Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bhuni Khichuri...

bhuni khichuri

The overcast sky with monsoon cloud pouring at times are most awaited relief after the blazing summer heat. Nonetheless we start to complain, the gloomy sky, the non-stop rain, water logged roads and many other reasons that make our daily life challenging. But food makes everything cheerful. It's an usual affair in a Bengali household to have Khichuri when it rains heavily. Khichuri is an one pot meal where rice and lentil are cooked together. cooking this particular dish has become a common practice during a rainy monsoon day simply becuase when the roads are waterlogged and it's difficult to go to the market to buy fresh veggies or fish or meat, it's convenient to conjure up a dish with basic ingredients in hand. Moreover, the steaming hot Khichuri warms up the chilly rainy days.

Bengalis cook Khichuri in several different ways, not only as a survival dish on rainy day. The most common way is to slow cook the lentil and rice in a risotto like consistency with minimal spices and served with a dollop of ghee and omelette or deep fried vegetables or fried papad. Vegetables like potatoes, cauliflowers, green peas are commonly added to the khichuri, making it a complete meal. Other than a rainy monsoon days, Khichuri is also prepared during Puja, as offering to the God. That special version is known as Bhoger Khichuri and has a unique taste and flavor which can only be experienced during the auspicious days of Puja.

Bhuni khichuri

Khichuri can be made with or without onion. Even there are versions where meat, fish, prawns are added to the Khichuri making it an exotic dish. Today I'm sharing a Khichuri recipe where the texture is more of pulao. I cooked the rice and lentil with aromatic spices and assorted vegetables. As the rice and lentil are cooked in ghee with spices then slow cooked to more like pulao, this is called Bhuni Khichuri or Bhuna khichuri.

bhuni khichuri

I didn't follow any particular recipe for this, followed my instinct and the end result was fantastic. I used Basmati rice and yellow lentil, with carrots, cauliflower, frozen peas. I also added raisins for natural sweetness and cashew nuts for crunch. I tried to cook the dish using minimal oil and ghee.

bhuni khichuri

I served the dish with pickled onion and raita. Monsoon or not, I must try dish for all.

bhuni khichuri

Things needed to make Bhuni khichuri:

(Serves: 4)

  • Basmati rice: 1 cup
  • Yellow lentil (mung dal): 1/2 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Ginger (grated): 2 tsp
  • Cauliflower (cut into florets): 2 cups
  • Carrot (cubes): 1 cup
  • Green peas: 1/2 cup
  • Green chilies: 4-5
  • Dry red chili: 2
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Cumin: 1 tsp
  • Cardamom: 2-3
  • Cinnamon: 1 inch
  • Cloves: 3-4
  • Nutmeg (powder): 1/8 tsp
  • White pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste (about 4-5 tsp)
  • Raisins: 1/4 cup
  • Cashew nuts: 1/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ghee
  • Water: 3 cups

Steps of making Bhuni khichuri:

1. Soak the rice and lentil separately for 30 min. Wash well, drain in excess water. Keep aside.

2. In a large heavy bottom deep pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and ghee. When hot fry the cashew nuts till brown. Take out and keep aside.

3. Fry the cauliflower florets and  cubed carrots, take out and keep aside.

4. In the same pan add another tablespoon of oil and ghee. When hot, add bay leaves, dry red chilies, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cook till the cumin changes color. Add the chopped onion and cook till red. Add grated ginger mix well.

5. Add the soaked rice and lentil, turmeric powder and cook over medium heat for 5-6 mins. Keep stirring gently. The rice and lentil should be fried well. If needed add a teaspoon of ghee.

6. Add the fried vegetables, green peas, raisins, salt, sugar, nutmeg powder, white pepper powder. Mix well.

7. Add water (use hot water), let it boil. As the water boil reduce heat, cover and cook for 12-15 mins or till all the water is absorbed. Sprinkle the cashew nuts, little ghee and serve hot with pickled onion and raita.

bhuni khichuri

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  1. As usual excellent clicks.. the dish looks very inviting and a healthy one pot meal 😊

  2. I looked everywhere for yellow lentils. To no avail. Is red lentils a good substitute?

    1. It won't taste the same of course but you can use red lentils.