Sunday, October 24, 2010

Delicious Shahi Khichuri ( A yummy rice preparation from Bengal)

I am back and thanks to all of you for all your love and best wishes. Durga Puja is a traditional festival and a part of our culture , though it is a religious festival but the good part of this festival is that it has broken all the religious boundaries and enjoyed by everybody irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and economic status. This festival is the perfect example of unity in diversity. Now days it has taken a from of carnival and the creative effort that is added to this festival is making it world famous and a major tourist attraction. So any of you want to visit India this part of the year don’t miss Kolkata and it’s Durga puja, I am sure you will take back home bundle of colorful memories.
The colage above will give you a short synopsis of the festival and rest is written in words below.
The festival which is to declare the win of Goodness and Godness over the power of evil, last for five days starting in the sixth day( sashti) of the lunar calendar and end on the tenth day(Dasahami).In this five days Mother God is worshipped with perfect traditional rituals. Some of the important feature of this festival are the beats of dhak , Durga Puja is incomplete without the maddening beats of dhak , a large drum that is played by two thin stick which the dhaki (drumer) hang around their neck and play those enchanting beats that are enough to conjure up the sights and smells of Durga Puja. Sandhi Puja is an important ritual performed during evening at the juncture of Ashtami (eighth day) and Navami(ninthday). The goddess is worshipped with 108 lotus flowers, red hibiscus flowers, wood apple leaves and vermilion. A 108 earthen lamps are lighted to mark the end of the puja.After that Dhunuchi nritya' or ‘the dance with effervescent smoke' which is a traditional dance form Bengal, is performed in front of the idol of the Goddess Durga to the sound of dhak both young men and women participate in this and some places participant are awarded with lots of prizes according to the excellence of their performance. On the ninethday (Navami) various delicious vegeterian dishes is prepared for the  Ma Durga called bhoga and then this is distributed among the people as Prasad. This include shahi Khichuri ( a delicious rice preparation) with fried eggplant and potato with spicy mixed vegetable(labra tardkari) and mango chatni and payas (sweet dessert made with rice and milk). On the tenthday (Dashami) Bengali married women go to worship the Goddess and pray for happiness all the year through and share vermilion (sindoor),among themselves as well as with Ma Durga this ritual is called Sindoor Khela. And on the evening of the tenth day is Visarjan (immersion ceremony), Goddess Durga’s idol is mmersed in the holy river Ganges , Durga Visarjan is the most eye-catching event where the celebrations conclude with a bang.After that happy free hug ( Kolakuli) is exchanged between each other and everyone have rosogolla( melt in mouth tofu balls dipped in simple syrup) to wait for another year with this sweet memory and blessing of Goddess Ma Durga.
It’s hard to describe such festival in such few words but I try my best to give you a brief essence of the whole festival I hope you will enjoy reading.

Today I want to share with you a very delicious, easy and healthy dish that is served during this festival . This is shahi khichuri a fragrant subtle preparation pepped up by a number of side dishes. The finished khichuri smells awesome and taste incredible.
Basmati Rice    150 gram
Whole mung  bean dal  (without skin)  100 gram
Bengal gram dal    50 gram
Whole red chilly  2
Cardamom       2 whole
Cinnamon         1 inch stick
Clove                 2 
Tomato            1 big chunks
Carrot                1  big chunks
Potato                 1 big chunks
Peas                   1/2  cup
Cauliflower          6 big florets
Cumin seed        1/4  tea spoon
Turmeric powder  1/4  teaspoon
Chilly powder         1/4  teaspoon 
Cumin powder       1/4 tea spoon
Coriander powder   1/4  tea spoon
Salt                          to taste
Sugar                       1 tea spoon
Fresh coriander leaves   1/2  cup  coarsely chopped
Mix  raisin , cashew , almond, coconut  finely sliced    1/2 cup lightly fried
Graram masala    1/2  tea spoon ( whole -black pepper 2, clove 1, cardamom 1,cinnamon 1/4  inch dry roast them together then gind into fine powder)
Clarified  butter    1 table spoon
Soya or vegetable oil   3 table spoon
 Water      2   glass 


