Be it rain or winter morning, there is no end to the Bengalis' obsession with khichuri (a local dish).
Apart from being delicious, the appeal of khichuri is incomparable to everyone from students to unmarried people for its relatively time-saving and simple cooking process.
Just like this two days ago, a bachelor colleague of mine posted a picture of his cooked khichuri on Facebook. Despite his reluctance, as he said in the post, he set out to cook khichuri even in the scorching heat to prepare his lunch briefly. But before the end of cooking, it suddenly rained, ending him up with the childish Facebook post.
In the meantime, I read that a fleet of 1,000 government officials is planning to go abroad to learn how to cook khichuri at a cost of Tk5 crore.
Poor decision! Why do they have to go abroad spending such a big amount just to learn how to cook khichuri! Seriously? I could not accept it by any means.
Tell me if the neighbours like India's Modi, Pakistan's Imran or Bhutan's Lotay Tshering hear about this, what would they say?
So, I immediately got committed to protecting the nation from this embarrassing situation, sat down with the notebook and wrote the Khichuri recipe for all.
Here are few popular recipes of three Asian and other countries on how to cook khichuri -
- 1 cup Mung bean
- 2 cup Basmati rice
- ½ cup ghee or butter
- ½ cup onion, sliced
- 2 green chilies
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 cloves
- 2-3 cinnamon, about 1" each
- 5 cups boiled water
- 1 tablespoons salt
- Wash rice and mung bean. Strain all the water. Set aside.
- Add ghee/butter in a pan on medium heat. Add onion and saute until it gets slightly golden.
- Add everything from chilies to cinnamon. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add salt and boiled water. At the sight of bubbles, put a lid on the pan and cook for 20-22 minutes or until rice and bean is done.
- Your bhuna khichuri is ready. Serve it with pickled onion.
- Wasn't it so easy to cook the popular Bengali dish? I wonder why the government officials are going that far spending public money to learn it!
I am also providing two Indian and Pakistani recipes for those of you who want to cook khichuri in foreign flavors.
Indian Khichuri Recipe
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaf
- ½ or ¾ teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 green chilli slit or ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 small tomato deseeded or chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup rice
- ½ cup mung dal
- 3 to 4 cups water
- 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
- ½ tablespoon ghee for topping
- Wash rice and dal in a pot and drain the water
- Heat ghee on a pot in medium heat
- Saute bay leaf & cumin on a low flame for 1 min
- Fri ginger until fragrant and sprinkle hing
- Fri onion and green chilis
- Add tomatoes, carrots, beens, salt and turmeric and saute for 3 to 4 min
- Add rice and dal and saute for 4 min
- Pour 3 cups water for mushy consistency and 4 cups for porridge like consistency
- Cook until soft
- Pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichuri
Pakistani Khichuri Recipe
- 0.5 cup white basmati rice
- 0.5 cup lentils, any kind I used half half moong and masoor lentils
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 big chunk cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium sized onion, sliced
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1.5 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
- yogurt and butter, to serve
- Wash and soak the rice and lentils. Drain before using.
- Heat the ghee/butter in a pot and fry the onions, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaf on medium heat and till the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the drained rice, lentils, spices and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then cook on high till most of the water dries up.
- Once the Khichdi is at your desired consistency, turn the heat down to the lowest, cover and steam for 5-10 minutes
- Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt and a knob of butter.
- Khichuri is a traditional dish of our subcontinent, I don't know of any food called Khichuri outside this region. However, there are two almost similar African and Italian dishes. I am providing recipes for them.
Khichuri is a traditional dish of Indian subcontinent, I don't know of any food called Khichuri outside this region. However, there are two almost similar African and Italian dishes. I am providing recipes for them.
- 1 cup white rice
- Salt to taste
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ of each coloured bell peppers
- 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 medium jam/rosa tomatoes grated
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
- 6-8 sausages of your choice
- 1 teaspoon dhania powder
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- Hot sauce of your choice
- Fresh dhania
- Add rice to a pot
- Rinse rice for about 5 times until the water runs clear. Fill the pot with water and bring the rice to a boil on medium heat. Add the turmeric powder to the rice.
- Also add salt
- When rice is fully cooked, strain in a colander & set aside
- Place sausages in a pan and allow for it to steam
- After about 10 to 15 minutes you will notice the water kind of bubbling around the sausages
- Add a little more water if needed
- Once the water has dried up in the pan leave it on the pan to fry
- Once cooked, remove and place on a plate
- Cut the sausages into small slices. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add in the chopped onions and thyme. Fry until onions are translucent.
- Next add in a little turmeric powder, chili powder, ginger and garlic paste and dhania powder.
- Thereafter add in the grated tomatoes.
- Mix well and cook for 15 minutes.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked, pour in the chicken stock.
- Mix well and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Add in the bell peppers.
- Mix and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in the slices of sausages and the dried mixed herbs.
- Mix well and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add some hot sauce to the mixture, optional. Gently mix.
- Add in a little of the cooked rice at a time.
- Mix as you go along and continue until all of the rice is in the pot.
- Chop fresh dhania and add to the pot.
- The Jambalaya is ready
- 5 cups chicken broth (warmed)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cups short grain Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or more chicken broth)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Place chicken broth in a heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until onions become translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes; don't let the vegetables brown.
- Stir in the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes longer until some grains begin to look translucent.
- Add wine or 1/2 cup chicken broth; cook and stir until liquid is absorbed. Then add about 1/2 cup of simmering chicken broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed.
- At this point, add more broth, about 1 cup, at a time and stir.
- The whole cooking process should take about 20 to 25 minutes. The rice should be tender, but firm, or al dente, in the center; test it by biting into some grains. When the rice is done, remove the pan from the heat and stir in cheese and butter and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until melted, then serve.
Wasn't it so easy to cook the popular Bengali dish? I wonder why the government officials are going that far spending public money to learn it! You can also learn to cook khichuri in other ways by exploring on Google. You may focus on quality education for our kids rather.