I had first posted this recipe for Bengali Bhoger Khichuri or Niramish Khichuri in 2013 after a pandal hopping trip with a close friend. Since this year, I am not even going to visit one Durga Puja Pandal, I decided to make the bhog at home. 🙂

Bengali Bhoger Khichuri | Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi for Durga Puja
Bengali Bhoger Khichuri

After many years of trying, M and I finally went together for Durga Puja this year. I must confess that all the trying was on M‘s part and I was always the person who dropped out. When I finally made it to the Pujo this year and experienced the Anjali in all its glory, I was moved beyond words. The experience was something so different from my usual Pandal hopping.

Thank you, M, and may you never stop trying with me!

Durga Puja - 2013 at Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai
Durga Puja – 2013 at Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai

This is a living post and I will update the step-by-step instructions with pics in a couple of days.

I have known M for close to 8 years now, having met her during a 1-year executive management program conducted by IIM-Calcutta. She and I were the only ladies in the Mumbai batch, but I think we became instant fast friends is that we are so very alike in thought and deed. And the instant click with her extended family certainly made the bond stronger! 🙂

Two of our common interests are spirituality and food. It is with M that I attended my first ever Bengali Saraswati Puja, while M and her family came to Siddhi Vinayak for the first time with me. As for food, well, M and her mom are both the most amazing cooks I have ever known. The Omeletter Jhol or Bengali Omelette Curry that I blogged eons ago is one of M’s many contributions to my culinary repertoire.

Anyway, coming back to the Durga Puja story, after the Anjali, M and I stood patiently in a long line for the bhog which was piping hot and most divine Khichuri. While I have had Bengali Khichuri many, many times, there is something about Bhoger Khichuri or Khichuri offered as Bhog that is special. I guess that is true of all naivedyams; they somehow taste different and divine. The Bhoger Khichuri is a Niramish Khichuri, which means it is a vegetarian Khichuri. It is also a version that does not use any onion or garlic.

The Ramakrishna Mission Durga Pujo is generous in its serving of the Bhoger Khichuri, but I was left craving for more. So this Saturday, I made the Niramish Khichuri with one of its traditional accompaniments, Baigun Bhaja. What a treat it was as a Saturday lunch!

Bengali Niramish Bhoger Khichuri
Bengali Niramish Bhoger Khichuri

How to Make Bhoger Khichuri | Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi for Durga Puja

  1. Prepping the Rice and Moong Dal
    1. Wash 1/2 cup rice well and soak it in 1 cup of water.
    2. Next, in a heavy-bottomed wok or kadhai, over medium heat, dry roast 1/2 cup of moong dal till it just starts to change color.
  2. Frying the Cauliflower and Potato
    1. In heavy-bottomed kadhai or vessel, over high flame, heat 4 tbsp mustard oil till it starts smoking. The mustard oil is yellow is colour and very viscous to start with. As you heat it, it becomes white in colour and becomes very thin and flowing.

    2. Now, turn the heat down to medium and wait for the oil stops smoking. This is important otherwise the vegetables will char quickly.
    3. When the oil stops smoking, add 1 cup of 1” potato pieces and 1 cup cauliflower florets.
    4. Stir-fry till the potato and cauliflower just start to brown.
    5. Take out the fried potato pieces and cauliflower florets, and set them aside.
  3. Making the Bhoger Khichuri
    1. To the same oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and stir-fry for a minute.
    2. Add 5 cloves, 2” cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 3 green cardamom, and 2 whole red chillies.
    3. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
    4. Turn the heat to low.
    5. Add 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 red chilli powder, and 1 tsp grated ginger, and mix well.
    6. Add ¼ cup finely chopped tomato and stir-fry for a 2-3 minutes.
    7. Add the roasted moong dal and mix well.
    8. Add 1.5 cups water and turn the heat to medium.
    9. Wait till the water will start to simmer.
    10. Add the fried cauliflower and potato pieces as well as ¼ cup peas and 3/4 tsp turmeric.
    11. Mix well.
    12. Add the rice along with the water it is soaked in and an additional ½ cup water. Mix well.
    13. Over medium heat, cover and cook the Bhoger Khichuri till the rice and dal are of mashable consistency. Mix well at regular intervals. Be careful not to break up the potato pieces.
    14. When the Khichuri is cooked, add the salt as required and ¼ tsp sugar.
    15. Mix well.


