Thursday, 18 July 2013

Prasad wali Khichdi / Narkel diye Khichuri / Bhoger Khichuri


Just outside of Pune, in the Northern outskirts , is a beautiful temple of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. If you take the Alandi road and keep going straight, it falls on your left. Bang on the highway.
When we had discovered it, on one of our aimless rides, it was just a small hall with the huge deity of the Baba. Slowly, over the years, it has grown in size and is now a sprawling mandir with lawns, gardens, a community center, a prasad hall and numerous other small sized mandirs dedicated to the gods Ganesh, Shiva and Lakshmi. We often went there in the evenings.
Initially, not a lot of people knew about it, so was less crowded and more peaceful.

Once evening set in,  lamps would be lit all around the mandir. After the aarti, we would sit on the low marble parapet, surrounding the main hall and open on all sides. Someone would sing bhajans quietly in a corner. A few devotees would sit around or just walk up for a darshan. Far from the city, it's noise and rush, sitting there in the quiet evening breeze, it always felt wonderful.

On one such visit, after the aarti, as we sat on the parapet as usual, we noticed a group of people under the only neem tree in the courtyard. The tree was old, very big. The base was cemented.
There, two men stood with a big sized vessel. One was handing out small paper plates or donas. The other was serving prasad. We went over and saw it was khichdi/khichuri. Steamimg hot, wonderfully mushy and full of flavours. Heavenly!

This khichdi was very different from the usual ones that I am used to. Be it the Bengali khichuri cooked at home, the khichdi cooked for Jagannath at Puri, which is usually dryish, or the Bhog er khichuri that we get as prasad  during   Durga puja.  I tried to guess what it might contain ... could figure out some ingredients like the whole black pepper, ghee no sugar etc...., but a lot more stayed unknown. So I asked one of the men serving the prasad. He told me to go to the prasad center ... the people there will be able to answer correctly.

And I found the recipe for the simplest yet the most flavourful khichadi I've ever had.
I make this very often at home now, especially during winter or the rains. And haven't made any other khichadi for a long time now.
This can be made in the pressure cooker too ... if you are in a hurry. But tastes best when slow cooked in a kadahi.

Need :

Rice - 3 fistfuls ( I had whole Basmati, but this tastes better with slightly broken rice ... so you may use kani too )
Red Masoor dal - 1 fistful
Yellow Moong dal - ½ fistful
Freshly grated coconut - 2 fistful
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Whole black peppercorns - ½  tsp
Whole red chillies - 2
Black cardamom / Badi elaichi - 3
Freshly grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Haldi / turmeric - 1 pinch
Red chilli powder - to taste
Moongfali / Peanuts - 4 tbsp ( or more if you like )
Water - around 6 coffee mugfuls ( you may need more or less ... add accordingly)

How to :

Wash the rice and dals together. Keep aside.
I don't soak them for a long time ... just wash them when starting to cook.

Lightly heat 2 tbsp ghee in a deep, thick bottomed kadahi.
Add the cardamoms, peppercorns and red chillies.
(The whole red chillies are my addition.)
Then add the grated ginger. Fry a little ... not too much.

Add the rice and dals.
Add water immediately ... on high heat ( do not fry the rice and the dals ).
Add haldi, red chilli powder and salt.

Add the grated coconut and the peanuts.
Cover and cook.
Keep checking the level of water ... it should not dry up. Keep adding water as required.
Check for salt too.
Once in a while, remove cover and give a good stir. And mash up the rice by gently pressing down with the back of a ladle.
The flavours get soaked up better this way and it helps the rice to break down into mush easily.

When the rice is well cooked  and the khichdi reaches the desired consistency, add 1 tbsp of ghee, cover  and remove from heat.
It tends to thicken if kept for some time. So if you are not serving immediately, do make sure the consistency is slightly loose ... slightly, not too watery ... when removing form heat.
It will thicken in 10 to 15 minutes.

This khichdi is not sweetish ... no sugar is added ... as in the Bengali khichuri.
Also, no onions. Absolutely niramish khichuri.

Serve it steaming hot ... almost 'burn your tongue' hot.
With another big dollop of ghee.

This khichadi can be paired with traditional bhajas/fries like  the aloo bhajabegun bhajabeguni, or the good old papad. I had some mirgund (poha papad ) ... so fried them, along with some Punjabi masala papad from Lizzat.

Today, Lord Jagannath returns home after a week long stay at the Gundicha mandir.
Before leaving, he has a light lunch of Khichdi.
I made this prasadwali khichdi for lunch today ... and enjoyed it while watching Jagannath's Bahuda yatra (return journey) on the telly.

Do try this khichdi once ... perfect to enjoy the monsoons with.

And enjoy!!
May Jagannath's blessings stay with you always!

PS: The Bengali Khichudi / Khichuri is here. 


28 comments:

  1. It's the khichudi season, stay warmed stay blessed!

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    1. This is slightly different from the usual ones Anjali. You are right ... perfect khichudi season. And thanks. :-)

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  2. Oh my god, this khichdi looks so delicious.
    I lived in Pune for a year once and I loved the city so much-- it had a kinder, gentler pace than it does now. We visit my brother-in-law there each time we travel to India now, and I must say that the number of temples seems to have skyrocketed-- along with everything else.

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    1. Right Vaishali ... my friends visiting from out side the city put a condition these days that I do not take them mandir hopping. Thanks for dropping by. :-)

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  3. Hello Sharmila, I am doing good and kids are good too..thanks for dropping by..:)..that's a tempting khichdi...

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    1. Thanks Valli! So good to see you here again. :-)

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  4. Hi Sharmila, this looks good. At what stage, and how, do you use the coconut and peanuts?

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    1. Sra ... all at almost the same time ... have edited the post. Much thanks for pointing out. :-)

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  5. Hi Sharmila,

    Loved this post...yummylicious. You have inspired me enough to start blogging.

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    1. Hi Rakhee! That's wonderful! Will hop over as soon as I can. :-)

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  6. Thanks for decoding this khichuri. i love it. there is one mandir in Bangalore where they serve this khichri. though not everyday but we always hoped to have it on all our visits. That mandir in itself is worth visiting and all the prasad they served tastes heavenly.

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    1. Sayantani ... which mandir?
      I've never tasted exactly this kind of khichuri anywhere else still. Thanks for dropping by. :-)

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  7. Thanks for the recipe Sharmila. Love your kadai - half the pleasure in cooking comes from using nice, good quality cooking utensils, isn't it?

    Never tried khichdi with peanuts before, will try this sometime soon :-)

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    1. Thank you Vaishnavi. You are right ... good quality utensils are not only healthy but also contribute to the flavour of the dish being cooked in them. I stay away from non-sticks.
      Am sure you'll love this khichdi. :-)

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  8. You are such a good girl cooked proshad wali kichdi on the same day of Rath...Nothing can match this kichdi and papad combination

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    1. Deepa ... I wanted to be in front of the tv for the live rath yatra ... and this was the quickest lunch I could make. ;-)

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  9. perfectly made prashad khichdi, love its slight sweetness with some lime and ghee,papad, heavenly :-)

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    1. No no KK ... this khichdi is not sweet! :-)

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  10. aahaa...my favorite khichuri!!

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  11. Love khichuri and with coconut+peanuts sounds even more delicious..hugs and smiles

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  12. I want to start bhandara @ my home area.
    So this is useful information for me.
    Baba bless u brother
    Om sai ram

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  13. Thanks for this information
    Om sai ram
    Baba
    Bless u brother

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us. I made this today for prasad for Baba. It was delicious !

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Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!