Chetna Makan’s bengali khichdi

I enjoyed this bengali khichdi at the home of Ranjana, who runs a takeaway business in Delhi called Bhaat. I love that it’s such a simple, one-pot meal – incredibly comforting – yet the flavours are truly amazing. All it needs is a side of raita.

chetna makan bengali khichdi
Image: Nassima Rothacker. Food styling: Sian Henley. Props styling: Morag Farquhar

SERVES 4

130g moong dal (split mung beans, available from Sainsbury’s)
130g basmati rice
500ml water
1 tbsp ghee
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
2cm fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
650ml boiling water

FOR THE TADKA

1 tbsp ghee
2 green chillies, thinly sliced
20g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1. Toast the moong dal in a dry pan over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to change colour. Put it into a pan with the rice and wash them together two or three times. Drain, then soak the dal and rice in the fresh water for an hour.

2. Heat a large pan and melt the ghee. Add the cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and fresh ginger then cook for a minute on low heat. Add the salt, sugar, turmeric and chilli powder and cook for a few seconds, then stir in the tomatoes.

3. Drain the dal and rice and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring, on ahigh heat for 2 minutes. Pour in the boiling water, then cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, until the dal and rice are soft and squishy.

4. To make the tadka, heat a small pan and melt the ghee. Add the green chillies and, after a few seconds of sizzling, add the coriander. Pour the mixture over the khichdi and serve warm.

4. This bengali khichdi can be stored in an airtight box in the fridge for 4-5 days. Heat thoroughly before serving.

Now buy Chetna’s brilliant book

chetna mayan healthy IndianOur recipes are from Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan, which is published by Mitchell Beazley, price £20. To order a copy go to octopusbooks.co.uk