City’s mosques serve ganji to fasting rozedars

Fasting during Ramzan is usually broken with dates and a sip of water. However, people in Vijayawada have a unique style of breaking their fast with gruel unlike their counterparts in other places.

Neighbourhood mosques serve the gruel, known as ganji or jaawa in local parlance, made of rice and vegetables to the faithful after evening prayers. The ganji is served to those who simply ask for it. The mosques, generally serve the vegetarian ganji unless a devotee donates mutton with a request to serve non vegetarian gruel.

No discrimination

The Hazarath Syed Galeeb Shaheed darga at Bhavanipuram here serves ganji, on an average to 1,000 persons every day, while old mosques like Jama Masjid and Sarai Masjid also serve hundreds of devotees.

“We prefer serving vegetarian ganji as many non-Muslims/vegetarians throng the Dargah to offer prayers. We serve anyone who asks for it,” says Md. Ibrahim, secretary of Dargah.

The cooks prepare not less than 80 kg every day. Of this, only about 30 kg is consumed by the rozedars, while the major chunk of remaining preparation is served to local people.

There is no restriction and served to anyone who asks for it, he explains.

Old practice

It’s been a practice for decades. Nobody knows how it began. “After a hard day of fasting, ganji is a refreshing way to recover our spirits. It also helps in bringing down the heat,” says Mufti Md. Abdul Quadeer Razvi, Khateeb of Jama Masjid here. The ganji is served to about 400 rozedars every day. It is good for health and helps in maintaining correct temperature in the body, he says.

Even though the ganji is available only in the evenings, the cooking starts early in the morning.

Other than the rice, the ingredients that go into making ganji are onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, coconut, mint and coriander.