The Bengali Durga Pujo Bhoger Khichuri is incomplete if a few staple dishes aren’t served with it
For Bengalis, Durga Pujo bhog is a synonym for a platter of steaming hot khichuri (khichdi) and a few accompaniments. While the rice and lentil-based dish remain the mainstay, Bengalis can't imagine it without a few staple dishes. The list ranges from crispy fritters, mushy curries or sweet-tangy chutneys. The runny consistency of the khichuri often takes the other culinary accompaniments into its flavour. But do Bengalis mind it? Nah! That's the signature way of devouring the special bhog. However, it can never be the khichuri alone. So, let's find out what are those five things a Bengali looks forward to in his khichuri bhoger thala (platter).
It can be of any flavour. But one can't compromise on its crispiness. The squishy khichdi tastes better with a bite of crispy papod (lentil wafers) bhaja. One isn't satisfied with just one serving. So, expect a Bengali foodie to munch on a couple of them and reserve one to relish it by eating with chutney.
Beguni, Image Source: pinchofflavours.com
This is another attraction for bhoger khichuri. Especially many kids agree to have the rice-lentil porridge only for the temptation of beguni. Thinly sliced brinjals are dipped into a Bengal gram flour batter seasoned with salt, chilli powder, carom seeds, and baking powder and deep fried until they turn golden on both sides. It makes a perfect combo for khichuri.
Labra, Image Source: archanaskitchen
A cosy and slobbering veggie mashup is labra. It is a distinctive Bengali mixed vegetable curry made during religious celebrations. It is also offered as prasad to the Goddesses. The bhoger labra recipe has a special place in Bengalis' hearts and has been kept alive through the decades with an outstanding appeal. In this dish, a variety of vegetables are cooked in mustard oil with panch phoran and Bengali bhaja masala. And it completes the bhoger khichuri plate.
Phulkopi Aloor Dalna
Luchi and a big bowl of phulkopi aloor dalna are two of the Begalis' favourite foods on any given day. But when it comes to Durga pujo, they want it along with their khichuri. This meal is quite distinct from the well-known aloo gobi of North India. Dalna is a mild dish, prepared with ginger paste, garom masala and asafoetida. It differs from other Bengali curries because of how the vegetables are sliced.
Tomato chutney, Image Source: indianfoodforever.com
While sweet and traditional desserts are unsaid rituals of the Durga Pujo feast, Bengalis can't imagine ending relishing their bhoger khichuri without a serving of chutney. The most popular choices are the sweet tomato and dates chutney, or pineapple chutney prepared with fresh pineapple slices cooked with sugar and some dry fruits like raisins. Often these chutneys have a tempering with panch phoran.
So, now you know how to complete your khichuri experience.