Lenten cuisine: Indian rice porridge

North Texas Catholic
(Mar 1, 2022) Feature

Indian rice porridge

Indian rice porridge (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Father Vijaya Raju Mareedu, SAC, remembers his grandmother and mother cooking this simple dish. He said, “This is poor man’s food like my family and many in India, but all I know is it fills the stomach and reminds [me] of God’s bountiful love.”

Father VJ, as he’s known, enjoys cooking, gardening, and ministering to the parishioners of St. Rita Parish in Ranger, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Cisco, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Eastland, and St. John Parish in Strawn.

Our Thoughts: Forgiving and comforting, like God’s bountiful love, as Fr. VJ said. This recipe is forgiving — versatile enough to handle adapting to whatever’s in your crisper. We used the vegetables we had on hand — carrots, broccoli, and potatoes — and no sprouts, but it was creamy, simple food for the stomach and soul. 

Indian rice porridge

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 to 10 cups of water or broth*
  • 3 cups chopped vegetables, more or less
  • ½ cup of sprouts, more or less
  • salt
  1. Bring the water/stock to a boil and then lower the heat and add the rice. Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat to medium to let it gently simmer uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The rice grains will slowly release more starch and get smoother and creamier starting at about 20 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables and sprouts only after the porridge has thickened. Stir periodically until they are cooked through, probably around 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.
  3. The longer the porridge sits, the thicker it will get. You can always thin it out by adding more water or stock.

*We used chicken broth to make this recipe, and current canon law considers liquids made from animals to be within the guidelines for abstinence. However, water or vegetable or fish broth could be used.

More Lenten recipes:

Vietnamese fried tofu in tomato sauce from the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate

Butterfly pasta with zucchini and tomatoes from Father Joe Keating

Slow-cooked zucchini and tomatoes with toasted breadcrumbs from Father Michael O'Sullivan, SAC

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