Bhoger Khichuri: A festive rice and lentil dish from West Bengal

Method

1. Wash the basmati rice and strain all the water. Keep it aside until the rice is dry.

2. Add the moong dal to a heated pan and dry roast for about 1-2 minutes, until brown.

3. Add a tablespoon of oil to a heated skillet and add the rice for 1-2 minutes, until the raw smell disappears and the rice becomes shiny.

In a small saucepan…

4. Heat another pan, add all the spices: three cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and five cloves.

5. Dry roast the spices until the color changes slightly.

6. Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder to make Bengali garam masala.

7. Add grated ginger to a cup, add turmeric powder and cumin powder. Mix well and set aside.

8. Add mustard oil to a pan. Add bay leaves and dried red chillies and lightly roast.

9. Gradually add a cinnamon stick, two cloves and a few cumin seeds and stir.

10. Now add the grated coconut to the pan and mix well with the toasted spices for about 2 minutes. Add a teaspoon of ginger paste and sauté for another minute.

11. Add the chopped tomato to the pan and mix well. After 2 minutes, remove it from the heat.

In a medium saucepan…

12. Add 5 tablespoons of oil to another heated skillet and sauté the potato cubes for 2-3 minutes, until light brown. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until light brown. Transfer the vegetables from the pan to a plate.

13. In the same skillet, add the moong dal, rice and split green chili. Sprinkle a little salt to taste.

14. Now add a liter of hot water to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.

15. Remove the lid and pour the roasted tomato and coconut paste into the dish. Then add the roasted vegetables, green peas and sugar.

16. Add another half liter of hot water and let the dish boil. Add a teaspoon of Bengali garam masala powder. Mix well and cover again with the lid.

17. Cook for 15 minutes. Add a tablespoon of ghee and transfer it to a bowl.

18. Serve hot.

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