“On May 18, during the final days “kanji”

“On May 18, during the final days of the intense conflict period, this porridge called “kanji” alone protected the lives of tens of thousands of people.” How is this “kanji” prepared?

Ranjan Arun Prasath

Work for BBC Tamil, Sri Lanka

17 மே 2023

May 18 is a date that Sri Lankan Tamils, who continue to live scattered across the globe because of the war that ended in May 2009, can never forget.

May 18 is observed annually as a day of remembrance for the relationships lost during the final days of the conflict, where thousands of lives perished. During that crucial period, people faced severe difficulties in accessing food for several weeks from Mullivaikkal and surrounding areas.

During that time, they received rice prepared porridge called “kanji”. The porridge, which relieved the hunger of tens of thousands of people during the final phase of the war, remains unforgettable for the Eelam Tamils even today. Every year since then, around May 18, “Mullivaikkal kanji” is prepared and distributed in various parts of the Northern Province, symbolizing solidarity among people.

How is this “Mullivaikkal kanji” prepared?

  • The specified amount of water should be taken and brought to a boil.
  • Then, the rice should be added to the boiling water.
  • It should be boiled to the required consistency. Salt should be added as needed.
  • Then, with stirring, the “kanji” is prepared.

This is called “Mullivaikkal kanji”. The taste of this prepared “kanji” was highly enjoyable during the difficult period of the final war in 2009, says Mary Regina Antonipillai, a resident from Mullaitheevu District. However, she also mentions that currently “Mullivaikkal kanji” is being prepared with added flavors.”

(Correction by Tamilpriya)

The salted Kanji that saved lives



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