Point Pedro Kanji

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A type of rice porridge, kanji is a staple throughout Sri Lanka. It is creamy and sweet, made with nourishing leafy greens and served warm. Sri Lankans like their kanji super sweet but this recipe has less sugar than is traditionally used.

Ingredients

  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) green gram* (dried mung beans), soaked in water overnight
  • 210 g ( oz/1 cup) red rice*
  • 50 g ( oz/1 cup) finely chopped leafy green vegetables, such as gotu kola*, drumstick leaves* and English spinach (use a mixture of 2 or 3)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 220 g ( oz/1 cup) sugar
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) full-cream milk
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut cream*

Method

Bring 1.25 litres (44 fl oz/5 cups) water to the boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, drain the soaked green gram. Wash the red rice, then combine with the green gram; wash again and drain. Add the rice and green gram to the boiling water (make sure the water comes about 3 cm (11/4 inches) above the rice). Return to the boil, then cover and simmer over low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked (it should be soft and slushy; add more boiling water if needed), stir in the leafy greens and salt and simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar and simmer for a further 3 minutes, then add the milk and coconut cream and stir well to combine. Simmer over low heat for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.