Saturday, 11 October 2014

MASOOR DAL KHICHDI





Mushurir Dal er Khichuri / Masoor Dal Khichdi is a rice and lentil hotchpotch made of skinless red lentils along with assorted vegetables. It's a complete meal. You get the right amount of carbohydrate along with all kinds of vitamins from the vegetables used. On a lazy Friday night, you are not really in the mood to indulge yourself in cooking any complicated dish. Friday evening is to plan for some exotic dishes to try out on the two most beautiful days of the week......Saturday and Sunday. You cannot leave yourself starving too. You are just  not in the mood to order anything from outside and upset your stomach, denying yourself  the exotic platter you are planning for the next two days. So what to do?? No thinking twice, treat yourself with a humble and simple plate of CHICHI / KHICHURI and relax sitting and watching a movie with your family.

In our childhood , our mothers cooked khichdi only when it rained or mom was sick. Well, to that I would say, we do not have that level of energy that they had.  They stayed at home and planned elaborate meals for the family, specially if that family had a foodie kid like me. An honest confession ....... I live to eat. Modern women have to multitask .....life is faster, complicated and khichdi is handy. Live alone rain, we can have it every now and then. We usually cook khichdi with Moong Dal. But just as we need variation in life, we definitely need variation in our food too. Otherwise, life gets boring and our taste buds...... dull. So I quite like to try out new recipes. I remember my mom cooking masoor dal with all available vegetables in her refrigerator, serving it with tomato chutney and an omelette. Mommy dear never divulge the secret spices she uses for her recipes, not even to her daughter. So the poor daughter came up with her own version of MASOOR DAL CHICHI / MUSHURIR DAL ER KHICHURI.




INGREDIENTS :
Rice(par-boiled) : 1/2 cup
Masoor Dal (skinless red lentils) : 1/2 cup
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Green Chilli : 3
Ginger Paste : 2 tbsp
Cumin powder : 1 tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cumin Seeds : 3 pinches.
Salt : As per taste
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Sugar : 1 tsp
Tomato : 2(medium)
Carrot : 2(medium)
Green Peas : 1/4 small tea cup
Potato : 2(medium)
Onion : 2(big)
Oil(preferably Mustard) : 3 tbsp
Ghee(clarified butter) : 2 tbsp

PROCEDURE :
Take the rice and dal in a big bowl. Wash and soak in water for 1 hour.Take out the skin of the carrots, cut from the middle and then length wise. Cut each potato into 4 pieces.Wash and put them together in a bowl. Slice the onions and slit the green chillies. Cut each tomato into 4 pieces, discard the seeds and wash.

Take the washed rice, dal in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add enough water, salt and turmeric and put for boil.



Once it comes to boil, add the potatoes and carrots. Give a stir.



After 6-8 minutes, add the green pea and tomato pieces. Give a stir and let boil for about 3 minutes.


Arrange all the spices at your cooking table. Tear the dry red chillies into 2 halves. Heat oil in a wok. Temper with the cumin seeds, dry red chillies and bay leaf.



Add the sliced onions and fry till brown. Add the ginger paste and keep stirring till the raw smell of the ginger goes away. Add the cumin powder, salt and turmeric powder. Keep stirring till the oil separates from the spice mix.



At this stage, add the cooked rice and dal mix. Stir and mix well for about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and a dollop of ghee. Stir and switch off. the final product shall be of running consistency. I served it with a mixed bhaji made of bhindi, eggplant and pumpkin.





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