Bengali Khichuri



While Ms A' is fasting today on the auspicious occasion of Shivratri, and enjoying her favorite Sabudana Khichadi, Mister J' is enjoying the rainy reason with his most favorite Bengali Khichuri.

Khichuri or khichdi is a famous rice dish which is very nutritious and fulfilling if made using mixed lentils. It has many versions across Indian states like Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal etc. In heavy rainy days, Mister J is always craving for khichuri and he loves to eat khichuri with omelette and diffrent types of fries, sometimes couple of pieces of fried fish. I have learnt this style of khichuri preparation from my father-in-law and always loved to have simple-sweet delicacy.


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Rice (Gobindo Bhog Rice or any short rained variety)
  • cup Moong dal (Yellow Gram Split lentil)
  • 1/2 cup Chana dal (Bengal Gram Split lentil)
  • Cauliflower –broken into big florets 8-10 pieces
  • 1 big size Potato - cut into big pieces
  • 1 medium size Onion -chopped in big pieces
  • 2-3 sticks Cinnamon
  • 2-3 Whole cardamoms
  • 4-5 Whole cloves
  • 1 tsp Whole cumin seeds
  • 1-2 Whole red pepper
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Ginger, chopped fine
  • 7-8 Green chillies, slitted
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt + Sugar to taste


Method:
  1. In a saucepan slightly roast both the lentils till golden brown on medium heat, till you get the fine roasting smell. This step should be done before rinsing in water.
  2. Wash and rinse Gobindo Bhog Rice 2-3 times till you get a clear image of the rice soaked in water and leave it to dry in a colander. 
  3. Wash and rinse the roasted lentils in the same manner.
  4. Boil water in a separate vessel/kettle for the cooking process.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a large heavy bottom pan and add the whole garam masala with bay leaves. When they start sputtering and gives out a flavor, add the chopped ginger and half of the slitted green chilies and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the rice to the pan and fry for max 2 minutes.
  7. Add the roasted lentils with turmeric powder and salt. Fry again for 1-2 minutes. Add hot water and turn the heat to low. No need to cover. ( The level of water should not be more than 4 cm(1.5 in.) above the level of rice and dal. Water can be gradually added depending on how thick you want your khichuri to be.)
  8. Meanwhile in a frying pan add 1/2 tbsp ghee and let it heat up properly. Fry the cauliflower florets, and potatoes till little bit of brown. Keep aside.
  9. In the same pan heat 1/2 tbsp ghee, add whole red peppers. Allow them to sputter. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the big pieces of onions and rest of the slitted green chilies. Saute for 1 minute and then add already fried cauliflower and potato. Sprinkle some salt. 
  10. Now check the rice and lentils, which now looks like KHICHURI, that is cooking on low heat.
  11. If you find rice and lentils are evenly mixed and you can mash them easily, your khichuri is soon to be ready. Now you can add the above fried masala containing cauliflowers and potatoes along with salt and sugar. At this step, if you feel there is not enough gravy in the khichuri, add little hot water. ( Khichuri with extra gravy gives the real pleasure of eating it). Let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes uncovered.
  12. Turn the burner off and add one more tbsp of ghee. Cover for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Enjoy hot khichuri with Omelette or Bhajas

Anshu Bhatnagar

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