Niramish Khichuri (Medley of rice, lentils and vegetables)

10:59 AM

Khichuri cooked with Gobindobhog rice and dry roasted yellow lentils, dotted with colourful winter vegetables, flavored with ghee and whole garam masala is a dish that is very close to my heart. If you are a regular reader, by now you must have known how all food that I cook are connected to some of my memories. But this niramish Khchuri has a special place in all Bengali’s Memory of Saraswati Puja (Goddess of education and arts). The somewhat runny variety of this dish served at the schools and colleges during the puja gathering with bandhakopi’r ghanto (dry cabbage dish) and watery tomato chutney (tomato chatni) is something every Bengali has tasted and has some sweet n sour memories associated with it.

Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of wisdom and knowledge is worshipped on Vasant Panchami or the fifth day of Bengali month ‘Magh’. This is considered as a very auspicious day and children are taught to write their first words in front of the Goddess, this custom is known as ‘Hatekhori’ where kids write the spiritual word ‘Om’ in front of the Goddess on slate and chalk.

The puja is a part of social celebration and are mostly organized by the schools and colleges.The student community celebrates this festival with great enthusiasm. One obvious reason is to worship the goddess to score better marks in exams but another not so obvious reason is on this day they get that, much required freedom to mingle in the pandal area… often this puja is beckoned as the Bengali version of Valnetines day with so many would be couples getting chance to go for an outing and for others it plays as the perfect breeding ground for their budding love stories.

Students also place their books in front of the goddess statue and reading is not allowed on this day. That makes it a very special one for the kids. Yong girls wearing yellow or Basanti sarees and boys clad in Kurta pajama are seen in the school campus, offering Puspanjali or mass chanting of Mantras and offerings of flowers to the Deity or enjoying the day with each other. Often cultural programmes are arranged at night and the Goddess is worshipped with devotion.

This niramish khichuri or vegetarian version (without even onion and garlic) of khichuri or khichri is also called Bhoger khichuri as this is prepared and offered to the Goddess and are made at each and every household and puja pandals. Everyone in our family is a fan of this simple dish especially if prepared by Baba (father). He has this amazing talent of making awesome khichris even with leftover rice. His bhuni khichri (dry khichri) is to die for. Here hubby and I are both khichuri buff, we make it quite often as it is mildly spiced and does not require much side dish. I recently have come to know that according to Ayurveda this light khichuri is also known to prepare one’s body for detoxification or cleansing. Even during detox process also this food is consumed in moderation. In the process of Panchakarma or Ayrvedic cleansing and rejuvenation plan it is said that whole grains and vegetables create a more alkaline (vs. acid) environment in the body, which supports the cleansing and detox process. For more information see HERE And HERE 

 Niramish Khichuri (serves 2)


Gobindobhog rice or any fragrant rice: 11/4 cups

Yellow lentil: 3/4 cup

Vegetables like green peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beans etc cut in big chunks

Tomato: 1 big

Ginger: 2” Piece

Cumin powder: ¾ tsp
Coriander powder: ¾ tsp

Green chillies: 2 pieces (optional)

For Tempering:
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Bay leaf: 1

Dry red chilli: 1 piece
Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
Cardamom: 2 pieces
Clove: 2 pieces
cinnamon: 1" piece

Garam masala powder: ½ tsp

In a big pan or kadhai dry roast the yellow lentil till they are very lightly browned and release a nice roasted aroma. Wash the lentils 2-3 times and let it boil with sufficient (6-7 cups) water, turmeric, green chillies and ½ inch grated ginger. Don’t add the salt at this stage as that will slow down the process of boiling.

Once the lentils are half boiled add the whole tomato, salt and other vegetables. Let it cook on slow for another 7-8 minutes.

Wash the rice and add it to the boiling lentil. Mix well. Check seasoning and let everything boil together till it’s soft and done.

When the Lentil and rice mixture is done heat the ghee or oil in a small pan. Temper with cumin seeds, dry red chilli, whole garam masala and bay leaf.

When it releases the aroma add in the ginger paste, cumin-coriander powder mixed in 2 tbsp of water. Cook the masala till oil separates at the sides.

Mix this masala to the lentil mixture and stir to mix everything. Cook for another 5 minutes, sprinkle the garam masala powder and the tasty khichri is ready.if you like sprinkle some extra ghee and roasted kaju on top.

Serve this with fried potatoes, Raita, papad or any other side dish of your choice.

We had ours with some fried potaoes (with skin) with salt and turmeric, flavored with a pinch of nigella seeds, green chillies and sprinkled with poppy seeds at the end to give it the extra crunch. Yummy.

A Homemaker's Tips:
instead you dont get Gobindobhog rice use aromatic Basmati and use more bay leaves.

Never cook this khichuri in pressure cooker or you will end up with a thick mass of overcooked rice.

This healthy and tasty Khichuri goes to Anita's APS: Rice.

Have a great week friends!

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  1. Khichuri looks perfect dear. Healthy and delicious:)

  2. Awesome click...nice one packed with all nutrients,yummmmm

  3. Oh wow, the khichuri looks so warm delicious and comforting and so is reading about the Saraswati Puja! Very nice post and love that click. I wasn't aware of the detox effects of the khichuri, so much more the reason to make it often, i say :)

  4. I am always on the lookout for new khichdi recipes, they are the best one pot meals ever, thanks for sharing this one!I think most of the food prepared around puja time is devoid of onions and garlic and I think sometimes that allows the flavors of the food to be much more real-if that makes any sense!

  5. simple and delicous...healthy as well...

  6. Loved ur Khichuri recipe. New to me. Would definitely give this a try. Enjoyed ur write-up too. Nice click.


  7. Such a lovely spread dear..Khichuri looks filling and comforting..

  8. That's a wholesome the color too :-)

  9. Khichdi is good for the winters..YUm..

  10. @ our home, we r also Khichuri fan..I don't cook this way, but will try your way next time..sounds mouth watering..bhoger khichuri is always so tasty..tomar aloo bhaja sounds and looks so tempting

  11. Dear Sayantani- As always enjoyed raeding your write-up. This Niramish Khichuri looks so inviting and comforting at the same time. Thanks for the information abt using it during the Pooja..and that ur father made such awesome i know it runs in the with passion. Awesome Clicks. We too love KHicdi at our place. We enjoy it with kadhi,papad and pickle. Happy Republic day.

  12. healthy...a great dish to give the kids

  13. Thanks a lot everyone for appreciating my alltime comfort food. thats a real healthy one with mouth watering taste.

  14. wow,what an awesome click. very healthy and nutritious.

  15. Bookmarked this for trying too ... I love, love, love Bengali Khichuri! Thank you for posting this authentic recipe :)

  16. Thanks Sayantani for connecting with me at this point of time , it meant a lot !!

  17. New to me...looks extremely with flavours and busting with aroma....

  18. Incredible array of food, lovely pictures:) I do like bhuni kitcheri as well:) I practically cant live without khitchuri...make them every week, atleast once or twice:)

  19. I liked your blog very much. I appreciate for your wonderful presentation with mouth watering pictures. I love khichuri very much. Khichuri looks delicious. Now I have become your follower so I will be visiting your blog hereafter.
    You are welcome in my blogs.

  20. I can almost smell the gobindobhog! never find it here. Deshe gele ektu kore niye ashi. ooooofff you are stirring too many memories and cravings.

  21. This looks fantastic. Love the photos.

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  23. Is yellow lentil moong dhal, masoor dhal, or tuvar dhal?


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