Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bhoger Khichuri...Durga Pujo Special

'Durga Pujo' these two words are so important for every single Bengalis. It is the most awaited festival for us. As the monsoon ends, the golden sunshine with fluffy white clouds drifting slowly on the backdrop of bright blue sky announces Durga Pujo is near. The white Kash phool and morning Siuli makes the festive mood. We all plan for shopping new dresses, gifts for near and dear ones. And of course the Pandals being ready with artisans creativity makes this religious event to a mass festivity, where religion or language hardly matters.
This Autumnal festival, Durga pujo is about worshiping the Goddess Durga, who saved all the other Gods from a demon named Mahisasur(buffalo headed demon). The goddess symbolises shakti(power). The divine power wins over the evil.
In Kolkata, India we celebrate Durga Pujo for 5days. It starts with Panchami(the fifth day of Goddess) to Dashami(the tenth day). The preparations starts long ago. First with making of the Durga idol. It is made with bamboo sticks, hay and clay.
Durga idol on making..Picture courtesy Sayantan Sarkar. For more pics please visit
The puja starts on Panchami with the inauguration of the idol. It is not allowed to see the face of the goddess before that. Then on Shasthi the priest welcomes the Goddess with Bodhon. Saptami starts with Kolabou snan, then puspanjali(offering flowers to the Goddess).

Light work outside a puja pandal, Kolkata

Dhunuchi dance

It is a common practice to fast during the morning of durga puja till the pushpanjali. After Pushpanjali, bhog(food for the Goddess) is distributed. In between Astami and Nabami a special puja called sandhi puja takes place. On the last day, the Dashami the idol is immersed in the water of Ganges.
The durga idol, Austin, Texas
The rhythm of dhak, fragrance of incense, dhoono, flowers and the priest chanting the mantras creates a divine atmosphere. I have grown up with all these. Now they are sweet memories for me. Being more than 7000miles apart I can only call my friends and relatives to ask how much are they enjoying? or watch the Bengali television channels to do a virtual pandal hopping. But for the food I recreated it in my kitchen.
The special Bhoger khichuri along with fried veggies was my pujo special lunch yesterday. Here is the details for you all...

Things needed to make Bhoger Khichuri:

  • Rice(Gobindobhog or kalazeera): 1cup
  • Mung(skinned and split mung beans) Dal: 1cup
  • Dry red chilies: 3-4
  • Bay leaf: 2-3
  • Cumin seed:1tsp
  • Cinnamon stick(1inch):2
  • Cardamom:3-4
  • Cloves:5-6
  • Ginger paste: 2tsp
  • Tomato(chopped): 1 large
  • Turmeric powder:
  • Cumin powder:
  • Red chili powder:
  • Garam masala powder;
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar
  • Ghee:2tbsp
  • Oil:1tbsp
  • Green pea(shelled):1/2cup
  • Potato, cauliflower(optional)

Steps of making Bhoger khichuri:

1. Soak the rice for 30min. The rice has to be Gobindobhog or kalazeera, otherwise it will taste like bhoger khichuri.

2. Take the mung dal in a pan and dry roast till the color changes to light brown. Stir continuously to prevent from burning. Wash the dal, and boil it till 3/4 done. I like to cook the dal before adding it to the rice, that reduces the cooking time. I washed the roasted dal, put it in the pressure cooker and cook till one whistle and switch off the heat. I waited till the pressure released and kept the almost done mung dal aside.

Mung Dal
3. In a pan add ghee. I used 1tbsp ghee with 1tbsp oil. If you like you can use only ghee. As the ghee melts add bay leaves, whole garam masala, dry red chilies and cumin seeds. When the spices release a nice aroma add the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Cook for 2min, add the ginger paste. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 4-5min. Add cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, mix well. Cook till oil separates.

4. Add rice and cook for 2min on high heat. Add warm water(3cups) and let it boil, as the water boils reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5-6min. Add the dal and mix well. If you are adding fresh green peas then add them at this stage. I used frozen peas, so I added those at the last stage of cooking. Cook for 12-15min. Check whether the rice and dal is fully cooked or not. If needed add more water and cook for 10 more min. The bhoger khichuri has a runny consistency, so do not hesitate to add water. Add salt and sugar as per taste. Add the frozen green peas. Add ghee and garam masala powder. Switch off heat, cover the pan and let it stand for 15-20min.

Serve hot with fried veggies, potato, pumpkin, okra etc.

Again that wonderful Durga image captured by my friend Sayantan..for more visit
This post is going to the durga puja special event of Kolkata Food blooger

May the Goddess bless us with peace and happiness...


  1. Shubho Bijoya-r anek anek shubhechcha. It's a very nice post. I thought of making khichuri too, but couldn't do it.

    1. Thank you...subho bijoya to you too...dont worry lokhkhi pujo te kore felo...:)