Bhuni Khichdi

DSCN1525 Ah Monsoon! When everything is so beautiful around you, it is only just to eat food that fits your mood. So today we have a very ‘rainy day’ meal- Khichdi and begun bhaja (fried eggplant). Khichdi is what you call a complete meal. Extremely nutritious and often used as comfort food. It is basically a mixture of white rice and yellow lentil or split green lentil, boiled and topped with some ghee. Every Indian household must have relished the taste of Khichdi at one point of time or the other but the style of cooking and taste may differ according to the ingredients being used. In Bengal  Khichdi (there known as khichudi) is served as a delicacy and is a big hit during monsoon.  The recipe I’m sharing today is for ‘Bhuni Khichdi’, which means khichdi prepared by ‘bhunao’ (i.e. frying). I serve it along with some simple ‘begun bhaja’ (fried eggplant). Serves 6 Ingredients:

  • Rice (Govind bhog/Basmati) 1 cup
  • Red Lentil (Masoor dal ) 1/2 cup
  • Yellow lentil (moong dal ) 1/2 cup
  • Potato 1 (cubed)
  • Cauliflower 8 florets (medium sized)
  • Peas 1/2 cup
  • Tomato 2 (chopped)
  • Onion 2 (sliced)
  • Ginger paste 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • Chili powder 1 tsp
  • Dry bay leaf (tej patta) 1
  • Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chili (whole) 2
  • Green chili 2 (slit the chilies)
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) 1/4 cup
  • Cinnamon 1 (1″ stick)
  • Green Cardamom 3
  • Cloves 5
  • Ghee 8 tbl spn (or as according to your preference)
  • Oil 4 tbl spn
  • Sugar 2 tsp
  • Salt 2 tsp

Method: Wash the rice and the lentils together and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep it aside. DSCN1511 Grind Cardamom, Cinnamon and the cloves together. Cover the mixture and keep aside. In a bowl add potato cubes and cauliflower florets. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, mix well and keep aside. In a wok add 4 tbl spn oil and fry the vegetables. Keep your fried vegetables aside. In the same wok, when you’re done frying your vegetables, add 3 tbl spn ghee (along with the remaining oil) and add dried whole red chilies, bay leaf and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds start to crackle, add your sliced onions. Fry the onions till they are pink in color. Add ginger garlic paste to your fried onions. Add rice and lentils, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder,chili powder,coriander powder,cumin powder,peas,chopped tomato,fried vegetables,salt and fry. Stir continuously as this can tend to stick to the bottom. DSCN1513 After frying for 8-10 minutes, you will observe that the color has changed. Add 3 & 1/2 cup of water,sugar and boil in high heat. After some time as the excess water evaporates,sprinkle the cinnamon, cardamom and clove mixture that we had prepared. Cover your wok with a lid and keep on low heat for another 5-7 minutes. Now remove from heat,top up with chopped coriander leaves,2 whole green chilies, and ghee(generously,as much as you prefer). Cover the wok and let it rest for 5 minutes. DSCN1516 Your bhuni khichdi is now ready! Make it even better with fries or fritters.  As you can see in the image I have added fried Eggplant (Begun bhaja) to accompany my Khichdi, similarly you can use other fried vegetables or pakodas.DSCN1517 Add the chili and salt as per your taste.But remember to add sugar as per the salt in order to balance the taste. You may add more vegetables like,carrot,cabbage or beans in it, if you wish. Not just an abundance of vegetables but if you like don’t refrain from adding egg,minced chicken or mutton in it. Hope you liked this recipe. Enjoy the rains and look out for more rainy day dishes to make your days even better. Happy cooking and happy monsoon! 🙂

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