Hey there!
Just got back from Chennai. And boy, have I got a special recipe for you!But first things first..I must tell you how I got this special recipe..My husband ,N, studied in Crescent School, Chennai.His schooldays left him with such good memories, that we all had to suffer through endless stories of his it was so beautiful, how they had a mango farm next door, how they would steal mangoes...the football matches, the swimming pool...and best of all..the food!!It seems every Thursday night they would have a sort of soup ( erachi kanji) with cutlets...and you should see him when he waxes lyrical over the merits of that erstwhile Kanji...I swear...I could see his eyes glazing over...
He has six sister-in-laws, remember? Everyone replicate this wonder dish for him...poor dears..
"mmmm..hmmm.." "" "the taste is still not right.." "there's some thing missing...""the kanji at crescent was too good..this doesn't come any where near that.."
These were just some of the dialogues they got to hear after he'd tasted their best efforts...
By the time we got married...and I had started hearing about this special dish..I decided I wouldn't even dare to try to make this ..Z, one of my co-sisters asked.."why, Resh, why wouldn't you try to make something that your husband is obviously crazy about?"" uh ,huh....I'm not going to compete with the taste of good memories..Most probably that kanji might have been a passable dish...he only thinks it's so great because he has associated his schooldays and all the good memories with that...whatever we just won't be the same!!"

But after so many years, Z still was not ready to give up..Last month, she got a recipe from a Chennai local, and sent it to me, asking to try it..I had no hopes...but I didn't want to disappoint Z, who had gone to so much of trouble I made it. And what do you know? "this kanji tastes almost like that one...there's just one tiny thing missing still..." I threw up my hands in despair...
Anyway, past is past...Last week, he was invited for an alumni get together at his school, and N jumped at the chance to rekindle old memories and forgotten friends.
When I met some of his old chums, I remarked teasingly about his kanji fetish...and it seems he is not alone in this!! Every single alumni gathered there remembered that kanji with such special fondness that some of them had even asked if it was on that day's dinner menu!!Wow!!this must be some kanji..huh!!
Anyway, turned out that I was unable to attend the dinner, so I missed tasting the dish( ya, they still make it at the school even 24 long years later!! told N to get the recipe from the chef, but his friend s, who heard this, went one better..He had got the recipe a few years ago, and his wife now knew how to make it, so he brought a sample to the hotel where I was staying..just so I could taste it for myself!!
And though I hate to admit it truly was delicious..N was right when he said it was is one of a kind..a very unique dish..
I'd like to dedicate this post to all crescent alumni..who are still schoolboys at heart...
A big thank you to S, and F, his wife, for sharing this recipe with me...



Basmati rice 200 gms
Moong dal ( cherupayar parippu) 50 gm
Chopped vegetables
(carrot, cabbage, beans) 50 gm
Tomato chopped 50 gm
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder 1/4 tsp

-------------------------------------Put all these items in a pressure coker, add enough water to cover everything, and cook for 10 minutes. Cool------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coconut grated 1
Water 2 glasses

------------------------------------Blend well and strain to get thick coconut milk.Keep aside---------------------------------------------------------------------

Chicken 100gm
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Water 1 cup

------------------------------Spread the paste on the chicken, and cook till well cooked. when cool, shred chicken into thin slices.----------------------------------

Curd 1 tbsp
Cardamom 6 or 7
Cinnamon 1' piece
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Ghee 2 tbsp


1. Take the cooled rice mix, and add to blender. Blend for a second, then stop. You just need to get the rice and veggies just a bit mashed, so you can get tiny pieces, but no big lumps..

2. Add coconut milk, shredded chicken, and curd and mix by hand. No blender this time.

3. Heat ghee, add cardamom, cinnamon, ginger garlic paste, and saute till light golden. Add to the kanji. Serve hot with cutlets or samosaas as accompaniment.

Tip:should be more like a soup..thin..not thick..

1 comment:

  1. Salam Sr. Reshma,

    I'm 4yrs junior to N at Crescent School. As I was reading your blog, I was chuckling since most of the comments you made about N's memoirs especially about the kanji legend is true indeed for all of us. ;-D I never stop yearning for the kanji even today when I see a kanji. We never used to leave the dining hall until the cook told us there's no more left....then we would walk out dejectedly....with our stomachs beyond full...LOL. Thank you for the recipe!!!!