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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bhoger Khichuri ( ভোগের খিচুড়ি )



This past week was the last major festival of the year for us Bengalees, it was time of Kali puja (কালিপূজা / দীপাবলী ). Others are more aware of it as Diwali, the festival of lights. This year I prepped my home with lots of candles, diyas, lights, flowers. The aura it creates is very refreshing and brings calmness and happiness in life.




We recently discovered a Durga temple very near our home and absolutely loved the atmosphere there. The temple is in a small shopping mall. The priest here is an interesting person. He is from southern part of India, but can fluently speak in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, English. He has a unique style of puja; you won’t believe, he actually talks with the deity, goes into a trance at the same time. This temple is one of those rare ones, which encourages people to actively participate and allows home cooked food for puja.

We (me and my husband) kept fast for the day until late in the evening. We decided to bring homemade khichuri (খিচুড়ি) at the temple.

I kept it very simple and used basic minimum spices. I don't know how but anytime you cook  ভোগের খিচুড়ি, it has this special aroma. You try it any other normal day, it never turns out the same.





Ingredients:

Rice (gobindobhog/sonamasoori/atop chal) - 2 cups
Moong/moog dal - 1&1/2 cup
Potato - 2 (halved/quartered)
Cauliflower - 1 cup (cut into big florets)
Carrots - 1/2 cup (cut into 1" pieces) (ডুমো করে কাটা )
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Bayleaf - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chili - 2
Green chili - 2 (slit)
Ginger - 1 tbsp (paste/grated)
Turmeric powder
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Sugar
Oil - 1 tbsp
Ghee
Water (lukewarm/hot)





Preparation:

Wash and soak rice in water for 30 minutes.
Dry roast moog dal in a wok until it turns golden brown in color (it will have a nice aroma too). Let it cool and then wash with water.
Fry potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots. Add little salt and turmeric powder while frying. Keep it aside.
Next heat oil.
Add the bayleaf, dry red chili, green chili, cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.




Add ginger, cumin powder and fry it.




Now add moog dal, salt, turmeric powder and fry for some more time.




Next add water; cover the wok and let the mixture cook until the dal is half done.
Then add the soaked rice, green peas, fried potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots into it. Add salt, turmeric powder and water; mix, cover the wok again and let it cook well.




Keep checking it from time to time and add more water if needed.
When rice and dal are well cooked, turn off the heat, add ghee, sugar and garam masala in it; mix well and keep it covered for a while.





Tip:

Generally I like to keep the proportion of rice more than dal rather than having them same.
While frying ginger add a little salt to it; this will prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
I always keep khichuri a little watery by the time it is done, since it always absorbs water while cooling down.

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