A popular Bengali dish to eat in the monsoon season is called khichuri. This dish is made of rice and lentils that are cooked together with certain spices. When I was growing up my family ate khichuri with fried fish and fried eggplant. I think it’s extremely delicious.
You can make khichuri with a thin consistency, thick consistency, or dry and fluffy like pilaf. Although khichuri is quick and easy to make you will need to monitor it. As the rice and lentils cook, water evaporates and khichuri could end up sticking to the pot if not stirred.
You only need one type of lentil to make khichuri but below I use five different kinds of lentils since I had them on hand. Lentils pack a lot of nutrition and health benefits, so they’re always good to have in storage.
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or red onion
- 2 cup white rice (I used long grain)
- 1/4 cup each masoor dal, mung bean, yellow split pea, green split pea, and black gram
- 2 cinnamon leaves
- 10 cloves
- 8 cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin
- 5 thin slices ginger
- 3 cinnamon sticks, thin 3 1/4 inch long
- 5 green and red Thai chilies
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black ground pepper
- 6 1/2 coconut milk water (13.5 oz can coconut mixed with water)
Rinse and wash the lentils and rice together. Soak lentils and rice in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain the lentils and rice using a fine-meshed strainer. Let it air-dry while you get other ingredients together.
In a deep pan, heat oil in medium-high heat. When the oil begins to ripple, add the onions. Cook the onions till crispy and golden brown. Stir often. Transfer the cooked onions paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil.
Strain out the 1/4 cup onion oil for the khichuri. The rest of the oil can be cooled, strained, and kept in the refrigerator for other uses like making an omelet or stir-frying veggies.
Heat 1/4 cup strained oil in a large, heavy-bottom deep cooking pot on medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the lentils, rice, and spices. (Cinnamon leaves, chili, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin) Stir-fry all the ingredients for 4-6 minutes until rice and lentils are lightly toasted.
Add coconut milk water and 1/3 of the fried onion. Mix well. Bring it to boil and then cover.
Cook on very low heat for 20-30 minutes till lentils are fully cooked. To avoid sticking and burning, I check on the mixture from time to time, stirring thoroughly.
Once the khichuri is done, remove the whole spices. If you don’t like spicy khichuri, you can also remove chilies.
To serve, sprinkle the rest of the crispy fried onion all over the khichuri.
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to email me or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.