle a lot. Hence, I introduced those two aspects in a single one-pot meal, and the recipe is here.

Here, one can use freshly extracted coconut milk as well as instant coconut milk powder. Freshly extracted milk does taste out of this world, and for sure, there is no comparison in taste. When you are sick and have no mood to cook, it is a soothing and relaxing one-pot meal option.

The procedure is simple-


Rice – 1 cup

Water – 4 cups


Green chillies – 1 or 2

Ginger – ½ inch (julienne)

Coconut milk or powder – according to the taste

Seasoning: Ghee/coconut oil, mustard, cumin and curry leaves.


-Wash rice, boil water in an open vessel or a cooker. Add rice, slit green chilli, ginger, salt and cook.

-Here, the rice should become mushy. If it is the cooker, switch it off after 3rd whistle.

-Open the lid, add coconut milk, adjust the consistency by adding more water.

-Boil for 2 minutes and switch off.

-Do seasoning by heating ghee or oil, splutter mustard, cumin, and curry leaves. Pour it over the rice and mix everything and serve. You can enjoy it with any side dish or plain pickle.

-You can garnish with chopped coriander as well as lemon juice (completely optional)

Note: I have added one pandan leaf to enhance the flavour. It is entirely optional.




Bendekai Kayirasa / Ladies finger coconut curry:

Kayirasa is one of our almost extinct dishes, which can be seen only in our rural houses and found only in our community / homely recipe. It is coconut-based, slightly sweetish, and pairs well with hot boiled red rice or white rice.

Like Sambar, we always use a light green or purple coloured heirloom variety of Bhindi to make Kayirasa. I have never tried Kayirasa with any other types of Bhindi. It is my childhood favourite, and I used to ask my ajji / Grandmother to prepare whenever I visited her. Her preparation tasted like heaven, and I could never replicate that taste even if I used clay pot like her. Grandmothers are ultimate, and they have a magic wand in their hand to dish out such a delicious meal.  


Bendekai / Ladies finger – ½ kg

Tamarind – big gooseberry size.



Red chilli powder – ½ tsp

Fresh coconut – 1 big bowl

Urad dal – 1 tablespoon

Dried red chillies – 3 to 4


Coconut oil – 2 tsp

Mustard – 1 tsp

Red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 1 to 2 springs


–Soak tamarind, boil with little added water, salt, jaggery, red chilli powder.

-When it starts boiling, add chopped Bhindi. Allow cooking on a low flame.

-To avoid sliminess,  don’t close the lid or put a spoon to mix while boiling Bhindi.

-In the meantime, prepare the masala: heat coconut oil, fry urad dal, red chillies. Grind into smooth paste by adding coconut and water.

-Add the ground masala to cooked veggie, boil nicely by adding sufficient water to adjust the consistency.

-Do the seasoning and serve with hot rice.


Eggless Chocolate Banana Cake:

After trying my hand in Homemade Pure Cocoa powder, I thought of using Cocoa powder in several recipes; I first wanted to include it in my all-time favourite banana cake. It is an ideal recipe to finish off overripe bananas and the perfect tea time snack for anyone, including small kids. The cake, which has whole wheat flour, natural cocoa, natural vanilla as well as milk. If you want to make it vegan, replace it with vegan milk and proceed to bake.

Let us see how I have done it –


Whole Wheat flour – 1 1/3 cup ( I took 1 cup of whole wheat flour + 1/3 cup of Emmer wheat flour)

Fresh/Desiccated coconut – 2 tbl sp

Baking soda – 1 tsp

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Milk – ¾ cup

Coffee powder – 1 tsp

Pure Cocoa powder – ½ cup (unsweetened cocoa powder)

Brown Sugar – ½ cup

Oil – 1/3 cup

Vanilla – 1 tsp (I have used pure powdered vanilla)

Bananas – 2 ( ½ to ¾ cup of pulp)

Chocolate chip or Cocoa nibs – 3 tbl sp


-Mix dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, desiccated coconut in a bowl and keep aside.

-In a saucepan, heat milk, mix in cocoa, coffee powder and make a concoction. Add in vanilla, Sugar and oil one by one. Beat well.

-Next, make a puree of banana and mix in, beat well. Now, the wet ingredient is ready.

-Fold in dry ingredient to wet ingredient. Don’t over mix.

-Pour the mixture into a lined loaf pan, top it with the choco-chip or cocoa nibs and bake at 180°C preheated oven for 40 minutes or until it is done.

-Take out, cool the cake and slice it and enjoy. It stays good for 3 to 4 days under refrigeration.

