On these cold, wet rainy days of Fall, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of something thick and yummy to warm you up. Well, in Bengal, that hot, yummy something is a mush of rice, lentils and vegetables called khichuri. It’s eaten with fried foods – usually a fried egg or omelet, papad and fried potatoes (my mother-in-law makes French fries to die for). I made this soothing dish the other night when my husband was needing it after trudging to and from work in the pouring rain. It doesn’t take too long, although it does require some pretty constant watching to be sure there’s enough water so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of your pot. But believe me, it’s well worth the stirring.
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup yellow mung dal
- 4 cups water to start
- 2 cups cauliflower cut into small pieces
- 2 small red potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 whole small onion
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp ginger paste
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Add-in spice mixture (for the end):
- 1 small onion sliced thin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 dried red chilies
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- Boil 4 cups of water in a large pot. Add in rice and dal and let cook for 10 minutes until it’s about half done.
- Stir in spices, including salt and sugar. Let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the cauliflower and potatoes and the whole onion (which you can slice in half if you think it’s too big). Let cook at medium-low heat, adding water as necessary to keep the consistency from getting too thick (halfway between soup and paste, more like a stew consistency).
- While that’s cooking, in a separate frying pan, melt a little butter. Add in the spices of the spice mixture listed above.
- After the aroma of the spices has come out, add in the onion and let it all cook together until the onion is soft and golden.
- When the potatoes are soft in the khichuri, add in the spice mixture and blend well.
- Remove from heat and serve with your fried egg. If you have an Indian grocery near by, pick up a bottle of sweet lime or mango pickle to eat with your khichuri, it adds a wonderful sweet-sour flavor.
Enjoy and stay warm!