This time of the year is the time of festivities – along with the world our country too decorates itself with the colours of festivals. This land of diversity has many colours and all the colours are equally mesmerizing – indeed, Incredible India!
Talking about the colours and festivals, Bengali culture is truly rich and vibrant. They say “Bangalir baro mashe tero parbon” (Bengalis have thirteen festivals in twelve months) and this is so true. Most of the festivals Bengalis celebrate are related to puja (worship) of different Gods and Goddesses. Moreover, we the Bengalis have a very unique custom of Barowari Puja (community worship) where all the members of a specific area offer puja together in a large pandal and to a large idol – Durga Puja is the best example for that.
Be it a barowari puja or your personal puja at home, one thing that is common is “Bhog” (the prasad that we offer). When it’s a bhog what we prepare is the traditional Bhoger Khichuri and delightfully pair it with another age old dish, Labra. Many people add their twist when they prepare bhoger khichuri – some use vegetables, some use only potato and some like to keep is simple. No matter how you prepare it, bhaja moog dal (fried yellow lentil) is the must ingredient. Also, the rice used is Gobindobhog Chal, but if that is not available you can use any other rice.
Today is the auspicious day of Sharad Purnima when Bengalis worship the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and call it Kojagori Lokkhi Pujo. As custom, we prepare Bhoger Khichuri and Labra along with many other items and offer to the Goddess. So, like many other Bengalis, my part of preparation includes these items too. Sharing with you all the recipe of Bhoger Khichuri here. Heavenly is the word that defines its taste.
- 1 cup yellow lentil (moog dal)
- 3/4 cup gobindobhog rice or any other rice
- 1 potato, diced (optional)
- 1 tea-spoon grated ginger
- 1/2 tea-spoon panch phoron (whole spice blend)
- 3 dried red chillies
- 3 green chillies, slitted
- 2 table-spoon ghee
- a pinch of hing
- 2-3 pinches of turmeric powder
- 2 bay leaves
- salt (according to taste)
- Wash and soak the rice in water for 1/2 an hour.
- Dry roast the yellow lentil till the aroma starts coming out. Don’t over fry it.
- Soak the roasted yellow lentil in water for 10-15 minutes.
- Shallow fry the diced potato in a pan and keep aside.
- Now, in a pressure cooker, pour the rice, yellow lentil, green chillies, potato and salt. Add water and cover the lid. Leave it on high flame for 3-4 whistles. Turn off the flame and wait till the pressure cools down.
- If you are not using pressure cooker then boil water in a saucepan and add rice, yellow lentil, green chillies, potato and salt. Lower the flame and cook for 20 minutes or till everything gets well cooked and the water gets absorbed. But, don’t dry it up completely.
- In a separate small pan, heat ghee and add bay leaves, dried red chillies, hing and whole spice blend. Stir for 2-3 seconds and turn off the flame immediately.
- Remove the pressure cooker or saucepan lid and immediately pour the ghee along with the mixture on it.
- Add turmeric powder and stir it very well.
- Cover the lid and let it set for 10-15 minutes. The Bhoger Khichuri is ready to be served now.
Pair this dish with it’s better half, Labra :D. To get a complete bhog feeling, do have Chaler Payesh after this. Prepare this for puja/festival or simple have it with your loved once – this will never disappoint you.
Do drop me a comment telling how you like it. Happy festivities and happy eating people!