Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

I am not a big admirer of lentils or rice but on some days, that’s just what I need. And when these two are mixed together, slow cooked to a luscious stew, seasoned with whole spices and clarified butter, it just turns into a super hearty meal! This dish has got several names – khichdi, kichuri, khichdee, etc. depending on the different regions in India. There are also several ways to prepare the dish. It can be prepared with different kinds of lentils, sometimes vegetables are added to make it more filling and sometimes, it’s left to just rice and lentil.

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri literally translates to roasted yellow mung lentils and rice stew. It is comfort on a plate for most Bengalis. It’s prepared on several special occasions, mostly festivals. No matter how much meat or fish we Bengalis crave, during the time of festivals, we all desire the humble khichuri. Served piping hot, smooth to the palate along with some crispy fried veggie to compliment the texture. It’s the simplest kind of feast.

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Pan roasting the yellow lentils brings out a lovely nutty aroma and an earthy taste to the Khichuri. Although any kind of rice can be used to prepare the dish, it’s always recommended to use short grain rice so both rice and lentils cook together evenly. I am quite fussy about Khichuri and when I crave it, there is no shortcut version that can satisfy my appetite. It has to be slow cooked, topped with the essence from the spices, little heat from red chili and lots of ghee for that robust aroma.

And this is exactly how my mom makes it!

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri (Roasted Lentil and Rice Stew)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 2

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri (Roasted Lentil and Rice Stew)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup yellow spilt lentils (moong daal)
  • ½ cup short grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron (Bengali five spice)
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt

Directions

  • Dry roast the lentils in a pan until it’s mild brown in color.
  • Pour 3 cups of water in a big saucepan along with rice and roasted lentils. Bring it to a boil and then drop it down to medium low heat. Sprinkle salt and allow it to simmer until rice and lentils are half cooked.
  • Sprinkle turmeric and give it a stir. Continue simmering until the rice and lentils are completely cooked through and it turns into a smooth stew. Add more water if it gets dry and continue cooking. Check for salt and add any, if required.
  • Once Khichuri is ready with the perfect smooth texture, switch off the heat.
  • In a separate pan, heat ghee and add bay leaves along with dry red chilies, panch phoron and finely chopped ginger. It should take about a minute to sizzle up. Drizzle the whole thing to the Khichuri and give it a mix.
  • Serve warm with your choice of sides like crispy fried veggies, pickle or some crunchy papad.

Notes

Bengali five spice is basically a mix of five whole spices (fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds). If you cannot make or find bengali five spice, replace it by using some of the whole spices from the five spice list.

http://www.playfulcooking.com/curries-and-stew/bhaja-mung-daal-khichuri-roasted-lentil-and-rice-stew/

Bhaja Mung Daal Khichuri | Playful Cooking

 

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Linda Morris says:

I have an intolerance to lentils so is there anything you can suggest that I could replace them with as this recipe is right up my street. I do not do well with all legumes but tolerate rice very well.

Kankana Saxena says:

Sadly the two key ingredients that makes this dish is lentil and rice. You could probably try using some kind of beans but in that case you have to cook the beans separately and then cook it along with rice. I am not sure if that will work as I haven’t tried that. The taste will however be quite different!

Linda Morris says:

Thanks for the reply but unfortunately, as I said previously, I am intolerant to all legumes so beans would no be an option for me. If I ever do make this dish and substitute lentils for something else with success I will let you know.

I am a HUGE fan of lentils…this stew looks hearty, comforting and delicious!

Shirley says:

Love lentils, so Im going to make this. I have lots of spices to make Indian dishes, but no panch phoron. Is there a substitute for the panch phoron (Bengali five spice)?

Kankana Saxena says:

Panch phoron is easy to make at home. It’s a combination of 5 common whole spices. You could however substitute panch phoron with just cumin seeds and fennel seeds probably. Although the flavor will be slightly different but it would still taste quite nice.

Such a comforting and fragrant dish!

As always, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photographs SO VERY MUCH, Kankana. 🙂

I actually really adore lentils and feel like they don’t get enough love, so thanks for sharing this! This roasted lentil and rice stew looks absolutely delicious!! SO much flavor going on here! Love Love Love this! Beautiful pictures, too! Cheers and thanks for sharing the YUM! 🙂

this is exactly the kind of meal i crave for…i recently made something similar with steel cut oat and mung beans, came out so luscious! your version looks wonderful.

This stew sounds incredibly delicious and you styled and photographed it beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing, Kankana. 🙂

Mallika says:

Kichuri or Khichdi as we call is the most humble meal. You’ve made it look exotic. My version is similar to your’s, but addition of Bengali 5 spice is new. I should give this a try. BTW, I love those broken pieces of papad in your photos. They add such a depth overall.

Bina says:

The rice-mung bean combination with ghee is a favorite of mine be it khichdi or Pongal. Will definitely try this Bengali version too, Kankana. Stunning pictures as always 🙂

I just found your site after you posted a comment on my blog. I am so pleased you did because your site is beautiful! Stunning, stunning photography and gorgeous food. I’ll be back!

My mother made Kichdiee very interesting. But it was made only when someone is falling ill in my house as we all know that it is easy to digest and I also eat Kichdiee with full of ghee and masalas. But as we live in North India we do not use what you describe
Bengali Five Spice. Will definitely tried your version

I have a friend coming for lunch this week, she would love this! I have a great asian spice store near me so I am going to try and get some radhuni for the Bengali 5 spice, I have everything else. Could I use ajwain which I do have, if I can’t get radhuni? Gorgeous photos as always!

Deepa says:

I love khichri and the south indian version pongal, this with a bit of ghee and lemon pickle is my comfort food. I am going to try your version today itself K 🙂