Bhoger Bhuni Khichudi

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Subho Mahalaya.

Mahalaya marks the beginning of Devi paksha and the end of pitri paksha, and for all of us like me, Mahalaya begins the countdown to Durga Puja – just a week to go. Durga puja is a grand festival and for the last quite few years I have missed being in Kolkata during this time of the year. I miss home during Durga puja more because the puja is held at my home, a 150 years old pujo. And for those of you who are not aware of Durga pujo culture in Bengal, dura pujo is generally held in the neighborhoods and not in family homes, there are very few families in Bengal who actually have the puja at home.

bhoger-khichudi
Durga puja is the celebration of food. The streets of Kolkata get filled with vendors selling Kolkata favorite phuchka and egg rolls, though I’m missing the streetfood pretty badly, I am more missing mom’s homemade bhoger khichuri. On Ashtami this khichudi is served to the goddess as an offering (prasad). The bhuni or bhuna khichudi is more of a pulao than a khichudi, though the main ingredients are rice and split yellow lentil, but its cooked in a way so that it’s not runny like a rainy day khichuri and can be fluffed easily with a fork when done.
I hope you enjoy this year’s pujo and share your experience with us. If you want more authentic Bengali recipes please download the ebook

Bhoger Khichuri
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sona moong dal
  2. 1 cup gobindobhog rice
  3. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  4. 3 - 4 dry red chilies
  5. 2-3 large bay leaves
  6. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  8. ½ teaspoon chili powder
  9. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  10. 3 - 4 tablespoon ghee
  11. ¼ cup coconut, cut into tiny pieces
  12. ¼ cup raisin, soaked in water
  13. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom pan dry roast the moong dal till it starts to turn light brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. While roasting keep on stirring it, or else the bottom will get burnt
  2. Wash the roasted dal and soak for about 30 minutes. Wash the rice
  3. In the thick bottom pan, heat the ghee. Add the coconut pieces and fry till they turn light brown. With a slotted spoon take the coconut out and keep aside.
  4. Temper the remaining ghee with the red chilies, bay leaves and cumin seeds. As the seeds start to splutter add the soaked moong dal along with the washed rice. Mix in all the ground spices and ginger paste, season with salt. Toss and turn for a couple of minutes till the spices are mixed well and the raw smell of ginger goes away. Pour in about 4 cups of lukewarm water, cover and cook till it done.
Notes
  1. Sona moong is the yellow lentil that is smaller than the general variety of mong dal. It is more flavorful.
  2. If you dont find gobindobhog rice, you can substitute with kalajeera rice or any other short grained rice
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/
bhoger-khichri

 

Kolkata Street Aloo Dum

Have you ever tried the spicy and tangy aloo dum from phuchkawala in Kolkata? It is one of the spiciest thing you can ever eat. The heat from chilies and sour taste of the tamarind pulp mixed with the just well done baby potatoes, makes this street food one of my favorite. As I am writing this post, I am literally salivating remembering the paper plate full of fingerlicking good  baby potatoes aloo dum on my last trip to Kolkata.

phuchkawala

Potatoes have a special place in every Bengali’s heart. The comforting aloo chokha (Bengali version of mashed potatoes) or half cut potatoes in kansha mangsho (spicy mutton curry) – we like our potatoes anywhere and everywhere. But when it comes to aloo dum – it is like a Christmas in summer. The Kolkata street style aloo dum is a favorite everywhere whether it’s a side for luchi on a Sunday morning or an accompaniment with alcohol on a Friday night party. Try this recipe and you’ll know what I mean. You can also serve this aloo dum on phuchka to make alu dum phuchka, load it with loads of green chilies, cilantro and dash of tamarind pulp. I have adapted this recipe from Ishita’s Kolkata style spicy baby potatoes.

