Friday 5 February 2021

Making Bengali style Khichuri

Khichadi on a cold, misty and wet January afternoon is just what one needs. Simple wholesome comfort food.
Khichuri requires a variety of vegetables. 
Carrots, beans, radish cut into batons, peas, cabbage cut into fine strips.
Large florets of cauliflower and small potatoes.
Sambar onion peeled, raw mango sliced fine.
Coriander leaves and stalks chopped. 
Finely chopped or pureed tomatoes. 
Chopped onions
Yellow moong dal, Masoor dal and a small grain rice like Jeera Samba. Use raw rice and par boiled rice.
The Yellow Moong dal should be dry roasted such that the raw smell disappears and the dal turns a light golden colour.
Soak the two dals and the rice in water for atleast an hour.
Spices - large black cardamom,  cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, whole pepper, turmeric and red chilli powder.
The florets of cauliflower and potatoes should be fried in oil and kept aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and fry all the dry spices till they give off a lovely aroma, see that the spices don't burn.
Next add the ginger garlic paste and chopped onions and fry. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Add a heaped teaspoon of salt.
Once the onions and ginger garlic paste have fried well and the oil separates, add the chopped tomatoes or pureed tomatoes and continue frying.
Next add the coriander stalks.
Then the slit green chillies. Continue to fry, stirring the mixture constantly. 
Add the dry powders - the turmeric and the chilli powder.
Add the harder vegetables like the carrots, beans, peas, and radish , raw mango, sambar onions and fry.
Any other vegetables get added to the mixture next . Then the dals and rice which have been soaking in water for about an hour are strained and added to the mixture and fried. Finally the fried and lightly browned cauliflower, potatoes and a generous spoonful of mango pickle if you have it in your pantry are added.
The entire mixture is put into a pressure cooker and sufficient water added such that there an inch or two of water above the mixture in the pressure cooker.
Cook for two whistles. The khichuri should be done.
If the khichuri is dry, add water and mix everything up. Adjust seasoning.
The most important step comes next. Add generous quantities of ghee and mix. Sprinkle coriander leaves on top.
The Khichuri is ready to serve.
Serve onion pakoras, masala scrambled eggs, pappads, pickle, or dal badas as accompaniments to the Khichuri.

Ze Gumnaam  Khichuri :)

Ingredients - 

Large black cardamom - 1
Small green cardamom - 5
Cinnamon - a few small pieces
Pepper - 1/2 tsp 
Bay leaves - 3
Cloves- 4
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp 
Sugar - 1 tbsp 
Onion - 2 large thinly sliced
Ginger paste - 1.5 tsp
Garlic - 1.5 tsp
Radish - 1 large chopped into large cubes
Cauliflower - 3/4 of a medium sized one roughly break the florets in large pieces by hand
Cabbage - thinly chop 1/2 a cup 
Peas - 1/4 cup
Finely chopped or pureed tomatoes - 2 large
Potatoes - 4 small sized ones, peel and keep them whole
Green Beans - 10 beans chopped into 3 pieces each
Carrots - 2 medium sized ones chopped into 4 pieces each other
Green chillies - slice through the middle and add as per your spice tolerance. 
Raw mango - thinly slice and add 1/4 cup
Small Pearl onions - 1/2 cup peeled ones
Spices and frying mediums - 
Ghee - 1tbsp per person :)
Any White oil of your choice (apart from coconut oil)- 40gms
Yellow Moong daal - 
Musoor daal - 
Any fragrant rice - small grain jeera samba is best else use basmati. Use raw rice not the parboiled variety 
Green chillies pickle or a spicy Mango pickle - 2 tsp 
Freshly grated coconut - 3 tsp (optional depends on your preference)
Coriander stalks - clean very well to remove the mud and chop finely. Use 1/4 cup 
Coriander leaves - a generous fistful finely chopped

Prep work-
1. Wash and prep all the veggies 
2. Take a kadai and dry fry the moong daal till it's light golden and then soak it in water 
3. Wash the rice and moong daal and soak it in water along with the dry roasted moong daal. The daal and rice should soak for an hour to soften
4. Heat some oil and lightly fry the peeled potatoes till they start getting a slightly golden hue and set them aside. Repeat with the large cauliflower florets. Larger the florets the better for your khichdi :)
Do not add salt or cook the cauliflower or potatoes completely. Just a very light fry.

I was fortunate to have a dear friend make me a pressure cooker full of yummy Khichuri, accompanied with dal badas, egg bhurji, pickle and papadams.

It made for wonderful lunch party and was thoroughly enjoyed by friends who shared the meal. 

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