Khichuri or Khichdi is an Indian rice and lentils preparation. Bhaja Moong Dal Khichuri made with rice and roasted mung beans is very popular in North India, especially during the monsoons or winter-time.
Steaming vegetable khichdi made of roasted moong dal and Gobindobhog rice, with a fine layer of roasted and ground garam masala and desi ghee on top, with some crunchy beguni (eggplant fritters) on the side, is pure ecstasy! Dal khichdi made in a pressure cooker is the ultimate comfort food for cold wintery days or rainy days.
Seasonal vegetables such as potato, fresh green peas and cauliflower are commonly added to this Indian rice and lentils dish. Khichdi rice is made in a single pot and served with a variety of fries (bhaja). This hearty vegetarian main course dal khichdi dish is truly satisfying and delicious! The soft gooey khichuri accompanied by crisp batter-coated fries is sheer indulgence.
In Bengal, moong dal khichdi is a delicacy, commonly prepared on rainy days or during the winter months. Bhoger Khichdi is a staple offering to the Goddess on Durga puja/Saraswati puja/ festival days. Bengali Bhog er Khichuri or Niramish Khichdi when prepared with pure devotion and faith is a divine offering.
When Bhaja Mung Dal er Khichuri, a one pot rice and lentil dish is cooked on any other day with a mix of vegetables and spices, it’s comfort food for the soul.
Khichuri Recipe Bengali Style:
The nutritious, soft, mushy rice and dal combo, lightly seasoned and cooked with vegetables is easily digestible and perfect for infants or the sick. A hot bowl of freshly made nourishing khichdi does your body a world of good!
There’s a sharp nip in the air lately and I have this craving for some piping hot moong dal khichdi, crispy fritters and papad. This delicious one-pot dish, a soothing mélange of lentils, Gobindobhog rice and seasonal vegetables, flavoured with desi ghee, is just the perfect foil for the dreary weather outside.
How to make Bengali Khichuri:
To make niramish khichuri, put a kadai on the stove over medium heat and slowly dry roast the moong dal till it turns a light brown. Cool and wash the dal.
Wash the rice and keep aside.
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes; slit the green chilli. Get the rest of the khichdi ingredients ready.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat and temper with whole garam masala. Add cumin seeds and green chilli. Saute for 30 seconds. Add ginger paste and fry for 1/2 a minute.
Put in the cubed potatoes and green peas. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the washed rice and roasted mung dal. Stir gently.
Sprinkle salt, sugar, turmeric and roasted cumin powder. Combine well.
Add water and mix well. Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 1 whistle on high flame and 2 low whistles on low flame. Dry roast and grind paanch phodon.
After you open the pressure cooker lid, drizzle some ghee and roasted paanch phodon powder (or garam masala) on top.
Serve Niramish Bengali Khichuri with any bhaja and chutney.
Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi Recipe details below:
- Rice – ½ cup
- Sona Moong Dal – ½ cup
- Potato – 3 medium
- Peas ½ cup
- Ginger paste – ½ tsp
- Green chilli -1
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cinnamon – ½ inch
- Cloves -2
- Cardamom – 2
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Turmeric – ¼ tsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – ½ tsp
- Water - 4 cups
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Paanch phodon powder or garam masala optional – ¼ tsp
Heat a kadai and dry roast the moong dal till it turns slightly brown. Cool.
Wash the rice and dal and keep aside.
Peel and quarter the potatoes and slit the green chilli.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Once they start to pop, add cumin seeds and green chilli. Sauté and add ginger paste. Fry for 30 seconds for the raw smell of ginger to go.
Toss in the cubed potatoes and green peas. Mix well and sauté for a minute.
Add the rice and roasted mung dal. Combine well.
Sprinkle turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar. Stir everything together till the spices are uniformly spread.
Add water and stir. Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 high and 2 low whistles.
Meanwhile roast the paanch phodon (five spice mix of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds). Cool and grind to powder.
Once the pressure releases, add a spoon of ghee and some freshly roasted and powdered paanch phodon or garam masala. (If the rice dal mixture is too dry, add a little water and mix well).
Serve Bengali Khichuri with papad and begun bhaja or fries.
You can add sliced onions, cauliflower florets, carrot, etc.
Use Gobindo bhog rice to enhance flavour