  4. Serving Ideas
    1. Serve Niramish Khichuri hot with a generous helping of ghee and Baigun Bhaja.
Niramish Bhoger Khichuri
Niramish Bhoger Khichuri

Recipe for Bengali Bhoger Khichuri | Niramish Khichuri

Bhoger Khichuri or Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi for Durga Puja

Bengali Bhoger Khichuri | Niramish Khichuri

Bhoger Khichuri is the divine Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi served at Durga Puja. Also called Niramish Khichuri because it is a vegetarian dish that uses no onion and no garlic. Enjoy this Khichuri with some Baigun Bhaja and Payesh.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Bengali, Indian
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • Wok

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 Cup Moong Dal or Husked Green Gram (~120 gms)
  • 1/2 Cup Govindobhog Rice or Any Other Short Grained Rice (~120 gms)

Vegetables

  • 2 Medium Potatoes, Cut into 1” cubes (1 Cup, ~120 gms)
  • 1 Cup Cauliflower Florets (1 Cup, ~100 gms)
  • 1/4 Cup Peas
  • 1 Small Tomato, Chopped fine (Optional) (1/4 Cup, ~50 gms)

Whole Spices

  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 " stick Cinnamon
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger

Spice Powders

  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

Other Ingredients

  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions
 

The Preparations

  • Wash 1/2 cup rice well and soak it in 1 cups water.
  • In a heavy-bottomed wok or kadhai, over medium heat, dry roast the moong dal till it just starts to change color.

Frying the Cauliflower and Potato

  • In heavy-bottomed kadhai or vessel, over high flame, heat 4 tbsp mustard oil till it starts smoking.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and wait till the oil stops smoking. This is important otherwise the vegetables will char quickly.
  • Add 1 cup x 1” potato pieces and 1 cup cauliflower florets.
  • Stir-fry till the potato and cauliflower just start to brown.
  • Take out the fried potato pieces and cauliflower florets, and set them aside.

Making the Bhoger Khichuri

  • To the same oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add 5 cloves, 2” cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 3 green cardamom, and 2 whole red chillies.
  • Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 red chilli powder, and 1 tsp grated ginger, and mix well.
  • Add ¼ cup finely chopped tomato and stir-fry for a 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the roasted moong dal and mix well.
  • Add 1.5 cups water and turn the heat to medium.
  • Wait till the water will start to simmer.
  • Add the fried cauliflower and potato pieces as well as ¼ cup peas.
  • Add the rice along with the water it is soaked in, ½ cup water and 3/4 tsp turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Over medium heat, cover and cook the Bhoger Khichuri till the rice and dal are of mashable consistency. Mix well at regular intervals. Be careful not to break up the potato pieces.
  • When the Khichuri is cooked, add the salt as required and ¼ tsp sugar. Mix well.

Serving Ideas

  • Serve Niramish Khichuri hot with a generous helping of ghee and Baigun Bhaja.

Notes

  • Do not use Basmati rice to make this khichuri. Use any short-grained rice that is available; Govindobhog is recommended. I did not have Govindi Bhog rice and so used Maharashtra’s famous Ambe Mohar.
  • Use mustard oil to make this Niramish Khichuri. Without mustard oil, the Bhoger Khichuri loses all its flavour that makes it unique. 
  • Heating mustard oil to its smoking point makes it change color and lose the strong raw mustard odour.
  • Many recipes I have seen fry the peas with the potatoes and cauliflower. I add peas when I do so that they retain their color.
  • You could add 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala at the very end. I did not feel the need.
Keyword Bengali Khichuri, Bengali Moong Dal Khichadi, Bhoger Khichuri, Gluten Free, Khichadi, Niramish Khichuri, Vegan, Vegetarian

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