kolkata-street-aloo-dum

Kolkata Style Aloo Dum
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb boiled baby potatoes
  2. 2 - 3 big bay leaves
  3. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  5. 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  6. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  10. 2 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  11. ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  12. 1 teaspoon rock salt
  13. Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
  14. 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds, coarsely grounded
  15. 2 - 3 green chilies, coarsely chopped, optional
  16. 2 tablespoon mustard oil
  17. Salt to taste
  18. ½ teaspoon sugar, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and sugar, if using with the baby potatoes. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan, and fry the potatoes till they start turning slightly brown about 3 minutes. Take out of the pan and keep aside
  2. In the same pan add the chopped onions and bay leaves and fry till the onion is almost done, about 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and fry for another 2 -3 minutes, or till the oil starts separating
  3. In the meantime, in a small bowl take about ¼ cup water and all the dry spice powder, stir to make a smooth paste. Pour in the spice paste to the fried onion mix and toss for a minute.
  4. Add the reserved baby potatoes and pour in the tamarind paste. Toss to coat. Pour about a cup of water and season with salt, if you are using rock salt then use little less salt than you would use.
  5. Cook on high for about 5 minutes or till the potatoes break once pressed
  6. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro, green chilies and roasted cumin powder, sprinkle the rock salt and pour in the lime juice
Notes
  1. Boil the potatoes skin on and about a teaspoon of salt to the water. Boil till the potatoes are not fully cooked. Once you are able to touch the potatoes, peel the skin off
  2. When serving you can pour another tablespoon of tamarind pulp thinned with water, to get a tangy taste
  3. The spice level mentioned above will yield a mildly spiced aloo dum, if you want more heat add more chili powder to the aloo dum
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

kolkata-street-alu-dum

Kolkata Street Food Ghugni – Curried Dried Yellow Peas

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When it comes to street food, Kolkata reigns. The city of joy has hundreds of street snacks to offer. It’s not only about jhal muri, bhel puri, papri chat, or tele bhaja, you’ll find a whole lot more. And, just when you thought you have had your share of junk food for the day there is always the kulfi and the crushed ice serbet to chill with.

Talking about Kolkata street food and not mentioning phuchka will be like having pizza without cheese. Phuchka is the most well known among all street foods in Kolkata. You’ll find phuchka sellers near every bus stand and at every corner of the neighborhood streets. Phuchka in whole and its crushed coungter part, churmur is the queen of street foods in Kolkata. Check Kankana’s write-up on Kolkata’s street food and drool over the amazing photos.

Next in line are the egg roll sellers. Come evening and there are people swarmed around the big hot tawa of the egg roll maker. Another street food though not much mentioned is ghugni. Ghugni sellers are a little hard to find, but you’ll definitely find the in all fairs and near every cinema theatre. Ghugn is a rich and spicy preparation made from dried yellow peas. The hot taste of ginger garlic paste mingles with the tanginess of tamarind water to make it street food ambrosia. Ghugni is my second favorite street food of Kolkata, of course phuchka comes first. What’s your favorite street food?

Ghugni

 Serves 4
Preparation time: Overnight soaking + 45minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ghugni chola/ dried yellow peas
  • ½ cup grounded chicken
  • 1 medium size potato
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoon cumin seeds, roasted and grinded
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 4 tablespoons tamarind water
  • 4 tablespoons mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the ghugni beans overnight, cook in a pressure cooker till two whistles. Drain out the excess water and keep for later use
  • Cut the potatoes into 1” squares, wash and add a pinch of salt and turmeric.  Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, and lightly fry the potatoes. Take out and drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel
  • Pour rest of the oil in the same wok. Add the onion and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent. Add the grounded chicken, all the spices and season with salt. Stir till the oil separates and the chicken turns a darker shade
  • Add the boiled ghugni beans and stir for further 2-3 minutes. Pour in about 1 ½ cup of warm water and cook till half done.
  • Add the half fried potatoes and cook till its done. Take out from the flame serve hot garnished with chopped onions, cucumber, roasted cumin powder and tamarind water.

Ghugni

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