-Reheat the cake for 30sec in the microwave and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

How to cook Par Boiled Red Rice/ Matta Rice:

Often, I get a query regarding the cooking method of our traditional parboiled Rice, red Rice, matta rice. So, I thought of including the procedure in my blog to share the link whenever required.

Before discussing the method, we would see how we used to prepare Rice in our traditional kitchen-

We have come a long way in the cooking method as well. Earlier, people used to cook Rice in a huge open pot by using a wood fire. You can see in this picture, which I clicked in our ancestral home; they follow this method, even now.

Then, gradually cooking medium has changed from firewood to a kerosene stove or hot plate. Hence, the system changed, and a huge wooden box insulated with a layer of thermocol was the trend to keep/cook Rice.

Pic Courtesy: By Google

In the modern era, the scenario has changed; with the micro family system, our huge box has turned into a small stainless steel insulated pot, marketed in the name of “China pot”. It consists of an insulated outer container and a cooking vessel.

Let us see The procedure of Cooking: (Open Vessel Method) 

-Procedure is simple, Boil water in a vessel; when it starts bubbling, add washed Rice, boil further for 5 to 10 minutes, remove, and keep it in a china pot.

-After one hour or so, check the doneness. You can refer to the picture. If you prefer soft Rice like us, boil one more time and keep it inside the china pot once again.

Within an hour, it would be soft and well cooked. Strain water and use it like regular Rice with curry or have it as a Ganji by including gruel.

To experience the real taste of parboiled Rice and curry,  you need to separate starch from the Rice.


Homemade Cocoa Powder:

Have you come across fermented and dried cocoa beans? Today, I will talk about my experience with these brown jewels, which we all love to enjoy in many forms, from powder to chocolate to ice cream.

If you have not seen the fresh cocoa fruit, I have attached the pictures and enjoy all the stages from the cocoa plant, whole fruit, halved fruit, and those white fleshy seeds.

(Pic courtesy: Madhura Pradeep)

As a kid, I used to enjoy plucking those cocoa fruits at my grandfather’s farm. Weekly twice, we used to break all those pods, collect the flesh and market it.

Cocoa fruit is elongated; the outer fruit is like a shell, which is red to yellow. Cutting is effortless; hold the fruit in your hand, bang against the floor/ brick/ hard surface. It breaks into halves, and you would see a long bunch of pulpy white mass, which is the natural juicy fruit, which is the protective cover of the inner cocoa seed.

Even though it is called a bean, it is not a bean; it is a fruit seed.

After removing the white pulp, it undergoes a fermentation process; during fermentation, natural white fruit is degenerated and loses its texture and taste. After this, the seed undergoes a drying process, and that is when we get the dried cocoa seed.

This dried seed is the raw material of chocolate and gives two kinds of raw materials for us.

One is Cocoa powder, and the other one is cocoa butter. Outer pulpy fruit is lost during the drying process and what we eat is practically a powdered seed. The taste of the fresh pulp is indeed an experience by itself, and if you get an opportunity to taste it, please don’t hesitate to taste it and enjoy the fruity taste.

Fermented and dried cocoa seeds were procured from my classmate, who has turned into a full-time farmer. I wanted to try some of the recipes by using fresh beans, and hence I bought it and tried a couple of recipes, which I will share in my next posts.

This post is regarding my experience with dried cocoa seeds.

First, I tried to make Pure chocolate powder;

-By roasting these dried cocoa seeds until it pops/ splutter sound arises or until you feel the soothing aroma of cocoa in a low flame.

After cooling, we need to remove and discard the outer shell. It resembles a thin chip. It was a bit tedious process, and my energy indeed dipped a couple of times 😀

While this process, I came to know, the cocoa seed is not intact. It has formed a kidney shape by the attachment of many tiny cocoa nibs. That was the reason, removal of the outer shell was challenging. The amount of pressure you apply is crucial over here to get the whole cocoa seed. Otherwise, easily it breaks, and we would end up collecting only cocoa nibs.

Cocoa Nibs are helpful as an ingredient by themselves, or you can use them as it is to garnish, to include in any of your recipes.

I made Cocoa nibs as well as homemade cocoa powder. It is straightforward, pour all the shelled cocoa nibs/seeds in a mixie jar or coffee grinder, use a pulse option and run a mixie in a regular interval by giving a slight pause. Why pause? While grinding, cocoa starts leaving its butter when it heats up. Homemade cocoa powder is a little grainy in texture and can be used as a cocoa powder wherever you want. It is PURE and subtle in taste. I otherwise, who hates chocolate, did enjoy it.