Winter in the southern parts of India might not be so cold as the northern winters.
But even then we do get to feel a chill in those months.
The usual humidity is less in the air and you can easily feel that drop in temperature, which just makes it even better living in humid city.
I feel, as a European who grew up in the mountains, that the climate changes are less in the subcontinent then those we experience in Europe.
However for some reason, the weather affects us in Goa even more.
Everybody ends up at the chemist buying some sort of cough medicine.
So when you are sick in India, what do you eat to get healthy again?
My mother in law cooks us always a plain rice pot called kanji in India (pez in Konkani).
It tastes of pretty much like nothing.
Anyway, when you experience a cold you don't taste and smell much so pleasuring your taste buds is anyway out.
The essential value of kanji rice is the high amounts of nutrients which are vital for the recovery of a human body and the other plus point, it is easy to digest.
But kanji is not only for the sick, but it is also still prepared in local homes in Goa every day.
The local Goan folks have a strong immune system and get rarely sick.
Mostly Goan brown rice is used for a traditional kanji, some people have their own fields and some (like us) have to buy it from the market.
It's a very inexpensive Food, pretty much anybody can afford a kg or two.
Why is brown rice better than white rice?
Brown rice is a million times healthier than white polished rice.
Why is that you may ask?
I found that image on Wikipedia which will help to understand everything easier.
I thought it to be useful, credits for the image and legend go to Wikipedia and the author who released it into the public domain.
White rice is missing on Bran and Cereal Germ, compared to the brown rice.
So the grain loses a portion of its nutritional value.
Bran is rich in Dietary Fiber and essential fatty acids and contains a good amount of starch, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
It contains further Antioxidants which prevents cancer and heart diseases.
Because of the process of milling and removing layers of the grain, some important nutrients get destroyed such as Vitamin B1, B3, and Iron.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) for once is important for the human nervous system and heart.
One Syndrome for example caused by Thiamin deficiency is called Beri Beri.
But brown rice has its disadvantages too.
The bran and germ are rich in oils and so the cereal gets rancid very quickly.
I have observed that ordinary cooked brown rice can be kept a maximum of 24 hours.
That's why the cereal industry removes those parts to convert it into white rice so that it can be stored for longer periods.
Well, anytime you are sick or when you just feel like having a plain comforting rice dish, then you can easily cook some kanji.
The kanji can be served too, instead of normal rice, with fish and Vegetable bhaji for an Indian taste experience.
Researching around the web, I discovered that kanji is well known all over Asia, just that it is called and prepared in different ways in each culture.
In China, it is called zhou, in Indonesia bubur, in Japan Okayu, and in Sri Lanka Kola Kanda.
So many people preparing and eating it shows its dietary value.
Maybe we should more incorporate our ancestor's special dish in our daily diet.
I wanted to thank my friends for the wonderful guest posts of the past weeks.
Interestingly, creative recipe Ideas were shared here at Masala Herb and not only that my friends helped me out when I needed them the most.
Thank you all, I appreciate all that you have done for me.
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kanji rice (pez)
- 1 cup Brown Goan rice or any other brown rice
- 5 cups water
- Rinse the rice and remove any small gravels and other unwanted stuff. Add it to a pot with the water and keep on high heat till you see it bubbling. Return the heat to low, salt it and keep it simmering for 30 minutes. Don't drain the water, that's very important!
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