Tuesday, May 25, 2010

bhuni khichri

Khichri has been a mundane kind of a meal for me , a meal cooked in a hurry or a student's sunday lunch when the mess is off , or a bachelor's way of life , food for the sick, a poor man's concoction .... it has always been a dish which we were embarrassed to acknowledge ..........it sounded so boring when everybody used to rave about maggi  and it was khichri that i preferred............i used to love it secretly.

You know a well spread full course meal is not only a meal for most of us , it is more like a statement of our well being , financially........i am talking about the great Indian middle class which some believe has vanished under the heights of super specialty malls n multiplexes......for me , it is very much there , it is just that the middle class can afford a lot more now.....the mind set hasn't change.......khichri was a poor man's food n not fit to be in your favorite food list.

Pardon me for straying from the humble subject , the khichri........which , i recently came to know that , is not a humble dish actually ..........it has traveled to far away places ...........

Kedgeree is the new name ( for me) ........some say the original name ( i disagree that it came to India from Scotland first and then traveled back to Britain to become popular ) .......British were so enthralled by this simple dish that they adopted it for their breakfast , garnishing it with fish , bacon or egg and many more things alien to Indians in the time of Raj ( British empire).....i was even unaware of the fact that it is popular breakfast dish in the good old south  of India), by the lovely name of pongal........i saw all these things only after i started writing my blogs n was introduced to so many blogs on traditional foods .......... kedgeree and pongal both as breakfast was very new for me and to the disgust of any north Indian i'd love to have khichri for my breakfast any day....... it's yet to happen though i have adopted my multigrain soup as a breakfast ( only mine , not the husband's ....he likes sweet breakfasts or stuffed parathas )......

I have some very fond memories of khichri from my childhood when i used to make a thinner khichri sometimes n temper it 3-4 times with different set of tempering to make it super flavorful ........ all of us 3 sisters used to hog like mad on khichri , the brothers still hate khichri and so does the husband.....to my utter dismay..........

But i am clever.....don't you know ?

He loves tahiri and i make khichri n tell him it is tahiri..........and he loves it.......do you have a kid?

This khichri i pass off as tahiri is actually a dressed up version of khichri , the bhuni khichri .......which is prepared more like a pulao and is spicier and drier looking like a biryani.........yes biryani ......to do away with the embarrassing part....:)

This is a tomato masala bhuni khichri or a daal wali tahiri .whatever you like to call it ..........as per your convenience.

Arvind carries a lunch box sometimes and one day i asked if he wants tahiri for lunch , he said yes n i made this khichri........in the evening i was reported that he couldn't get enough of it as the friends raided the lunchbox n he had to make do with other things.........

With a sealed pack of plain curds and any kind of raw salad it is a very good balanced meal and a very good option for lunch box.........i have been getting requests for lunch box suggestions n i hope i am able to post a few more.


rice 3/4 cup ( i used brown basmati rice )
whole mung beans with skin 1 cup
tomatoes chopped 2 cups
ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
chopped green chillies 1 tbsp ( and /or red chilly powder according to taste)
curry patta 4-5 springs
asafoetida powder a pinch
cumin seeds 2 tsp
black peppercorns 2 tsp
coriander , cumin , black pepper n bay leaf powder made using 2:1:1:1 ratio of the ingredients
( this is my everyday subzi masala  but any curry powder will be good )
salt to taste
ghee 2 tbsp


Soak the mung beans overnight or for 3-4 hours at least , it will become almost double in volume.

Wash the rice and drain , keep aside.

Heat ghee in a wide thick base pan with tight fitting lid ........throw in the asafoetida and cumin seeds n black peppercorns .let them sputter.

Add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and the curry patta and stir for a minute , throw in the powder masala mix , fry for a while till the masala gets aromatic , preventing burning .

Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and cook till the tomatoes are mushy .

Add the soaked rice n daal and bhuno , that is , stir fry the mixture for a couple of minutes till you see a slight change in the color of dal n rice......a bit translucent .

Pour 3.5 cups of water and let it come to a soft boil , adjust the flame to the minimum , cover the lid and cook for about 10 minutes........check after 5 minutes to adjust cooking time.....the grains of rice should be firm and the daal should get mushed when pressed , but should retain their shape.

Keep it covered after the cooking for 5 minutes , you get a nice aroma when you open the lid finally......

