Bhoger Khicuri – the golden pot of goodness, the divine platter of fragrant gobindobhog rice and sona moong dal, the staple food of billions cooked together in pure and sattvik way, without onions and garlic as our shastras dictates, the most prevalent bhog in India that is prepared for deities and distributed as prasad to us mortals.
Somewhere in between, we grew up observing the rituals which makes less sense to us, yet we follows the traditions, striving for a cultural identity amidst the heterogeneous cultural texture of our society. These are perhaps the way to connect back to our roots, to relive those soulful moments, of nostalgia of forlorn memories and so on.
Khicuri / khichdi is perhaps the one such food that strides effortlessly between comfort food, to rainy day meal like Monsoon special khichuri, to fragrant and flavourful Bhuni Khicuri to humble and divine pot of deliciousness like bhoger khicuri. Our undying love for this dish is perhaps unparalleled.
When ladle full of piping hot khichuri with niramish labra (bengali mix vegetable dish that is considered as khicuri’s soulmate ) is served on freshly cleaned banana leaves, amidst the heady scent of dhoop and incense, the melodious chant of mantras, the divine sound of conch shell, the sparkle of lamps, perfume of camphor, bright flowers, holy basil, decorative alponas ushered a spiritual moment in our daily mundane life and filled us with hopes, peace, love and positivity.
How to make Bengali Bhoger Khicuri ?
This is how we prepare bhoger khicuri at home and is always little fancier than the ones that is served at the puja pandals.
Few keypoints to make this are as follows –
Rice should always be the fragrant short grained gobindobhog rice. Gobindo bhog is not jeera samba rice which is usually sold as gobindo bhog in many places.
Sona moong dal is best suited for this recipe because of the beautiful flavour it imparts to the dish.
Vegetables preferably whatever is there in the season. Always go with the seasons as the flavours will be fresh and unmatched.
We love to add diced coconut too in the bhoger khicuri.
We do not cook bhoger khicuri in pressure cooker. It should always be cooked in dekchi or similar vessel. Pressure cooking spoil the texture of the khicuri. Yes we are that particular when it comes to khicuri.
What to serve with Bhoger Khicuri?
Bengali Bhoger Khichuri - roasted moong dal khichdi with fragrant gobindo bhog rice.
- 1 1/2 cup Gobindo bhog rice
- 1 cup Moong dal (yellow lentil)
- 1 cup Fresh green peas
- 1 head Cauiflower cut into big florets
- 1/2 cup Coconut cut into small dice, fried
- 2 tsp Ginger paste
- 2 Green chillies
- 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Dry red chillies
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 Cloves
- 4-5 Cardamom , green
- Fried cashew and raisins (optional, generally it is not added, but you can add)
- 4-5 tbsp Ghee
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tsp Sugar
Wash the gobindo bhog rice with few changes of water. Keep it separated.
Wash the moong dal and dry it thoroughly.
Cut and prepare the vagetables as mentioned.
Heat a dekchi or deep kadhai.
Dry roast the moong dal till it is devoid of any moisture. Once it is no longer sticking to the pan, add 1 tbsp ghee and fry the moong dal till it is golden in color. Take it out and keep aside.
Lightly fry the cauliflowers and green peas in little ghee. Take it out and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp ghee in dekchi, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, dry red chillies, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Let the aroma comes out.
Mix the ginger paste with roasted cumin powder and salt. Saute it on low heat till the rawness disappear. Tip in the green chillies too.
Add the rice, turmeric powder and saute till the rice becomes little shiny and changes color.
Add the fried dal, mix it very well. Add the vegetbales, spices, salt and sugar. Give everything a nice stir.
Add enough or 5 cups water. Close the lid and let it get cooked on low heat. Keep stirring the khichuri in between. If requires, add more water accordingly.
This is not a runny khichuri. So add water accordingly. It will take almost 30-40 min to get it cooked properly.
Once done, drizzle more ghee and garnish with fried coconut pieces (you can use grated coconut too), cashews and raisins.