Born in Sylhet district of Undivided India, now Bangladesh, and later migrated to India after partition, Baba carries his land in his heart. I have grown up hearing the stories of his land, its culture and food from Baba. He is a great story-teller and every time he does that, I can see sparks and numbness together in his eyes. Baba has an unending list of his childhood stories and every story he narrates, has “food” in it. Dadu happened to be the Jomidar of a place called Jaldhup Kamalabari in Sylhet district. Being a part of an affluent jomidar family, Baba had the luck of experiencing everything that is good – right from food to cloths and just everything. But, partition changed it all – made them struggle for bread and butter, made them see the harsh reality of survival.
Baba is a big time foodie and I have inherited the same from him. Apart from being just a foodie, he is also a great cook and has a huge knowledge about the same. I have learned so many things about food from Baba and while I try making few things following his instruction, I am equally scared of attempting a few as they seem to be requiring a real expert to handle them.
Khuder Bhat aka Bou Khudi is a preparation of broken rice and I learned to cook this dish from Baba. This is a very popular dish in the rural parts of Bangladesh and is often served with bhorta (mash) or chutney. Being sylheti, we relish this dish with shidol chutney (fermented fish chutney) or shutki bhorta (mashed dry fish). This dish also goes very well with alu bhorta (spicy mashed potato) and kalijira bhorta (mashed nigella seeds).
Khuder Bhat can also be consumed absolutely without any side dish and often considered as a great breakfast option in the villages of Bangladesh. Khud or broken rice has a different aroma which cannot be substituted with whole rice grains. In earlier days, khud was a very cost effective way for a wholesome meal. Back then, people used to have wooden pounder in their homes for threshing rice. This process used to separate rice from their outer husk and also break several grains into small pieces. Once you separate broken from the whole rice, you get khud. Today, wooden pounder is a history and thus, getting khud is not very easy. The only way to get it is to buy separately. I do the same.
Khuder Bhat is a super easy, super tasty and a highly aromatic one-pot-meal. Here’s the hassle free and no fail recipe of this amazing dish.
- 2 cup khud (broken rice), 400 gm approx
- 1 big sized onion, finely chopped
- 15 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 green chillies, slitted from middle (adjust according to your tolerance)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin seeds
- 2 pinch turmeric powder
- 4 cup water
- 3 table-spoon oil
- salt, according to taste
- Soak broken rice for 1 hour. Drain the water before cooking.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and temper with cumin seeds, cinnamon and bay leaves. Allow them to splutter.
- Add onion and garlic and sautè until the onion turns little golden brown.
- Now, add the rice, green chillies, turmeric powder and required salt. On a medium flame, fry the rice for around 5 minutes.
- Add water and give a quick mix.
- Cover the lid and on a low to medium flame, cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is done.
- If water dries up before the rice is cooked, add some warm water and cook for some more time. But, 15 minutes should be enough for the rice to get well cooked.
- Your easy and delicious Khuder Bhat aka Bou Khudi is ready to be served now.
If you have a sylheti tongue, have it with shidol chutney or shutki bhorta. Else, alu bhorta and kalijira bhorta are excellent options. Serve this dish hot.
Enjoy this authentic Bangladeshi dish and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.