It's usually a one pot lunch for the two of us , it is a good choice for a filling n non messy lunch box too....dahi ( plain curds) is a must with it and some sliced cucumber , onions and carrots make a perfect accompaniment.

The UP version of bhuni khichri is spicier and laden with ghee , it has bay leaf instead of curry patta and a few cubed potatoes are sometimes thrown in........it is actually a very forgiving dish , very very customizable .........according to your mood , convenience and off course your imagination......not to mention your pocket.......add bacon , anchovies, prawns, boiled eggs or even nuts and be merry with khichri........or kedgeree.

Enjoy...be it Khichri or kedgeree.........


  1. Sangeeta,
    This is such a good option for lunch box. Looks very delicious.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. This is a new recipe for me, I love regular kichri, I'm sure I'll like this too..

  3. Sangeeta, I love to hear all the hindi lingo in your blog :)

    And, this is one yummy looking bhuni khichri, I will surely try this version.The pic is very very tempting. Khichri is a family favorite in my place and I usually load it with veggies, to make it one pot meal :)

  4. really u r giving new recipe idea..this looks so delicious and healthy .

  5. the only khichri i've ever had or made is mung dal waali khichdi... my husband loves it. This looks different and spicy. I also like the addition of whole mung dal. But I make tehri very often its a fantastic one dish meal with potful of vegetables, and my daughter has no problem eating it. so i guess next time I'll try it your way!

  6. Haaa....loved ur post...wat all u hv to do for ur families health. Me too secretly sum up with all the poor hated vegetables in my household...to only come up with sumthing new..n I call it my invention...smilin.
    Tis recipe is new to me, though i do cook similar Khichri, introduced to me by my ma-in-law...n many more versions.
    Tis humble dish travelled all around de world purfecting itself as per the countries tastebuds....simply love food history.
    Thks Sangeeta for sharing.

  7. Hi sangeeta - must say I always thought it was us who stole the dish from you!

  8. ha ha....

    Pamella ...now comes the opinion from Scotland.
    You are the person who can throw more light on kedgeree tradition.

  9. I loved this twist to my ever favorite khichri.... Awesome eye catching & tempting captures of that scrumptious prep...... I even called in Kuku to have a look at it..... He was very pleased too.... Kudos & thanks for sharing this unique prep..... God Bless!!!!


  10. I like to hv khichdi once in a while...such a comforting dish...quick,easy,one pot meal...even at my in-laws house they dont like simple khichdi but the bhuni khichdi...ur version luks amazing.

  11. Love to try rice this way instead of boring white rice....Bookmarked it.....
    Do check out my blog sometime

  12. Looks lovely and spicy and so wonderful.

  13. Dear Sangeeta
    Very nice recipe. I was out to Himalayas , so cd not read it.
    I will try this one. In Bong recipe , we use green peas in Bhuni khichuDi...but this is very different and I like it.
    Have a nice sunday

  14. khichari looks so yummy and tempting.. very nice to read about the history too.

  15. Sangeeta,

    Nice khichari looks really yummy.

  16. that Kitchri be cooked. :)usually we alternate between split moong dal and split urad dal for kitchri. But I like the whole moong version best. I have even used moong sprouts for this. But if I am using whole moong sprouts, I prefer to make it "Fried rice" style where stir fried moong sprouts with assorted veggies are added to parboiled rice

  17. thanks amrita...yes i make that fried rice with mung sprouts too , usually when i don't want to cook n have some sprouts n leftover rice in the fridge....actually sprouts are so versatile n completely worth to take the pain to keep them ready in the fridge.

  18. We love khichdi, with dahi and papad..I too make this one and many times I add whole masoor instead of mung...lovely pics too!!

  19. nice khichiri..I used to hate khichris earlier..but I am going to try this one..thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe

  20. droolworthy and yummilicious khichdi

  21. Hi Sangeeta, Thanks for this khichree with a twist. This is going to go to our lunch boxes tomorrow morning? Sangeeta, can you post some recipes appropriate for lunch boxes? My husband and I go to work and every morning I have hard time deciding on what to put for lunch. My husband doesn't like rotis or parathas for lunch so I have hardly any choice left.

  22. Thanks Poonam .... just wait a few days i am coming up with a few tiffin box specials...

  23. Heyyyyyyyy, could you also share the different temperings that you mentioned about for the plain khichdi? I luv my plain khichdi, but am sure these temperings will give khichdi some extra zing and would be a good variation :).