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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bengali Bhuna Khichuri / Khichdi (Rice-Lentil Porridge)

          A simple and a hearty comfort food that tastes so delicious any time and every time I prepare. It is a wholesome and a balanced meal in itself with the rice, lentils and the veggies. Just a tsp. of ghee brings out the actual essence of this yummy dish. Nothing can beat having this humble khichuri along with some begun bhaja (fried eggplants) or aloo bhaja (potato fry).

          Bengalis usually offer the vegetarian version of this khichuri (please note - there is no onion or garlic) to Goddess Durga during the Dashera / Durga Puja festival. Khichuri in general is usually had during rainy season. There is a certain bond between khichuri and the monsoon. No sooner it starts raining, the only one thing that comes to our mind is "KHICHURI".

          Today I bring to you my version of Khichuri, which is not runny or soft as is usually prepared. It is a bit on the dry side called (Jhor jhore in the Bengali lingo) just like pilaf. I prepared some begun bhaja too to go with it. Please check below a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 10-12 french beans, cut into 1" piece
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1" piece
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1" ginger, julienne
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • coriander leaves, green chilies and lime wedges to garnish
  • begun bhaja / aloo bhaja (eggplant fry / potato fry) to serve

          Dry roast the moong dal till light brown. Soak the rice and dal for 30 minutes. Heat 2 tbsp. oil and saute the potatoes and cauliflower separately till light brown. Keep aside.

          Heat the remaining oil and fry the cumin seeds, bay leaves, ginger, dry red chilies, green chilies, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Saute for a few seconds till the crackling stops.

          Add the soaked and drained rice and moong dal. Saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water, salt, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder and the fried veggies, carrots and beans (Preserving few to garnish).

          Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Drizzle ghee and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with begun bhaja (fried eggplants), lime wedges and green chilies.


                               Fry the potatoes and cauliflower slightly and keep aside.

                     Temper oil with bay leaves, dry red chilies, ginger julienne, green chilies, 
                      cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.

                               Add the soaked rice and dal. Saute for 2 minutes.

                  Add 2 cups water, salt, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder & veggies.

                               Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

                    Serve with a drizzle of ghee, coriander leaves, fried veggies, begun bhaja                                        (fried eggplants), lime wedges and green chilies.

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