Two Traditional Bengali Recipes for Puja

Autumn is knocking at the door and it’s time for the greatest festival of the Bengalis, Durga Puja. During this time of the year, Bengalis all over the world celebrate the Durga puja festival for four days. As per the mythological belief, it is the time when Goddess Durga comes to her parental house in earth from her husband’s house in Kailash and stays here for four days. So, these four days are very special to all Bengalis. There is Devi Puja, eating special foods, traveling and lots of fun for them during these days. Here are two special recipes which you will find in every house during Puja and they taste heavenly.

Bengali Moong Dal Khichri

Ingredients ( 1 cup = 250 ml)

1 cup basmati rice or govind bhog rice

1 cup split and husked moong dal

1 inch ginger, grated

2 small tomatoes chopped

1 green chili chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ to ¾ tsp red chili 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 hing (optional)

1 inch cinnamon

2 green cardamom

3 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp ghee or 2.5 tbsp oil

½ tsp sugar or as required

5 cups water

rock salt or sendha namak as required because Bengalis don’t use table salt in Puja

Methods

Rinse and soak rice in water for 30 mins. In a pan slightly roast the moong dal till light golden and aromatic.

When the lentils cool, rinse them in water. Sprinkle some water on them and keep aside.

Before tempering, drain both the moong dal as well as rice and keep aside.

Heat ghee or oil in the pressure cooker.

Fry the whole spices cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cumin till they become aromatic. The cumin should also crackle when frying the spices.

Add the grated ginger and sauté for 5-6 seconds or till the raw aroma of the ginger goes away.

Add turmeric, red chili powder and asafoetida and sauté for 2-3 seconds.

Then add the tomatoes and green chilies and sauté till the tomatoes become soft.

Add the chopped veggies – potato and peas.

Stir and sauté for a minute.

Add the roasted moong dal and sauté 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.

Serve the bengali khichdi with baingan bhaja and some roasted papads by the side.

Image Source: thebengalirecipe

 

Payesh

Ingredients

Milk – 1 litre

Gobindo bhog  rice

Sugar – 1/3 – 1/2 cup

Cardamom – 4 pods

Nuts n dry fruits – to garnish

Ghee – 2 tsp

Bayleaf – 2 nos

Methods

Boil milk in a wide bowl and when it starts to roll boil, add bay leaf and slightly crushed cardamom pods.

Wash the rice and add to the milk. Allow it to boil in low flame till rice gets cooked well but it should be firm & soft without losing its shape. Usually, rice takes longer time to cook, so keep mixing every now and then otherwise it will be burnt in the bottom. When the milk gets evaporated add little water whenever necessary.

When the rice is almost cooked, remove bay leaf(optional) & add sugar, a pinch of salt & mix well. Let it boil till the mixture thickens slightly.

Switch off the flame. Add nuts and ghee. Allow it to cool, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Image Source: saffronstreaks.files

 

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