Khichuri is generally made during Durga Puja as an offering to the Goddess. I remember going to the Puja at Ramakrishna Math in Mumbai especially to have this Bengali delicacy. They served this as prasad after offering to the goddess. People used to flock to the place to collect their serving of piping hot khichuri served in traditional pattal(leaf bowl). Miss those days!!
|Durga Puja at Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Khar, Mumbai 2013.|
Khichuri is similar to the Moong Dal Khichdi we prepare, however this one has vegetables like potato, cauliflower and peas. The main difference in that Khichuri is made using roasted moong dal, which gives it the peculiar flavor. Enjoyed with Baingan Bhaja, Aalo Bhaja or yohurt and papad, this is a one pot meal; oozing with flavors!
Short Grained Rice like Sona Masoori, 1 cup
Moong Dal 1 cup
Potatoes ½ cup diced
Cauliflower florets ½ cup
Green Peas ½ cup
Tomatoes ¼ cup diced
Ginger Grated ½ inch piece
Spices:Bay leaves, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Cardamom
Condiments: Dried Red Chilli, Roasted Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder, Cumin seeds, red chilli powder
Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups of water. In a dry skillet, roast the Moong dal till it gives out a fragrance and is slightly brown in color. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Remove the dal and add 2 tablespoon oil in the skillet. The traditional way is to use mustard oil, however I have used regular vegetable oil, with not much noticable difference in taste!
In the hot oil add potatoes and cauliflower and cook them on medium flame till they are little brown in color. Remove them aside and add cumin seeds and the spices to the same oil. Let them splutter for a minute or so. Next add the ginger, dried chilli, turmeric, red chilli powder and cumin powder. Mix well and add tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked for a couple of minutes, add the roasted moong dal. Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add a cup of water and cover with a lid to cook the dal. Aftet the water starts to simmer, add the potatoes and cauliflower. At this stage also add green peas. Let the vegetables simmer, before adding the rice. Add the drained rice and season with salt as per taste. Add more water if need be. Cover and cook till the rice and dal is well cooked and little mushy. Occasionally stir and add water if required.
Once it is cooked, add cilantro and serve hot with a dollop of ghee. Khichuri tastes best by itself, but can also be accompanied by Baingan Bhaja, Aalo Bhaja or Yoghurt and Papad.