Canja is a light soup, made of rice, chicken and it giblets. Usually people add mint to finish the soup. If the chicken brings some eggs in formation inside we also add to the stock, usually kids love these eggs and fight for them during meal time. Nowadays in some people like to substitute the rice by little pasta.
According to some old writings, the Canja stock have it origin in India, and the Portuguese brought imported the recipe during the Portuguese conquering time.
Some says that origin of this stock is an Indian rice and herbs soup called peze. Latter people started to add chicken to the stock, creating a recipe that is common in Goa.
Other version defend that the Canja origin was in Malabar state, also in India, where we can find a soup know by the name kanji, which means rice and water. This name seems to be tighter with the Portuguese name, Canja.
The Canja consumption always had a relation with a balanced meal and with health issues. Sick people were treated with this soup, and our Brazil emperor D. Pedro II and our queen D. Maria Pia were know by eating Canja every day, in order to strengthen their health.
In Brazil the Canja soup suffered an evolution and nowadays it is a rich soup, enriched with other vegetables, beans and meats.
Some people claim that the traditional Chinese soup Conge, a rice porridge that may have a lot of additional ingredients such as meat or fish, had received the name Conge due to the Portuguese soup Canja.
Nowadays in Portugal the term Canja may refer the culinary method and not the recipe itself, since currently we cook this soup with other proteins such as codfish and clams.