Bhoger Khichuri, as the name suggests is an offering to Gods and Goddesses and in this case it is an offering to Maa Durga! Today is Maha Ashtami the second day of the Durga Utsav! The day starts with anjali or flower offering with the chanting of mantras to the Goddess. The whole atmosphere becomes holy. The women are decked up in their red bordered white sarees with gold jewelry and men in their starched cotton kurta and pajamas, all cleaned and fresh to offer flowers to the deity. The purity of the mind and soul reflects in their attire and everything looks so divine.
After the flower offerings prasad or cut fruits and sweets are distributed and the devotees flock around the puja mandap and wait eagerly for the bhog that is offered to Maa Durga for lunch. The bhog that is offered is usually Khichuri or cooked rice and lentil mix along with labra, a dried mixed vegetable dish, vegetable fries, chutni, payesh and sweets. It is an elaborate spread which is offered to Maa Durga with great devotion and sincerity. The spread is absolutely vegetarian and not even onion or garlic is used. In Hindu Shastra onion and garlic is considered as non-veg.
The Bhoger Khichuri is made with yellow mung dal and gobindobhog rice, both of which have a great aroma and flavor when cooked. The cooking starts by first roasting the yellow dal until fragrant and light golden in color. Then the dal and rice is soaked to kick start the process. The bhoger khichuri essentially tastes a bit on the sweeter side. It is further enriched with the addition of coconut, sometimes cashews and raisins, ghee and garamasala. Vegetables are not added in bhoger khichuri.
The smell of the incense sticks, the aroma of the food, and the beat of the dhak, the chanting of the mantras are all mixed in making the atmosphere magical, holy and sacred. Undoubtedly the taste of bhoger khichuri is divine. The amount of devotion, love and sanctity that goes into it makes it taste heavenly. People wait for a whole year to taste this.
The recipe is quite simple to try at home if you cannot be a part of puja this year. There are various ways to prepare this. I find this as the easiest way to prepare khichuri. Today I have offered the khichuri with five types of fried vegetables. Give it a try if you want to create that magic at home. A Very Happy Maha Ashtami to All!
The consistency of the khichuri will not be runny. So add water accordingly. Do not overcook the rice and dal. You may use half oil and half ghee in this recipe. To make it tastier, you may add some grated coconut at the time of cooking rice and dal.
By October 21, 2015Published:
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Prep: 35 mins
- Cook: 40 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 15 mins
The smell of the incense sticks, the aroma of the food, and the beat of the dhak, the chanting of the mantras are all mixed in making the atmosphere magical, holy and sacred. Undoubtedly the taste of bhoger khichuri is divine. The amount of devotion, love and sanctity that goes into it makes it taste heavenly.
- 1 cup gobindabhog /kalajeera rice
- 1 cup sona mung dal or yellow mung dal
- 2 teapsoons salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar or to taste
- 1 teapsoon whole cumin seeds/ jeera
- 2-3 medium bay leaves/tej patta
- 1 teaspoon homemade garamasala powder (cardamom,cinnamon and cloves)
- 1 teaspoon whole garamasala cinnamon,green cardamom and cloves
- 1/4 cup coconut cut into small bits
- 1 tablespoons ginger- green chilli paste
- 2-3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 1-2 medium whole dry red chili
- Wash the rice and soak for minimum 30 minutes. Roast the yellow mung dal until light golden color and fragrant. Wash the dal and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a big pot at medium and boil 6 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Drain the soaked rice and dal through a strainer and add to the boiled water. Add the salt and turmeric powder and let it come to a boil. When it starts to boil, reduce the flame to medium, cover and let it cook. Stir in between. When the rice and dal mixture is partially cooked add half teaspoon of ginge -chili paste and sugar. If the mixture feels too thick then add some warm water to it. Stir well. Cover and let it cook until done.
- Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan and lightly fry the coconut bits until light golden in color. Drain and keep aside. In the same pan add the whole garam masala,bay leaves, whole dried red chili and whole cumin seeds. Let it splutter. Lower the flame and add the remaining ginger-chili paste. Cook for some time.Switch off the flame. Transfer all seasonings and the fried coconut bits to the cooked khichuri. Add the garamasala powder and mix well.
- After offering to God , serve with fried vegetables or mixed vegetables dish- labra.