Bengali Bhuni Khichuri / Khichdi is a festival special, richly spiced, adorned with dried fruits and nuts, season's freshest vegetables and perfumed with the ghee.
Wash the rice very well and soak it in warm water for 15 minutes or so.
Wash the dal with few changes of water, pat dry them completely.
Prepare all the vegetables as instructed above.
Heat a kadhai and dry roast the dal till it turn golden brown. Do this on medium low flame as moon dal gets burnt easily. Once the dal is dry roasted lightly and no moisture is left, add 1 teaspoon ghee and keep frying till you get the desired color.
Take it out and keep aside.
Fry the cashews and raisins. Take them out.
In the same kadhai, add mustard oil and fry all the vegetables one by one. Cauliflowers, potatoes must turn into golden brown.
Take this out and keep aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon ghee and temper it with cumin seeds, bay leaves, dry red chillies, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
Once the flavour starts coming out, add ginger paste along with green chillies and pinch of salt. Saute till the raw smell of ginger goes completely.
Add all the vegetables , turmeric powder and keep frying on low heat till everything gets mixed properly.
Drain the rice and add it to the kadhai along with dal, cashews and raisins. Give everything a nice stir till everything comes together. Check for the salt and other seasonings.
Add 1 cup hot water, lower the heat, cover it tightly and let it cook till the water absorb completely.
Check for the doneness, if requires add another 1 cup of hot water and cook it cover on low heat till done. Do not add all the water in one go.
Check if the rice are cooked through. Dal should be soft and cooked through, but not mushy. Vegetables should be soft and cooked through.
If it is done, then sprinkle bengali garam masala powder over it. Add sugar, ghee (be little generous here) and give everything a nice stir without breaking the rice grains. Add the grated coconut and stir it well. Check for the seasonings and add if anything is lacking.
Switch off the heat. Keep it cover. Serve the khichuri after 10 -15 minutes or more if preferable.