“Let’s do something special for Durga Pujo” was one of the ideas that came up as the producers at the India Food Network.
“Well, if it’s ONE thing, then it has to be the Bhog’er Khichudi on Ashtami, the main day of the Durga Pujo.” I said
Yes, labra or bhaaja should go with it but it becomes too much to bite in one shoot. And of course you won’t get the same taste as the bhog in a paarar (community) pooja as the khichudi for thousands, simmering for hours in a huge dekchi (pot), has a different physics working on its molecules.
I called up Didu twice to confirm the version of the khichudi she makes on Lokkhi Pujo. I have a feeling that Ma Durga would be quite happy with this.
One key difference from normal Bengali khichudi is that you don’t add onions in a Pujo Khichudi as they are considered to be non vegetarian. Most Bengali households cook khichudi in pressure cookers.
Here’s my Didu vetted recipe in brief:
- Roast 2 coffee mugs moong dal on a pressure pan till it turns brown orange. Take it out. This is called bhaaja moong daal. Bhaaja or fry is a misnomer as there is no oil involved. It’s roasted
- Heat 2 tablespoons ghee (it’s for Ma Durga …don’t give her any diet nonsense please) in a pressure pan
- Foron or torka – add 2 dry red chilles, 2 dry bay leaves, some whole garam masala & 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds. Stir till you get the heavenly aromas of dry roasted spices
- Add halved potatoes and cauliflower florets and stir till the masalas coat on
- Add the roasted daal and 1 coffee mug soaked rice (Gobindobhog is kosher, I use the more easily available basmati…again I am sure Ma Durga would be ok…it’s real life after all). The rice to daal ratio is 1:2 or 1:1.5. Add some green peas too
- Stir. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder. 1 tablespoon salt. 1 teaspoon sugar
- Add 4 coffee mugs water
- Close pressure pan lid. Put flame on high. Let the first whistle happen. Switch off. (Didu says switch off before first whistle)
- Open pan once the steam escapes. If it’s thick or bhuno add some water to make paatla and cook a bit
- Have with begun bhaaja
Watch the video on the India Food Network to see how the khichudi is made