If there's one thing that's staple in our Iftar menu,that has to be the Conjee,the warm and comforting rice porridge that will fill your belly and delight you after those long hours of fasting.I have to have at least a couple of spoonfuls or else I feel as if I haven't had anything at all.
Back at home we have it all year around,specially for breakfast,made with red rice or herbs.An easy one pot meal that keeps you fully satisfied.And in Ramadan,it's made in all the Muslim households for Iftar,mostly with some kind of meat and veggies.I still remember taking the warm conjee made by mom and aunt,to neighbors as it is a sign of good gesture.And we would taste the different varieties of Conjee and snacks received from our neighbors and relatives.All this porridge talk conjures up vivid memories of past that makes me want to live them again....hmmmm.I still make it here on weekends,specially on friday mornings and my DH and sons love it..
Conjee,aka rice porridge,aka jook is a staple in most rice based cultures specially in China,Malaysia,HongKong,SriLanka to name a few.Wikipedia has more info on this here.It's one of the first weaning foods given to a baby.Even though it's made with water or stock in other cuisines,back at home we add coconut milk for grownups.
Unfortunately ,I couldn't find the white raw rice we use, here in Dubai.But luckily I found another alternative,which is Bulgur Wheat,easy and cooks in much less time than the rice cause it's already parboiled and broken.
And now this is what I make everyday..till the end of Ramadan..Do I get bored eating the samething everyday? No,I use different meats and sometimes only fried onions.
- Soak the wheat in water for about 30 minutes.Wash and drain.
- In a pot,add the wheat and all the other ingredients except for coconut milk,cumin seeds and pepper corns.Add salt.
- Boil until the meat is cooked and water has evaporated.Don't make it very dry.
- Add the coconut milk and crushed cumin seeds and pepper corns.Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning.
- Serve it warm.
* You can spoon out the curry leaves,ginger and whole spices before serving.You sure don't want to bite into a cardomom or clove!