Thari Kanji - Semolina Milk Drink

Just last Iftar, we had a realization. This Ramadan is supposed to be my parent's last official Ramadan in UAE. My D is preparing for retirement by the end of this year and Allah alone knows the plans after that, but he is not keen on continuing his stay over here. After all, after having spent more than 60% of his life in this foreign land, he is craving to go back and stay in India, in our own house, in our own land for his retirement. That kind of put me into an off-mood. I've been, along with my B, fortunate to have them here all the time, unlike my sister who is settled in India and misses their presence. When we used to stay separate before the kids, we use to come and stay over during the weekends. Once the kids came along, we began living together. Ups and downs have been there as always - don't we tend to feel that we are grown up with kids and our parents should consider us that way? But then, as my HD always keeps reminding me, how much ever I grow old and the kids grow up, in their eyes, I will always be their child, so will be my sister and B. It did take quite a bit of time for this reality to sink in, but now that I have accepted life that way, I realize that things are going to be different in the matter of few months...

I definitely don't want to ponder over it, but then it came up as a topic of our discussion over Iftar and it got me thinking. But then, we always have to realize that life will never be the same everyday and we have to embrace the changes. So as of now, this is the time I have to mentally prepare myself for the days that I will have to depend upon myself for a lot of support.

I had to post this before Ramadan gets over, otherwise there is simply no relevance for this recipe!!! No Iftar is complete without a large glass of this delicacy. It is so rich that it ensures that you do not need to eat anything more for the next couple of hours after breaking your fast!!! Most of the time, my breaking of fast consists of a couple of dates, a couple of glasses of water and a cup of this. And I am done! It hardly gives me any more space to accommodate anything else. Once I finish my Maghrib (sunset time) prayers, would I be able to eat some fruits! Off to the way that we - that's my umma and I - make it:

Thari Kanji - Semolina Milk Payasam
Serves 4


3 cups of water
A pinch of cardamom powder
A pinch of salt
A handful of vermicelli
4 tbsp semolina
1 cup milk
4 tbsp sugar
For tempering:
1 tsp ghee
2 shallots thinly sliced
5-6 cashewnuts
5-6 raisins


Pour the water into a saucepan and switch on the flame to meduim. Add in the cardamom, salt and vermicelli. When the water starts to get hot, not necessarily boil, add in the semolina and keep stirring continously to ensure that it does not become lumpy. Keep stirring till you get a smooth mixture. Once the mixture is smooth, then stir occassionally till the mixtures starts to thicken slightly. Now add in the milk and cook for a couple of minutes or till the kanji thickens. Add the sugar, mix and switch off. 

Heat the ghee in a little saucepan, fry the shallots till brown, quickly add the cashews and raisins, leave it for a minute and dump into the prepared tharikanji. Keep the lid closed for atleast 5 minutes for the flavors to get incorporated. 

Before serving, mix well and pour into glasses. Serve warm!!!


1. You can avoid the vermicelli if you don't like it, but we love having it in our tharikanji.
2. The amount of semolina is dependent on how thick you want it. The above amount, ie. one tbsp per glass gives the kanji in pouring consistency. If you want it thick like a pudding, then increase it to double.
3. I sometimes substitute milk with coconut milk, or half of milk and coconut milk. Any way, it tastes delicious!
3. While tempering, you can very well avoid the shallots like we do most of the time! I drink my thari kanji without any of the tempering and my umma calls it, kutti kanji (kid's payasam). Hehe...

Labels: , , ,