There are just over a couple of weeks left for the Durga Puja, and on this special occasion, who wouldn’t want some special bhog recipes from the old aristocratic families of West Bengal. The private puja festivities of the old moneyed families have a different touch to them. Right from Shashti to Dashami, the ‘bhog’ or prasad consists of dishes such as puris, lentil ball curry. Spicy potato, five different types of vegetables fried, semolina pudding, chutney, sweets and curd.
From the seventh till the ninth day of the Durga festival, food served at the pandals includes white rice, kedgeree, pilaf, mixed vegetable curry, cabbage and cauliflower stew, rice pudding, chutneys, and yoghurt. Of these, the kedgeree (called khichdi locally) is the most significant dish. Here is how you make it at home:
Two cups of moong daal
Two cups of parboiled rice
Four to five pieces of potatoes
Frozen cauliflower: 250 g
Four pieces of tomato
4-5 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 dried red chillies
3-4 bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons of ginger paste
3 tablespoons of turmeric
3 tablespoons of cumin powder
Salt: to taste
One tablespoon of sugar
5 tablespoons of oil
1-2 tablespoons of aromatic ghee
9-10 cups of hot water
First, put the pan on the gas and saute the dal until it takes a brownish hue. Now, put oil in a large saucepan and heat it. After a while, reduce the heat and fry the potato pieces until they are soft. Next, fry cauliflower pieces until they are slightly brown. Stir in the cumin and turmeric powder with a little bit of ginger paste.
Mix in the previously fried moong dal and stir for a while. After a while, add 7 cups of hot water. After 4-5 minutes, open the lid and add fried potatoes and cauliflower, and stir occasionally. Make sure that it does not stick to the vessel. In the end, heat some ghee in a small pan. When it is hot, shake it with hot spice powder and mix it in the khichuri. Serve it hot.
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