Enjoying The Monsoon Rains With Bangali Khichuri....

This photo is taken by my brother-in-law.

Monsoon rains have started in India. It came a couple of days back and people are happy that the rains are finally here. By the end of August they are going to be tired of the incessant rains, but as of now the blessed rains are being welcomed and enjoyed by everyone. Ah the fun of getting drenched in the first rain of the season!

Coming of the monsoon, a word which comes from Arabic word 'mausam' (meaning weather) is an important event in India. Starting from the ministers deliberating in the Parliament to the common man on the road to  the farmer working on his patch of land, everyone eagerly awaits the monsoon rains. Agrarian India's economy depends on the arrivals of the rains at the right time. If the River Ganga is the riverine lifeline to millions of Indians, then monsoon is the seasonal one.

Apart from the practical dependence, Indian poets wax lyrical verses about the monsoon rains, the pregnant clouds, the overcast sky, the damp smell of the earth after the first rains, the rain kissed paddy fields, the rain washed blade of glass, the young girl getting soaked in the rain, the river's belly swelling with the rains...it goes on and on . It is all over Indian literature, cinema, music, sometimes I think it has more mentions and is more celebrated than the king of all seasons-- spring.

As a child I remember reading about the mechanism of the monsoon winds, how the sea breezes are created due to low pressure in the Indian subcontinent and how wind comes in from the sea which has higher pressure. Somehow the mechanism always fascinated me, so did the power of these winds to change an overheated landmass to a fertile, verdant one.

Image source: http://www.doyouhike.net

One of the most popular dishes that we Bengalis love to eat during the rainy season is khichuri--a rice and lentil mishmash. Sometimes we put in veggies, sometimes we do not. We serve this with some fries/fritters. For this month's World on a plate the theme is traditional grains/pasta salad. Now where I come from a salad is thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with a sprinkling of rock salt. So after racking my brains over what salad to make I decided to make khichuri, nearest to grain salad that I could think of.


Ingredients:

1 cup Basmati rice [Clean the rice throughly till the water runs clear and soak the rice in water for twenty to thirty minutes.]
1 cup Red Lentil [Soak for at least half an hour]
Couple of green chillies, seeded or de-seeded according to heat tolerance
Couple of juicy tomatoes, chopped
Half a cup of peas
One fourth cup of fresh coconut, chopped
One large onion, thinly sliced
Whole garam masalas-- 2 to 3 cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, whole black peppers...one inch bark of cinnamon...slightly crushed...
2 table spoons of sunflower or any other oil
1 tea spoon of haldi/turmeric
1 tea spoon of red chilli
2 tea spoons of ginger paste
1 table spoon of garam masala power
2 table spoon of dhaniya/coriander powder
1 table spoon of sugar
1 tea spoon of ghee
Salt to taste

Method:

In a heavy bottomed pan, add one table spoon of oil, add the chopped onion and fry till the onion is translucent. Then add the  soaked red lentil, the bay leaves and the green chillies, fry the lentils for the couple of minutes before adding the soaked rice. Mix everything well and fry for the couple of minutes till the rice grains turn truculent. At this point add about 3 to 4 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Once the rice and lentil are almost done, this will take 15 to 20 mins, add the peas and continue cooking. Add more water if needed. Once the rice and lentil are cooked through, lower the heat.

In a frying pan, add the remaining oil, add the whole garam masalas and the tomatoes. Then add the haldi, red chilli and coriander powder. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped coconut pieces and fry till the coconut pieces turn light golden brown. Then add the ginger paste and fry some more. At the very end add the sugar and salt according to taste. Now add this masala to the rice and lentil and mix well. Then add the ghee and garam masala powder to the rice, mix well and turn off the heat. Let the rice rest for about 10 mins before serving.

This is usually eaten hot, but you can also have this cold. I know several people who loves cold khichuri. For added spice we usually have this with a pickle or chutney.


95 comments :

  1. Good eats, and I love your tray Tea Time! :)

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  2. Love all Suchi the post and the food:))

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  3. one pot comfort meal,yummy n nutritious!!

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  4. Hi Suchi ,

    That tray looks nice,

    nice idea!!

    khichuri is a new dish to me Suchi...

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  5. I wonder how it would be to have such a reainy season non stop? I guess I would have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen:)

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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  6. loved this khichuri.loved the flavours of whole garam masala in it..

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  7. I love the idea of traditional monsoon foods (who knew?)! And the photo by your BIL is lovely~

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  8. What an interesting dish! I have to try it! It looks like the perfect comfort food!

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  9. nice snaps.. and a lovely new dish for me
    Noel collections

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  10. I am a big kichuri(kichdi) fan...its so tasty as well

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  11. 1st pic is just awesome. recipe sounds delicious

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  12. Ha ! Rain's a good thing since summer here is soooo toxic :P But come August , I'll be complaining against it ! lol Everytime it rains I always remember eating this porridge made of rice and it such a delicious treat during rainy afternoons ! Your khichuri sounds delicious and very flavorful ;D

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  13. Love this anytime of the year..

