Effortlessly bridging the gap between ordinary and extra-ordinary
Aren’t we all too familiar with the word Khichdi? I am sure it is the same thing that your mother cooks for you, each time you fall sick, or when dinner has to be cooked quickly with less ingredients. Many of you might make a face, when you see you see khichdi in your tiffin while others might see it as a sigh of relief after eating junk for a week. While you might share a love-hate relationship with the dish, the fact that Khichdi has been an underrated dish cannot be denied.
The term Khichdi comes from the Sanskrit term ‘Khiccha’ which usually translates to a dish made of rice and lentils. While majorly, the dish is a simple one-pot recipe made of rice and legumes, various regions have developed their own varieties of Khichdi. The northern part of the country and parts of Gujarat are happy with their simple and bland version of the dish, people in the southern part of the country in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu like to spice up their khichdi and flavour them with a number of different ingredients.
Let us take you to the eastern side of the country to West Bengal where the much popular Bhoger Khichuri is consumed by Bengalis with great zeal. Be it Durga Pujo or regular comfort meals, Khichuri is a normal in every Bengali household.
• 200 gms Moong Dal
• 200 gms Rice preferably Govindbhog
• 2 gm cumin seeds
• 3 cardamom
• 3 cinnamon
• 1 clove
• 3 dried red chillies
• 3 bay leaves
• 5 gms turmeric powder
• 5 gms cumin powder
• 25 gm salt
• 25 gm sugar
• ½ tsp garam masala
• 200 gm cauliflower cut into florets
• 200 gm potatoes cut into 5 cm chunks
• 100 gms tomatoes cut into quarters
• 80 gm peas blanched
• 40 gm ginger garlic paste
• 40 gm grated coconut
• 5 pcs green chillies
• 10 gms ghee
• Put the rice in a bowl and wash it thoroughly. Strain the excess water over a net. Now, leave it for drying.
• Wash and clean your daal (lentil) and dry roast it in a pan till it turns pinkish brown. Keep stirring continuously for an even roast.
• Rinse it once, do not over rinse the roasted daal and allow it to dry.
• In a separate wok or pan, heat oil. Shallow fry the rice to activate the smell until it appears a little glassy. Keep it aside for bringing it to room temperature.
• In the same pan, add 15 gms of oil. Now, fry the potatoes till they develop a golden brown coat. Set aside. Now, fry the cauliflowers till they develop a light brown coat.
• In a small bowl, make a paste of ginger, turmeric powder and cumin powder with some water.
• Now, heat some mustard oil and fry dry red chillies, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds and cloves.
• Add grated coconut to the pan and stir. Add the paste in the pan. Fry for around 7 -8 minutes. Add water in case the mixture becomes dry.
• Add chopped tomatoes in the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the daal and rice in the pan. Slit two green chillies and stir.
• Add water and salt and cover and boil it for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
• Add cauliflowers and potatoes. Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
• Scrape the bottom of the pan once in a while and add the peas, green chillies and sugar.
• Simmer on low heat for around 3 minutes. Add ghee on top.
• Turn of the heat, cover and let it rest.
Serve hot with papad, omellete, pickle or curd.
So, now when someone asks you ‘Kya khichdi paka re ho?’, you know what you have to do.