Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bhuna Mug Daler Khichuri / Bhuni Khichdi with Brown Rice

This week in cash centre I saw a bunch of new Lebanese food products; all stacked in the display racks.  There were rose water and orange blossom water of different brands. A rack full of different kinds of pickles, pickled cucumber, pickled onion, pickled cabbage, pickled chillies and what not!!!! Then there were some Lebanese spices, like zatar, sumac, and seven spices. And then after them were the Tahini and Halvas. I was a little upset not to see Baklava there. They could sell some.:( I wanted to buy the Tahini...but then, I was tempted to try the Halva as well.

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Now, the word “halva” makes me think about the regular Indian halvas, carrot or semolina or rice simmered with thickened milk and flavoured with green cardamom. But these were different even to look at. There were three varities of halvas, plain, chocolate flavoured and pistachio flavoured. From the box of pistachio flavoured Halva I could see bunches of pistachios stacked inside them. I was getting tempted. Now I have to make a choice. Either the Tahini or the Halva. Then again the pistachio one is not available in smaller sizes. What to pick! What to pick!!

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Finally I settled for the pistachio halva. I know how tahini tastes...and besides they are easily available. But the halva looked like ice cream...from the picture it was like a bar ice cream, which needs to be sliced and served.

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I came home and opened the seal. It looked exactly like a pistachio ice cream. I took a big spoon and tried to scoop out. No...No...its hard. And it’s grainy...and tastes odd. What bar and what ice cream!!! I was in utter mayhem. Its strange. I and my husband, we were dissatisfied and thought of throwing them away. Then I searched in the internet and found out that its actually made of sesame seeds. Now the odd taste makes some sense. Or maybe it was odd, because it was such an unfamiliar taste to our taste buds. But I quite like it. Although it cannot be scooped, it seriously can be sliced. A little slice in the evening is a must for me now a day. It’s also like the Tiler Naru, that we Bengalis prepare. If you can subtract the jiggery out of that, Lebanese Halva tastes quite the same. And its with pistachios. Another reason to love it more. :)

How to cook khichdi / khichuri with brown rice

Today I made Bhuna Moong Dal Khichdi / Khichri or Mug Daler Khichuri. In Bhuna Khichdi the moong dal is roasted the to get the nutty aroma. There is also a pure veg version of this Khichdi, which is prepared mainly during the pujas for "bhog", and its called Bhoger Khichuri. However, today I have made the non-veg version, i.e. added onion and garlic. I also made the khichdi with brown rice. I will post that niramish / pure vegetarian version later.Of course you can make this khichdi / khichuri with white rice as well. The texture of Bhuna khichdi should not be mushy, but more like pilaf / pulao, for which the specific Bnegali term is "Jhorjhore". So this is a kaind of dry Khichdi / khichuri where the rice and lentils retain their shape and size. But you can add more water and cook for a longer time if you want a mushier texture. Make it the way you like but the taste of the roasted mug / mung / moong dal will always taste the same. Hope you wiĺl enjoy it with some chutney and papar. Or you can fry an omelette, or even better fry a steak size thick Hilsa. And devour!!

how to cook khichdi / khichuri with brown rice and moong dal

Bhuna Mug Daler Khichuri / Bhuni Khichdi with Brown Rice
Serves 4

moong dal khichdi mug daler khichuri recipe step by step

1 cup brown rice (You can also use Basmati or as well as Gobindobhog rice)
1 cup yellow lentils / yellow moong dal / mug dal
1 medium onion – sliced 
4 cloves of garlic – crushes 
1 inch stick of ginger – minced
1 tomato – chopped 
½ cup beans – chopped
½ cup green peas
1 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves - chopped
1 medium / 2 small carrot – chopped
1 medium potato – peeled and halved
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp coriander powder 
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala powder
2-3 green chillies – slitted
3-4 green cardamoms
1 medium stick of cinnamon
3-4 cloves
2 medium bay leaves
A pinch of sugar
2 tsp ghee (optional)
1 tbsp mustard oil

Wash the rice with water until clear water runs out. Then soak it in water for 30 minutes.
Wash the moong dal with water until clear water runs out. Then using a colander or strainer, strain the water and keep the daal / lentils aside.
Heat the oil in a handi / pressure cooker / heavy bottomed pan (dechki).
Put the whole garam masalas, i.e. cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves, cumin seeds and bay leaves.
Sauté for 1 minute or until the oil becomes aromatic.
Now add the sliced onions and sauté till they start to become golden.
Now add the mince ginger and crushed garlic / ginger – garlic paste.
Sauté till the raw flavour of the garlic is gone.
Now throw in the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become mushy and all soft. It will take around 3-4 minutes.
Now add the moong dal / yellow lentils and sauté till the lentils / dal become slightly golden in colour. You can also dry roast the lentils before starting cooking. In that case, heat up a kadai and add the washed dal / lentils into it. Stir continuously until the lentils become a little brown in colour. Once done, put off the flame and transfer the lentils / dal in a bowl.
Now add the rice. Stir and cook for 2 minutes and then add 1 cup of water.
 Add all the vegetables, i.e. carrots, beans, potato. If you are using green peas then put them along with all the other vegetables. But if you are using frozen green peas, then add them in the middle of the cooking. In that way, they will retain much of their colour.
Also add in salt, sugar, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and coriander powder.
Mix in and add more 4 cups of water. If you want a rather runny khichdi / khichuri, add in 5-6 cups of water.
If you are using pressure cooker then cook on pressure till it blows 2-3 whistles.
Otherwise, cook for 30-45 minutes on low flame, or until all the rice and lentils have cooked properly. Cook the khichdi according to the quality of your rice. Basmati rice does not take much of time to get cooked.  If you are using gobindobhog rice, then cook a little longer. And for brown rice, 30-45 minutes is good. Do check in between to see whether the rice is cooked enough or not.
Once done, put off the flame and open the cover (in case of pressure cooker let the steam come out of the cooker naturally and open the lid ). Sprinkle the chopped fresh coriander leaves and garam masala powder. Mix and put cover again. Let it stay like that for another 5-7 minutes and then serve hot with some chutney, omelette / fried fish and papad. 
Drizzle the ghee on top of the khichdi / khichuri before serving.

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