bhaja muger dal or moong dal khichuri is always made during durga puja festival. this khichdi is served as bhog to ma durga along with some other bengali delicacies.
the khichdi has an addition of mixed vegetables that we generally add to pulao like – cauliflower, green peas, potatoes, carrots etc. i just had potatoes and peas and hence added these to the khichdi.
adding vegetable to this rice and lentil preparation, makes it a wholesome one pot meal. you can even skip adding vegetables if you prefer.
again like the cholar dal, in this recipe, panch phoron is not used. the khichdi is made fragrant by tempering whole garam masala or spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
the moong dal is roasted first and this imparts a lovely warm aroma and taste to the khichdi. this is also a no onion no garlic recipe. the consistency of the khichdi can be adjusted to one’s preference. the khichdi that is served during durga puja has a porridge like consistency. to suit the family’s taste buds, i did not make a porridge like khichdi.
there is one more moong dal khichdi which is made during ganesh chaturthi festival and is specially prepared to be offered as naivedyam to lord ganesha. in that recipe also onions and garlic are not used.
i have adapted the recipe from two of the bengali cookbooks which i have. mix and matched both of them to get the best recipe.
this roasted moong dal khichdi is served with baingan bhaja or aloo bhaja. a bowl of yogurt and some roasted papads by the side would also go very well with the khichdi. i had made both fried as well as baked baingan bhaja to go with the khichdi.
bhaja moong dal khichuri recipe details below:
- 1 cup basmati rice or govind bhog rice/basmati chawal ya govind bhog chawal
- 1 cup split and husked moong dal/dhuli mung dal
- 1 inch ginger, grated/adrak kisa hua
- 2 small tomatoes/tamatar, chopped (optional)
- 1 green chili/hari mirch, chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi powder
- ½ to ¾ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
- 2 small to medium potatoes and ½ cup green peas or 1 to 1.5 cups of chopped mix vegetables like cauliflower, peas, potatoes.
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)
- 1 inch cinnamon/dalchini
- 2 green cardamom/choti elaichi
- 3 cloves/laung
- 1 bay leaf/tej patta
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera or cumin powder/jeera powder
- 2 tbsp ghee or 2.5 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp sugar or as required (optional)
- 5 cups water
- rock salt or sendha namak as required
- rinse and soak rice in water for 30 mins.
- in a pan slow roast the moong dal till some of the lentils turn light golden and aromatic.
- keep on stirring to get uniform roasting and browning.
- when the lentils cool, rinse them in water. sprinkle some water on them and keep aside.
- just before you begin tempering, drain both the moong dal as well as rice and keep aside.
- heat ghee or oil in the pressure cooker.
- first fry the whole spices till they become aromatic – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cumin.
- the cumin should also crackle when frying the spices.
- now add the grated ginger and saute for a 5-6 seconds or till the raw aroma of the ginger goes away.
- add turmeric, red chili powder and asafoetida and saute for 2-3 seconds.
- then add the tomatoes and green chilies and saute till the tomatoes become soft.
- add the chopped veggies – potato and peas.
- stir and saute for a minute.
- add the roasted moong dal and saute for 2 minutes.
- add the drained rice and stir well.
- pour 5 cups water and add salt & sugar.
- stir and then pressure cook for 4-5 whistles on medium to high flame.
- once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the cooker.
- serve the bengali khichdi with baingan bhaja or yogurt and some roasted papads by the side.