More comfort food - Khichuri

Yes, it's pretty much a continuation of the previous theme though I am a lot better (thanks everyone for your lovely wishes). Khichuri, the Bengali version of khichdi was introduced in our dinners along with other gold standard recipes like aloor dum and poshto during our long stay in Calcutta. Since we don't let go of a good thing when we spot one it has been a regular feature on our menu since :-)

My mother learnt the recipe from our Bengali neighbour. Though many versions of this classic abound, one thing remains the same - roasting the moong dal. I think it is the single most distinguishing feature of this khichuri, as roasting intensifies the flavor of the lentils.

An onion and ginger less version of this khichuri is served as part of 'bhog' (prasad) during Durga Puja. I have had the good fortune of eating a traditional bhog - khichuri, bhaja, tomato chatni and payesh - with my friends in India and it's a meal I won't forget soon.


KHICHURI (Bengali rice & lentil Casserole)
(serves 2-3)
1/2 cup rice (Basmati if you prefer)
1/2 cup yellow moong dal
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
3/4 tsp ginger paste
salt to taste
Spices -
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
Vegetables -
1/4 cauliflower (about 6-8 flowerettes)
4 baby potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1/2 cup peas
(or carrots, beans, bell peppers etc.)
Garam Masala -
3 green cardamoms, peeled
1 small piece of cinnamon
2 cloves

Roast moong dal on low heat until golden. It will take about 5-6 minutes and the aroma is hard to miss. Let cool.

Grind the ingredients for the paste with half to one teaspoon of water. This can be difficult in a coffee grinder or blender so powder them in a mortar beforehand then mix with water.

Wash dal and drain in a colander. Wash rice till water runs clear then drain in a colander.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Add bay leaves and cumin seeds. When they sizzle add onion. Saute till it turns golden. Next add ginger paste. Add rice and saute it until it is well glazed.

Add dal, vegetables and spices. Mix well. Season to taste. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and stir once. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, lower heat and cook until done.

Sprinkle a little water if khichuri appears too dry. When rice and dal are cooked (not mushy), add garam masala and 1-2 teaspoons of ghee. Mix well and remove from heat. Cover and allow flavors to blend. Serve hot with fried eggplant & potato slices (bhaja).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini - Great dish, somewhat different to what i am used too. I will try it for sure. Roasting the moong dal is certainly very new, looking forward to trying it.

Thanks again

5:57 PM  
Blogger Manjusha Nimbalkar said...

Hey Ashwini,

Its looks simply delicious..
Happy Cooking !!!

6:15 PM  
Blogger Latha said...

Hey Ashwini,
Sounds yummy! We make a similar dish called "Khichdi Anna" in Karnataka minus the veggies. I will try your version, a one pot nutritious meal for a night!

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to know that u are feeling much better now Ashwini !

This morning, I woke up feeling awful, sever sinus infection.

7:22 PM  
Blogger The Culinary Chase said...

All of my favorite spices! Is the ginger garlic paste homemade & if so, is it equal parts? Cheers!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Dilip, Latha - let me know how you like it

Manju - thanks

Priya - oh no! Looks like I passed the bug around :-) Take care

CC - I use ready made ginger garlic paste. Its practically the first thing you will see in an Indian store. However if you are not going to use it frequently I suggest making some for this dish. For the quantities in the recipe you will need about 1 inch piece of ginger (peeled) and 4-5 cloves of garlic. Chop roughly then give it a whizz in the blender with a 1-2 tbsps of water. That's it!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a comforting and satisfying dish, I'd like to settle down on the couch with a big bowl of this goodness!

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you cook such delicious food day after day? I am soooo jealous of your husband.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey.... great variation to the otherwise famous sick food. :)

12:39 AM  
Blogger Nabeela said...

Hi Ashwini, glad to hear you're feeling better.
The khichri looks good, I'm sure it tasted good too!

4:49 AM  
Blogger indosungod said...

Kichuri looks fantastic. Glad to hear you are doing better. It is the season I think, I don't particularly enjoy winter so blame everything on it.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Jaya M said...

dear Ashwini,
we also love Khichuri on Durga Pooja (especially on ashtami ,no nonveg then )roasting the moong dal on low , first is definitely gives more flavours ,we do the same way..thanks
hugs and smiles

8:33 AM  
Blogger Sangeeta said...

Hi Ashwini,

we used to have Khichdi in the winter months when there was an abundance of veggies. it was one of my all time comfort food. My Ma also used to roast the Moong Dal for that "extra" flavor. :) Great dish - great pix.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Sumitha said...

Looks yum!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Sia said...

hi ashwini,
this is the first time i'm posting a comment in ur lovely blog though this is not my first visit:)
love the way u present recipes:) i'm a big fan of dal and ur snap of it itself is good enough to eat:) gonna try it very soon...

10:55 AM  
Blogger FH said...

Hey Ashwini, hope you are feeling better now.

Well, Khichdi as I call is fav quick lunch. Looks wonderful with great color.Mine usually goes little mushy.Thanks for great comfort food recipe.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Mythreyee said...

looks great and I should not forget to say, very well written. will try this definitely and let you know how it truned out. thanks for sharing.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Krithika said...

Khichuri looks delicious ! hope you are feeling better.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khichuri looks delicious; reminds me of the khichuri I ate at the Durga pooja celebrations in India

6:30 PM  
Blogger Lakshmi said...

i like khichari's, photo is so good.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Aditi said...

Hey Ashu didi,

Hope you are better. To be honest, I never quite liked the plain daal-rice khichdi types so much but the picture of your 'khichuri' looks so very appetizing! I think its a great idea to include veggies in the preparation, kinda like our masale bhaath. I'm going to try this recipe.

You take care sis,


2:44 AM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

Roasted Moong Dal? Hmmm...that should definitely give the preparation a different taste. Plus the spices...this one needs to be tried out, Ashwini. :)

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini, this and the previous both look so comforting, indeed -- thanks for the recipes and hope you're feeling better :)

9:56 AM  
Blogger Seema Bhat said...

hey ashwini:
you have beautiful photos in your blog and good healthy recipies as well ...will keep coming again
Good going gal!!!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Hyderabadi's said...

Happy thanks giving :)

1:57 PM  
Blogger Viji said...

Ashwini, Nice to know about this dish. Thanks for sharing. Viji

10:55 PM  
Blogger Pooja said...

Hi Ashwini,
this is my first time visit to your blog.
Such a nice blog you have developed here.
Pictures are very good !
I liked it very much.
may i add you to my blogroll?
Keep the good work going on .
Stay tuned

1:14 AM  
Blogger Swamy VKN said...

Hi Ashwini - Thank you for your interest to participate at FAHC campaign. We are now finalizing the key tasks and workflow stages, target completion dates, basic outline of the book contents, etc. We will keep you posted.

Btw, nice result you have with Khichuri, good mix of vegetables.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Anupama said...

Hey Ash, glad you are feeling well again. Nice version of Khichadi. A little spicier than my version. But very welcome during these cold days.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made this a week back and loved it !

Roasting moong dal, spice paste with cardamom, clove and cinnamon brings out the flavor and makes this unique. Will definetely make this again !

5:25 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments and the wishes.

VKN - thanks for the heads up

Priya - so glad you liked the khichuri.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Asha said...

Looks yummy!! I love khichuri with beguni.

5:10 AM  

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