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 Malabari 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:

Updated with new pictures on July 2, 2016… 🙂 The old picture below…

Linking this post to The Schizo Chef’s Event “Ramadan Around the World“…

Thari Kanji - Semolina Milk Drink

Course Payasam
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 3 cups of water
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A handful of vermicelli
  • 4 tbsp semolina
  • 1 cup milk/ coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 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 medium. Add in the cardamom, salt and vermicelli.
  • When the water starts to get hot, not necessarily boil, add in the semolina and keep stirring continuously to ensure that it does not become lumpy. Keep stirring till you get a smooth mixture.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, then stir occasionally 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 pour into the prepared tharikanji.
  • Keep the lid closed for at least 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...

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi Rafee,Thari kanji sure is a filling drink for ur kind of fasting.But I really wonder what would you do if you want to drink some water in the middle of the fast.I know ur mind and body is trained not to yet it surprises me:)

    1. hehe… I'm smiling at ur comment meena… Since we believe that our fasts are for God, the temptation just doesn't sink in. I'm telling u we can smell food during the time of fasting but then you don't want, it is secondary! I really don't know how I can explain the feeling of it, dear… 🙂 but there is one thing, if a person who fasts drinks water "by mistake", ie. forgetfully, it does not invalidate his fast, he can continue… I hope I have been able to answer… 🙂

    2. i had the same doubt like meena…how can you guyz stay so long…what a powerful fast…love this kanji rafee super different..but close to pallumvellam

    3. By the grace of Almighty, v all stay on… it's not difficult at all, trust me!!! 🙂 thanks a lot dear…

  2. Wow! Reminds me of Thandai… Cool drink 🙂

    1. thank u so much shruti…

  3. You should be thankful to God that you got to be with them even after marriage and kids that itself is a blessing.Let them be happy in their home land now on.My parents are there too like my dad says even if we want to go Dubai wont leave us.Lovely refreshing drink.Miss iftars in Dubai.gets me all nostalgic.

    1. definitely, i consider their presence with me as a blessing… and i guess i've got it more than i'd expected it to be… it was just my feeling that i penned down over there, i'm more than happy for them that they are finally going to settle down and take some well deserved rest! 🙂 thanks a lot dear for your comments…

  4. filling and healthy drink.

    1. thank u so much sona…

  5. nice one.. perfect to be dessert

    1. thank u so much veena…

  6. You are so blessed to have your parents with you Rafee 🙂 And of course, they must be missing Kerala so much…

    The thari kanji looks so good Rafee. That vermicelli will be there if I try it out 🙂

    1. thank u so much priya… i love the bites of vermicelli in my tharikanji… 🙂

  7. Thari kanji looks great.. You are a brave lady!.. ALL IZZ WELL.. 🙂

    1. thank u so much sangeetha…

  8. Ths yr is gonna b my parents last Ramadan here too… 🙁 nd I kno hw it feels Rafee

    1. hmm…we both are in the same boat…

  9. Delicious Kanji.

    Acceptance of things always leads to happiness Rafee. Your HD is right about it, we will always remain kids in eyes of our parents how ever old we become. Try to have happy memories with what ever time you have with them. & ups & down are ways of life. On a happy note life would be boring without ups & down.

    1. thank u so much humi… u always go ahead to lift spirits… i'm only happy for them and i'm looking forward to seeing how our life will turn out to be without them, as it is going to be really different… 🙂

  10. thayir kanji looks awesome and looks very filling. gonna try this…

    1. thank u so much dear…

  11. super yummy Rafeeda….

    1. thank u so much dear…

  12. Interesting to note the semolina inside this delicious milk drink.

    1. thank u so much nava…

  13. Thari kanji super da…

    1. thank u so much shahina…

  14. I had this like 10 minutes ago! I agree with you that Ramadan is never the same without this, we call it Suji at home, and made without vermicelli but lots of shallots..its my all time fav, so we always make it sometimes even once a month;-)..

    1. we do put shallots, but then we put very little bcoz we are not very fond of it… glad to know that u still follow some of ur base traditions… 😉

  15. Rafee you take me back to my childhood..:-) this was one thing Mom gave us most days after we got back from school.. I love this.. Going to try this soon 🙂

    1. thank u so much rekha… 🙂

    1. thank u so much divya…

  16. Omg, u are blessed Sis, enjoy thoroughly with your parents, coming to this kanji i have tasted long back at one of my friend's place long back.

    1. thank u so much priyakka… 🙂

  17. pls reserve some thari kanji fr us Rafee…never tried ths before!!!

    1. hehe… y not priya? just be around during that time… 😉

  18. yummy drink rafeeda 🙂

    1. Thank u so much preeti… 🙂

  19. delicious and filling drink, really looks rich 🙂

    1. Thank u so much… 🙂

  20. Yummy thari kanji Rafee.. I guess it can be had as a filler in the eve even if not fasting, right?

    1. Even though we make this more in Ramadan, we sometimes make this when v feel like having it… 🙂 thank u so much dear…

  21. First time hearing about a drink with Semolina!! Will definitely try it out Rafeeda.. It looks so tasty.. 🙂

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      It is a totally Malabar delicacy… Thank you so much Seena… 🙂

  22. Cool pic updated and kanji looks delicious. We make savoury version in Ramadan and call it ganji. Inshallah will try the sweet version…yumm

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I am actually intrigued about the savory version, which I would love to try as well! Thank you so much Nisa…

  23. This sounds like a sweet and savoury version of Semiya Payasam in the same glass. Interesting Sweets. I ll try it.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      There is very little semiya in it, and that too it’s optional… umma loves to add it for an extra bite… Thanks a lot Tum, I am sure you will love it…

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