The quintessential Kichdi (or Kichri or Kichuri depending on where you’re from) has countless variations. Essentially a rice and lentil pilaf, it can be cooked with a variety of lentil combinations, the proportion of rice to lentil changes, and more interestingly, the consistency of the final dish. Some like it dry like a pilaf, but for me I love it the traditional Bengali way… all mushy, semi-liquid and with more lentil than rice.
Wholesome and nutritious, I fed my toddler daughter far too many bowlfuls often with seasonal vegetables mashed in and stirred through with generous dollops of ghee.
One of the most popular combinations that go with a runny Kichdi is a spicy tomato-based Egg Curry. Who said comfort food has to be naughty? This super easy recipe will have you satiated, and I highly recommend an afternoon siesta right after.
Recipe for Runny Bengali-Style Kichdi
- Half cup uncooked rice (preferably Basmati)
- Half cup masoor daal
- Half cup moong dal
- Half cup chana dal
- (Or you can use a combination of any daal you like)
- Salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2 dried chilies
- 1 teaspoon ‘Paanch Pooran’ (a Bengali spice mix consisting of 5 spices, usually found at an Indian grocery shop)
- Mix together the rice and lentils, and wash under several changes of water.
- In a large pot, add the rice and lentils and pour in 6 cups of water. Add salt.
- Bring to a roaring boil, then allow to simmer till cooked.
- Add more water to ensure a runny consistency.
- In a separate pan, heat the ghee and oil. Add the Paanch Pooran, and fry till aromatic. Add the onion and dried chili and fry till golden brown.
- Pour the oil and onion mixture into the Kichdi and stir vigorously together.
Recipe for the Spicy Egg Curry
- 6 eggs, boiled. I prefer using the Al Jazira Golden Eggs as they are fortified with Omega 3.
- 4 onions, peeled and blended into a puree.
- 4 green chilis, chopped.
- 4 tomatoes, blended.
- 4 tablespoons mustard oil.
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder.
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder.
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.
- Mix together the spices in a bowl.
- Peel the eggs, slit each with a knife. Coat in the spice mix.
- Lightly fry the eggs in oil till golden, and set aside.
- In the same oil, add the onion and fry till brown and reduced.
- Add the tomatoes, the spices and salt and fry till reduced.
- Add the chopped chilies and the eggs.
- Cook a few minutes, and add a little water if it gets too dry.
- Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.