Bhoger Khichuri: A Rice Preparation Offered To Goddess Durga for Navratri

The Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of fervor and gusto. Anybody who visits the pandals for the Puja is given Bhog (bhog is food offered to God and then partaken). The major highlight of the Durga Puja Bhog is the ‘Khichuri’ (khichdi in Hindi) which is made in all pandals. Though it’s a simple dish made of rice, lentil and vegetables, it acquires a distinctive taste when offered as bhog. The Bhog is served free (in most places) to all who visit the pandal irrespective of their caste or social status. I tried making the ‘Bhoger Khichuri’ at home and it turned out pretty well. The Bhog khichuri is usually made of a special kind of rice called ‘Govind Bhog rice’ but since that wasn’t available I’ve used the rice that I usually cook. In fact you can make this often as it’s easy to make, simple and nutritious too. Here’s the recipe.

•    1 cup rice
•    2 tbsp ghee
•    ½ cup Moong dal (split green gram)
•    ¼ cup green peas (optional)
•    A handful of string beans (optional)
•    1 tbsp ginger paste
•    1 stick cinnamon
•    1 cardamom pod
•    2-3 cloves
•    1 tsp cumin powder
•    1 tsp red chili powder
•    1-2 bay leaves
•    1 green chili
•    2 tomatoes
•    Salt
•    1 pinch sugar
•    1 tsp turmeric powder
•    Dry roast the moong dal till it emits a nice aroma and keep it aside
•    In a pan pour some ghee
•    Add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and stir a bit
•    Add green chili, ginger paste & cumin powder, red chili powder, salt, turmeric and stir
•    Add peas, chopped beans, and tomatoes and stir again
•    Add the washed rice and moong dal to the vegetables, pour sufficient water and let cook till the rice and lentil become soft.
•    The Khichuri should should be of a prridge like consistency and should not be thick so add more water if required.
•    Serve hot with Laabra (a mixed vegetable curry)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

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