What can be better than penning “Bhoger Khichuri” for my 100th blog post on Maha Shashti? Yes, Durga Pujo has started and we Bengalis are going berserk about what to wear, what to eat, which puja pandal to start with and when’s the pushpanjali happening on Maha Ashtami. The beats of Dhak, smell of incense sticks and sound of the bells and couch have filled the air.
Food is an important part of this yearly extravaganza. From oil dripping “moghlai parotas” and “chicken chowmeins”, the barely mutton speck containing “mutton chops”, the thinnest slice and lots of bread crumb coated fish cutlets and double egg rolls. The sweat clad “dadas” work like autonomous robots to count the mullah and serve a plate of “chicken biriyani”. More than the pandals, the food stalls draws the attention. Bengalis just gobble these five days like there’s no tomorrow. But nothing can beat the austere Bhoger Khichuri.
Since a lot of Bengalis restrict themselves from eating rice based dishes like khichuri, pulav on Maha Ashtami, pandals in Bengal have started serving community bhog on Maha Nabami. The patient wait in queues for ladles full of steaming bhoger khichuri would be an customary Maha Nabami lunch time event. Accompanied with beguni, labra, chutney soaked papad on “shaal patar thala” (plates made of sal tree leaves)… a perfect picnic.
We never know why bhoger khichuri tastes so awesome, but can attempt to make the same.
What you need:
- Yellow Moong Dal – 1/2 cup ( yellow split lentil )
- Gobinda Bhog rice (or Jeera rice ) – 1/2 cup
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Dry Red Chillies – 2
- Green Cardammoms- 3
- Big black Cardammon- 1
- Cinnamon – 2 inch
- Cloves- 4
- Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
- Mustard Oil – 2 tbsp
- Green chillies – 2
- Cumin Seeds- 1/2 tsp
- Sugar as per taste (skip)
- Salt as per taste
- Water- 3-4 cup
- Clarified butter – 2 tbsp (Ghee)
- Cauliflower – 4/5 florets
- Potato – 1 big (cut in cubes with peel)
- Green peas
- Carrots, pumpkin (optional)
- Coconut – chopped in small pieces
How to make:
- Dry roast moong dal in a pan.Wash rice and moong dal well before cooking.
- In a heavy pan add mustard oil and fry the vegetables till golden brown and keep aside
- Add a teaspoon of mustard oil and fry the coconut pieces till golden brown and keep aside
- In the same pan heat mustard oil. Add the bay leave, cumin seeds, whole spices , grated ginger and fry till aromatic.
- Add rice, moon dal, vegetables, fried coconut, turmeric and add 2 cup water and cook at low flame.You can add more water in-between if you find it drying up.
- Once you reach the right consistency of khichri where rice is mashable , add salt ,sugar and stir well.Cook for 2 min more and your khichuri is ready to serve.
- Serve hot with a spoon of ghee on top.
- You can pressure cook the khichuri to hasten the process.