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  14. Can I just say, "yes please", and seconds would be great... :)

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  15. khob khicuri kacho eka -2 hain ..LOL..bhalo ..we also like khichuri when it rains , but it always raining here so never comes to my mind to make khichuri ..barite kotha hoyechilo ..they made khichuri as it was raining there..hugs

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    Replies
    1. Chole esho, tomakeo khawachi :-)

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  16. Another yummy dish! I think these ingredients can be found in my country so I think I will be lucky enough to give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. wow, that sounds absolutely delicious!

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  18. For me Rain=Kichuri + Beguni bhaja...I love my kichuri hot from the oven. You are tempting me dear to make it soon..Amar jonne ache leftover?

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  19. That sounds very yummy :) Love the map!

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  20. Loved reading about the Monsoons! You write so well Suchi. It is freezing here in Sydney so this would make a beautiful and comforting dinner.

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  21. The enthusiasm with which you have greeted me is so refreshing Suchi.. makes me wonder why i was ever MIA ;-) And sorry about not responding earlier, i really meant to. Looks like you 've had some wonderful holidays in the meantime!
    I think this year we are not going to tire of the monsoons or incessant rains, severe water scarcity where i live and we are so dependent on good monsoons this year. Haven't eaten Khichuri in so long (coz the husband doesn't appreciate it) Time to cook it for myself, or better yet ask mom to cook it for me when i visit next week :-) Yummm

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    1. Not a problem La, happens with all of us, all the time :-)

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  22. Khichuri is the perfect pick for this month's World on a Plate! I have fond memories of eating this in India and can't wait to recreate it at home with your recipe.

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    1. Thanks Katherine, yes please do and do let me know how it went :-)

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  23. Indian kitchen is so rich in flavors and virieties of dishes! This one looks like the perfect dish for the hot summer days!

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is, thanks for comments Katerina :-)

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  24. Hi lovely, I have given you an award on my blog. www.foodmyfriend.com. Have a beautiful day!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Cass, will hop over to your blog soon to collect my award :-)

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  25. Hi Suchi, love the first picture, very gorgeous.

    I love your rice dish it look so perfect and full of flavor. It must be very fragrant. yum yum. I like your tea time tray, wish I can kidnap yours, LOL
    Beautiful presentation too.

    Have a nice day. *hugs*

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  26. ki bhalo baniecho khichuri. ami basamati die kakhono banai ni. akbar try kore dekhte habe. nischai polao er moto gandho hay.

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    1. Ha bhalo hoi, kintu gobindho bhog chal amar ekhono favourite :-)

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  27. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
    He was once entirely right. This post truly made my
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    Replies
    1. Thanks, am glad that you found the information helpful :-)

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  28. loved reading the post and know definitely that a piping hot bowl of comfort food on a rainy day is the most wonderful

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  29. Lovely post! Looks so tasty!

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  30. This is so interesting to read. I am fascinated by your county and I'd love to visit it one day. This recipe is also mouthwatering.

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    Replies
    1. I hope do visit one day and like the place too Alida :-)

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  31. I can't even imagine how hard monsoon season must be. What an amazing-looking dish--I love rice and lentils!

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  32. Me encanta su receta con ricos ingredientes muy saludables,abrazos hugs,hugs.

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  33. Love the pics with rain drops ....miss monsoons ! cant really say I miss monsoons..its raining here a lot here too :) I guess u r on vacation..enjoy !

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    Replies
    1. Thats true...but it rains differently here, don't you think so?

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    2. yes true Suchi..I loved monsoons back home but I hate the rains here..Monoson is as beautiful as ur first pic :)

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  34. How did I miss this post? Lovely write up and the kichuri. That is such a lovely meal to have on a wet rainy day.

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  35. Great post and lovely photos...I've learnt something new today ;-)

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  36. Wonderful and tempting recipe!!

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  37. I really enjoyed your post today. I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather the monsoon brings. Your Khichuri sounds like a perfect meal. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  38. Amazing presentation of food. Loved it.

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  39. nice post with awesome kichori
    1st time here .u have wonderful space.do visit my site

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  40. People say Samosa & Chai are good accompaniments when it rains. This is a new one.

    I usually eat, never cook! :))

    The picture of the raindrops looks nice.

    Its been raining in Kerala for a month now - in Delhi the monsoon started 2 days back - I happened to be there to see it.

    Looking for to more rain and more articles from you.

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  41. Thats quite informative Suchi.. unfortunately , I never had a Bengali friend :( But am glad I am surfing through your blog for this Months Blog Hop..

    Love your creativity and colors on the space.. Brought in more confusion, which dish to cook now :)

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  42. the recipe looks good but unfortunately....this is Not a proper 'BANGALI KHICHUDI'....
    I guess you have used...MUSUR DAAL...try MOONG DAL or Yellow Lentil...it will taste much more better...also add get some WHOLE JEERA and heat them...then crush them to form jeera powder...add it in the end...from the top of the khichudi...add some more water...yours one is too sticky (but that is a personal opinion)...
    there is no need for Coconut (in WB no one uses this in Khichudi), Dhaniya powder or Whole Garam Masala...you can also skip the bay leaves...the ghee, garam masala and jeera powder will do the magic...and you can enjoy this with Omelet...

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  43. Oh my god Oh my goddd loved the shot it's reallyy stunninggg

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  44. The photograph (that one - two bowls in one image) looks great.

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  45. hi,very interesting.my husband developed fried khichuri which we found quite tasty.but you recipe is far more reaching,will try soon...

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