Monday, July 25, 2011

Bengali Khichuri

When we were going to bid goodbye to Chennai and moving to Bangalore, I had to do most of the tasks as Abbas was working in Bangalore then. He would arrive along with Kakima (My co-sis’s mom) only on the previous day of our departure. Change of address in post office, transfer of gas connection, surrendering Landline phone, dealing with movers and packers, finishing off the groceries in my pantry. I had kept just enough rice, dal, potatoes, 2 red chillies, pinch of cumin seeds, salt for Khichuri to be prepared. As I had to go to office for the last day clearance, Kakima was going to prepare Khicuri with the limited resources she was provided with… I had marinated some boneless chicken pieces which would be deep fried to go along with Khicuri. To this date, we remember that day’s Khichuri as it had turned out to be yummilicious!!!

Kakima is a super talented cook and her Bengali preparations are to die for. We spent a good three months of time together in Bangalore. It was like a picnic everyday. We had the best of foods hogged as if there was no tomorrow. Kaku would go shopping and we would provide him with a list of groceries. Kakima would churn up delicacies one after the other and indulging in them was sheer bliss. Whenever we talk on phone, we recall those wonderful days spent together and the memories of them are soothing!!! I learnt many Bengali dishes from her but have never been able to match the taste that she imparts to them. Abbas and I are eagerly waiting for Kakima and Kaku’s stay with us….

This is how I prepare Khicuri:

Moong Dal – 1¼ cups (lightly roasted on Tawa)
Masoor Dal – ¾ cup
Rice – 2 cups (You may use Gobinda bhog rice for a distinctive aroma)
Cauliflower – 8-10 big florets, optional (soaked in hot water with turmeric and salt and drained)
Potato – 3 medium sized, peeled and cut into 2 pieces each
Green peas – a handful (optional)
Onion – 2 large, sliced
Tomatoes – 2 large, finely chopped
Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 2, broken into 3-4 pieces each
Bay leaves – 2
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2-3, finely chopped (optional)
Oil – 5 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp

  1. Wash rice and both dals together 5-6 times or till the water is clear. Strain away all water.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Add cauliflower florets and sauté till they turn golden and crunchy from outside. Remove from oil and keep aside.
  3. Repeat the same for potatoes and keep aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to the same pan. Add cumin seeds, once spluttered add red chillies and bay leaves.
  5. Add chopped onion and sauté till golden brown.
  6. Now add ginger paste and sauté till raw smell goes away.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté till they turn mushy and oil separates.
  8. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar and combine.
  9. Now add the washed rice and dal, sautéed cauliflower, potatoes and green peas. Mix well. Add 6-7 cups of water, cover with lid and let it boil.
  10. When the water boils, slide the lid a bit and on low flame, let it cook till rice and dal are completely cooked. You may add more water if you like a runny Khichuri. If you want a dry Khicuri, once rice and dal are cooked, remove the lid and cook on fly flame till you get the desired consistency. I like my Khicuri neither dry nor too runny. Pour ghee on top and close the lid.
  11. Serve hot with anything deep fried, green chillies, lemon wedges and ghee. I generally serve along with Begun Bhaja, Dim Bhaja. This time it was Chicken 65.
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  1. Good luck with the move Seema, Kichuri is such a comfort food..looks delicious!

  2. Kichuri is new to me,but am sure the taste will be awesome...yummy yum.

  3. Khichri looks simply delicious and inviting.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. How can I not like this. I grew up eating this, and love it anytime. What a comfort food :)


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