Some dishes are slowly and silently disappearing from our table. In a few years time maybe no one will even recollect them! The millets that were once the backbone of a meal are no where to be seen. It does pop up here and there occasionally but not always.

I am a great fan of the Kongunad Cuisine.I have many recipes from this cuisine , one of the reasons being, this being my home town.

A few years back I was talking to an elderly women who is a native of Kongunad. When the conversation turned towards food, she happily shared the various dishes that are famous here. Then she said casually, ‘ Idli dosai ellam pongal dipavali ku than‘! What she meant was the regualr breakfasts like Idli and dosa were prepared only on festive days like Pongal and Deepavali! I was really speechless.

Then I asked her what they would have for breakfast on the other days. She proudly replied – ‘ Kambu sadham, Ragi Kali, Kambu koolz‘. [Bajra ‘rice’ , Finger millet porridge, Bajra porridge]

So these are some of the dishes that are around here for a long, log time and they are really being replaced by other stuffs most of which are not so healthy.

Now is the time to revive these healthy dishes and it seems so apt now. Today being Ugadhi , it feels right to start the New Year with a healthy note and even more so since we are doing the Blogging Marathon this week with the theme – Traditional Dishes…

Bajra or Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum] has loads of health benefits .

  • It is a gluten free grain and most suited for people with Celiac Disease.
  •  It is a power house of Vitamin and Minerals. 
  • Since it is easy to digest, it not cause any allergic reactions.
  • It is rich in fibre.
Do you know that India is supposed to be the largest producer of Bajra!!
So for today’s post I have two recipes. I used Bajra grits that are available in the stores. To know more about bajra and to see what it looks like , click here
Kambu Sadham / Kamban Choru / Cooked Bajra or Bajra ‘rice’ is the first recipe coming up. This is usually had with raw pearl onions, green chillies and Pacha payaru kadaiyal – Kongunad style mashed green gram curry.

Serving size – Hearty meal for one or light meal for two adults

I used:

Bajra / Kambu Grits – 1/3 cups
Water – 2 1/2 cups
Salt to taste

  • In a heavy bottom pan , bring the water to boil.
  • Add the bajra grits and keep stirring once in a while. Add salt and mix.It takes about 15-20 minutes to get cooked. Press the bajra grits between your fingers. If it gets mashed, the bajra is cooked. 

It will look like this…

  • Remove from heat .This will thicken on cooling and look like semi-mashed rice or like wheat rawa upma.

This is usually served with Pacha payaru kadaiyal – Kongunad style mashed green gram curry.pearl onions, green chillies…

The next recipe is the Kambu Koolz or the Bajra Porridge.

This is a very simple and easy recipe and can be made from the previous recipe itself. Take a look at the porridge before I go into some details….

While the previous recipe- kambu saadham, is not so popular, this porridge is easily available.Yes, there are several push carts that sell this porridge along with the ragi porridge. Especially in summer one can see several of these carts on lining the busy roads.

There is a huge crowd around each of these carts and since the porridge is both cheap and filling, it is a favorite and many.

If you have missed that  ragi porridge post, here is what the push cart selling porridge looks like…

The usual side dishes are…

Colorful crisps, pearl onion Buttermilk, fried sun-dried chilies, green chilies, Pickle…..

When I prepared this and had it along with a small pearl onion, the sharp taste of the onion was mellowed by the porridge. I loved it and I never imagined that it would taste so good!!All these side dishes suited the porridge perfectly!

MIL agreed that the porridge tasted great and that this should become a regular dish for breakfast / lunch this summer…

To make this porridge you need

Kambu sadham / cooked bajra from the above recipe
Thin buttermilk – 3 -4 cups
Chopped coriander-a handful
Salt to taste

  • Take cooked bajra in a big bowl. 
  • Mix in the buttermilk and see to that there are no lumps.
  • Add the coriander leaves and salt to taste
  • Mix well and serve as such or with one of the above side dishes.

Coriander leaves lend a delicious flavor to the porridge. So try not to skip it…

Take a look at the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#27

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Bon Appetit…

14 thoughts on “Kambu Saadham & Kambu Koolz | Bajra ‘rice’ & Porridge”

  1. Oh I am loving this…the porridge might be simple…but the way you have presented it..itis wow! I like all the accompaniments..dried chillies..pickle…butter milk …super..PJ..worth the wait:))

  2. It is really sad that we are losing most of our traditional dishes to the more convenient and westernized dishes. Love the whole presentation, very authentic. I've never tired bajra before, will definitely look for them on my next grocery trip.

  3. Thanks so much PJ for hunting out and presenting the best of our traditional food! I will definitely give this a try sometime… (and the bookmark page is getting bigger and bigger!!)

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