Cut and wash all the vegetable. Mix all the dal and rice and wash it. Heat oil in a pan and then break the whole red chilly little bit add it with whole cardamom, cinnamon and cumin seeds. When they start to crack add all the spices and tomatoes , vegetables , rice, daal , salt mix well and then pour two glass of water. Mix well. Put the lid and let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes or till the rice and dal are well cooked. Then add sugar ,chopped coriander, gram masala powder , fried coconut, cashew and raisin and at last a sprinkle a spoon full of clarified butter. (Instead of red chilly powder you can use black pepper and for clarified butter you can use butter but that will not give you the exact flavor and taste that I want to share with you.) Mix well. Your delicious pure vegetarian delicious khichuri is ready. This is a whole meal you can have it for lunch and dinner with fried eggplant or potato  or simply relish this Indian delicacy. Though the list of ingredient is bit long but once your prepared it is just few minutes job. I hope you will love it.

Cherish the music of Dhak , if you like just leave a comment may be your best wish vibes reach and inspire a  a drummer far away whom you will never meet-

Be Happy And Stay Healthy. –image source kchidri

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Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sutapa
Subho Bijaya
Thats a real healthy and Sahi Khichudi ..never eaten such thing...Must try soon. I shall replace the vege oil with ghee. ( I dont use vege oil unless the recipe demands :-)
Have a nice week

megha said...

tasty and healthy recipe.nice click visit and comment on my food blog blog is

katerina said...

Welcome back. Thanks for all this information regarding this festival. It is so interesting to get to know customs from different countries. I also love the dish. There are so many flavorful ingredients in it. It must smell heavenly.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sutapa
Thanks for your appreciation at my Biriyani blog. I think there is some misunderstanding , dont use Nigela ( Kalo jeere in bengali). Use blck cumin ( Shah jeera in Hindi, bengali Caraway seeds,)
Happy cooking

Coral said...

Dear Sutapa
Subho Bijaya,
This one of my and my daughters fav recipe. I get introduce with this dish during my first Durga puja.
Though I prepared it at home but taste from puja khichuri is still mouthwatering.

Jay said...

Hy Sutapa,

first time here..very lovely space you have...interesting and innovative recipes...glad to follow u...

do drop in at my space sometime..

Tasty Appetite

PreeOccupied said...

Nothing like the good food during Durga Pujo. Love your Khichuri. And the kuchi alu bhaja in the background. :-)

Chow and Chatter said...

great post explaining the festival we just attended a diwali festival at the University here in Winston Salem NC

Reeni said...

Thank you for sharing your traditions! Your dish looks so delicious. A beautiful presentation!

Heavenly Housewife said...

This looks like such a wonderful and healthy dish, and I love your presentation of it.
Glad you are back daaaaahling, missed you :D
*kisses* HH

Anonymous said...

Hope u had a wonderful pooja !
The khichuri looks well done and delicious.I didnt knw that so many spices go into it..must be quite fragrant too.I am really interested in the baingan bhaja beside it..share the recipe some time :)

Foodessa said...

A lot of great ingredients for such a delicious meal. Nice pic too!

Sutapa, thank you for sharing a little of your festive culture with us...very interesting ;o)

Ciao for now,

Zexxy's wife said...

Great recipes, great blog.
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Angie's Recipes said...

Looks like a fun festival!

Shilpi Bose said...

I found your blog while I was going through Sinfully spicy. Like the Durga Puja post.I too have done a similar post on Durga Puja. Will visit your blog again.

Shilpi Bose said...

Thanks for visiting and following my blog Sutapa, Happy Diwali.

Hari Chandana said...

Wonderful blog and lovely recipe.. first time here.. gr8 job.. thanks for sharing !!