Last weekend, I had pazhankanji for the first time in my life! I know most of you guys are scorning at me and wondering what sort of a ‘Malayali’ I am to not have had pazhankanji in all these years! And I completely second you, cuz I tasted it and found myself asking the same question. What was I doing for almost three decades of my life without devouring this super delish dish? I thuought that this dish was made using banana and rice. Ignore your’s truly’s ignorance of labelling pazham and kanji as parents of pazhankanji.
I could not stop talking about pazahnkanji all day (I still can’t, you see!) after being completely blown away by it.
On that note, here are seven solid reasons why pazhankanji should be your breakfast tomorrow:
Pazhankanji is the Ultimate Soul Food
I never imagined I would say that there would be a better breakfast than puttu (okay, don’t make that face; I love it!) or dosa. But who would have thought that some leftover rice when soaked in water and placed in an earthen pot overnight, ferments and magically transforms into a wholesome and flavorful breakfast option?! When you mix Pazhankanji with a serving of curd, crushed shallots, and curry leaves, you will go into a food coma! And yes, don’t forget to bite into some kanthari mulaku too alongside. And if you want to savour it in its truest form, make sure you use chembavari and not basmati!
The perfect salve this summer
Pazhankanji comes to the rescue when the scorching heat heats you up and you start feeling “out commmbletely”. The cooling effect that it gives you stays with you for hours, taking your gut health to greater heights. In case you have acidity, this would do wonders to keep a tab on your acid reflux. So ditch that bottle of Coke and have some pazhankanji to cool it down!
Pazhankanji is a Storehouse of Nutrients
Yes, pazhankanji is literally a powerhouse of nutrients. It is one breakfast item from Kerala that belongs to the superfood category. So, what makes this dish so healthy and nutritious? I mean, how can ‘pazhaya kanji’ have any more nutrients than freshly prepared kanji?
When you soak cooked rice in water and keep it at room temperature overnight, it leads to fermentation. Though this sounds very simple and casual, the process taking place isn’t so. This complex process generates a trillion lactobacilli (probiotic bacteria – the same kind that is present in curd!). It augments the nutritional value of the rice. For instance, the iron content present in pre-fermented rice is 3.4mg. This availability boosts to (brace yourself!) 73.91 mg overnight. Yeah, that’s a whopping 2000% + increase! It is also a rich source of magnesium, potassium, selenium, and a host of vitamins that prevent degenerative diseases.
Instant Energy Booster
Pazhankanji used to be the go-to food for the working class who had to toil hard on paddy fields and indulge in any sort of manual labour. This gruel acted as an instant energy booster and got them through the day with an unmesham that nothing else can offer. Along with kadala curry, It was the first thing they had in the morning. If your day involves physical exertion, and you want something to make you feel light and energised at the same time, then you know what to dig into. And I’ll guarantee you that you will not feel hungry until tea time!
Pazhankanji is Trending!
Well, it’s lockdown again! You’re back in your kitchens, whether you like it or not. You obviously don’t want to repeat the whole Dalgona coffee to homemade porotta cycle. That’s what you did during the whole of 2020 anyway. Why not take the nostalgic and traditional lane and make some pazhankanji? It may just happen to be your grandmom’s favourite dish (just ask her!).
Also Read: Little Things We Gained Thanks To Corona
On the contrary, pazhankanji is no longer a bygone Kerala delicacy. It has made a comeback by foraying into the menu of a whole range of restaurants. It seems to be a hot favourite among the college students. There are even dedicated pazhankanji kadakal popping up on various streets across Kerala like the Theeradesha Pazhankanji Kada in Kodungalloor.
It Goes Well with Literally Any Side Dish
If you want to keep it simple, you can have pazhankanji with plain curd or the humble coconut chutney. Having said that, it goes equally well with fish, chicken, or beef curry. And as Mohanlal taught us in the movie Kalippattam – The best version of it is when you add katta thairu, pacha mulaku keeri itta manga curry and thale divasathe maracheeni. Slurp!
Also Read: Beef Dishes You Should Try Out Now
It’s a Mood Uplifter
We’ve not all been at the best of our mental health with the surging second wave of the pandemic. Having a bowl of pazhankanji is not gonna solve the problem, but at least will temporarily make you feel calm. This is because of the B12 and B6 vitamins that exist in a pazhankanji dish. These nutrients have the capacity to act as antidepressants in our bodies. This is especially beneficial for women who are about to start their menstrual cycle and experience major PMS. So, eat pazhankanji and stay happy!
That’s my pazhankanji katha! What’s yours?