Monday, December 14, 2009

Soupy Brown Rice/ Ganjee/ Paej

Paej ~ The name itself strikes a chord of emotional nostalgia for me. Have grown eating plateful of this soupy Brown Rice delight. Some houses including that of my grandmothers has a norm of 11:00 tiffin with Paej as its called in Konkani. A special kind of rice called as Ukhdo Tandool (Brown Rice ~ very similar to Rosematta Rice available in US) in Konkani is used for the same. Silly I may sound! But hold it and do not stop me this time around. Fistful of Brown Rice washed and washed in tap water till its clean, non-cloudy and the red and white color sparkles at your face. Boil a pot full of water, we used to follow 1:4 proportion, which means for 1 cup of rice 4 cups of water. This Rice is eaten with the soupy starch and pickle, pappadams and vodee on the sides. Specially prevalent during those days when ancestral houses were full of kids and after a hiatus of early morning breakfast all the starving tummies used to yearn for a morsel of this humble nutritious delight.

Some also address it as Ganjee Utaa in Kannada. In Konkanis its known as Paej. Initially I felt a silly blogging about it but could not stop myself after thinking about all the wonderful times I have had eating spoons and spoons of this soupy rice during summer vacations at Udupi at my Grannys place. Paej along with Pickle, Vodee and Papads suffice as a one pot dish. Some serve Upkari of choice on the side.

I had a small bag of Rice I had bought from my India trip. Curiosity kills as they say! Could not hold my taste buds and plunged some into boiling water to enjoy this on a cold winter afternoon with Lime Pickle and Red Chilli Papad. Tastes best when served with Salt, dollops of home made Ghee and some spicy pickle. Happy Winter!!!

Preparation time ~ 30 to 45 minutes

Brown Rice/ Parboiled Rice/ Ponni Rice ~ Ukhdo Tandool or Rosematta Rice (US) - 1 cup
Water - 4-5 cups

Wash rice multiple times till the rice is super clean and devoid of mud and grit. Boil 4-5 cups of water and once water begins to boil, add the washed rice. Give an occasional stir. Turn to a low flame and allow to simmer. Keep stirring occasionally. Once rice is cooked and done completely, turn off the flame and serve hot with ghee, salt and pickle on the side.

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