'Khichuri' is traditionally a famous dish in South Asian cuisine. When the sky is capped with catastrophic clouds and it suddenly starts to drizzle, this special dish becomes more appealing.
A palpable hot plate of Khichuri melts our hearts and augments our satiation on a rainy day.
Although khichuri is usually cooked with equal parts rice and lentil, vegetables,meat or other ingredients can be added to make the dish more delectable.
As tastebuds vary from person to person, some prefer bhuna khichuri while some prefer the 'letka' variant.
But one thing that is common for all Bangladeshis is our love for this traditional dish from the n core of our hearts.
Since childhood, I have been blessed with my dadi and mother's delicious khichuri on rainy days and special occasions. As I grew up, I had the chance to explore some of the renowned and mouth-watering khichuri places in Dhaka.
Thanks to my khichuri eating endeavours, here is my top five list of the best khichuris in Dhaka based on quality, taste, quantity and price.
5. Beef Bhuna Khichuri from Lalbag Biryani House, Dhanmondi
I can guarantee you that a plate of beef khichuri from Lalbag Biryani House will satiate both your mind and hunger.
The price is unbelievably affordable given the grand quantity of the khichuri you get with 10 to 12 small pieces of beef. The meat is tender and easily chewable. The strong flavour of mustard oil gives the simple beef khichuri a delectable twist.
It is ideal to order half a plate of Lalbag's khichuri instead of the full plate as it might be difficult for one person to finish. If you want some more khichuri later, they have quarter plates as well.
Lalbag Biryani House is located outside Keari Plaza, Dhanmondi.
Price: Tk200 (full plate), Tk100 (half plate)
4. Ilish Khichuri Platter from Nanu's Food Factory, Bashundhara R/A
When it comes to khichuri, fish is not a priority as most people enjoy a steaming hot plate of khichuri that has been made with meat. Ilish, however, is an exception.
The ilish khichuri platter from Nanu's Food Factory is one of those unique dishes one has to try to know its worth. This platter comes with a piece of ilish do-peyaza and begun achari on the side with a heaping plate of khichuri that tastes as great as it sounds.
With all the flavourful spices mixed with the distinct flavour of the ilish, the simple khichuri tastes heavenly. Each morsel of rice is cooked to perfection and perfectly complements the begun achari.
Nanu's Food Factory is located on the Apollo Hospital Road at Bashundhara R/A, adjacent to Evercare Hospital.
3. Achari Khichuri from Bhoj, Topkhana Road
Bhoj has a vast menu for khichuri and I tried their mutton achari khichuri. One thing that is guaranteed is the unforgettable taste of this amazing dish.
The khichuri comes with five to six small pieces of mutton but the meat is tremendously flavourful. All the spices and ingredients are nicely mixed with each other and will definitely take your tastebuds on a joy ride. The achar in the beef adds more versatility to the khichuri's taste.
If you want to taste Bhoj's mutton achari khichuri, make sure to go there before noon otherwise they may run out of this delicacy.
Bhoj is located in Topkhana Road opposite Dudok office and beside Shilpakala Academy.
2. Bhuna Khichuri from Hotel Ghorowa, Motijheel
This Khichuri is undoubtedly one of the best khichuri in Dhaka for a large number of food enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, the hotel was shut down in 2015 and it remained closed until 2020. This came as a shock for Ghorow's many loyal customers. Hotel Ghorowa has recently reopened and Abdul Mazid Bepari, the culinary mastermind, flabbergasted a great number of foodies with his creations.
The signature dish from Hotel Ghorowa's menu is undeniably their bhuna khichuri, which is served hot with two large pieces of mutton.
Although the meat is not the most tender, it still tastes extremely flavourful and luscious. All the ingredients and spices in the khichuri heavily influences the flavours to perform their best. However, irrespective of the mouth watering flavours, the khichuri is very oily.
Hotel Ghorowa is located in Motijheel, adjacent to Madhumita Cinema Hall and opposite the WAPDA Building.
1. Beef Khichuri and Ilish Khichuri from Cooker's-7, Karwan Bazar
Although the first position in a ranking is generally awarded to one nominee, we have switched it up a little and decided to put both beef and ilish khichuri from Cooker's-7 in the first place because both the dishes are equally worthy.
The beef khichuri is one khichuri that is known by most food enthusiasts in the city, especially the ones who reside or work in the areas surrounding Kawran Bazar. This is a truly unique dish that takes the crown by a long shot owing to the impeccable taste.
Unlike other khichuris, Cooker's-7 prepares the khichuri and beef separately and assembles them together when serving a plate full of this spicy goodness. The marriage between the spicy beef and delectable khichuri is nothing short of a match made in heaven.
The ilish khichuri, on the other hand, is one of Cooker's-7's underrated gems and deserves more appreciation. The piece of ilish that is set atop the heaping pile of khichuri is fried to perfection and has the perfect amount of spices to complement the bhuna khichuri. The fried dried red chili is a bonus that ties in all the flavours wonderfully. This dish is simple yet the perfect plateful of deshi food for a rainy day.
Both beef and ilish khichuri from Cooker's-7 are simply the two best dishes in terms of flavour and quantity.
Cooker's-7 is located at Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue's VIP Road, Kawran Bazar, next to Petrobangla and opposite of NTV.
Price: Tk260 (full plate) and Tk190 (half plate) for beef khichuri; Tk360 for ilish khichuri