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Article: Begun Bhaja and Kichuri

Begun Bhaja and Kichuri
begun bhaja

Begun Bhaja and Kichuri

If you love simple, lip-smacking and filling dishes, then you must try the Bengali basic but tasty fare – the Bhegun Bhaja and the Kichuri.
Bhegun Bhaja is the brinjal fry that makes you lose count on how many pieces you eat while the Kichuri is kichdi with yellow coloured moong dal, rice and several vegetables like potato, cauliflower, peas and whatever else you would like to put in, spiced and served out. Adding Mishti Doi or sweet curds (kept in earthern container) you would be in the seventh heaven of delight.
Simple style for begun bhaja is:
- Wash, simple dry and chop a large or two medium sized brinjals or egg plants.
- Saute the eggplant or brinjal pieces with 2 or 3 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp turmeric and salt to taste. If you like add other spices as well like cumin etc.
- You can add a tbsp or two of oil and see that they turn golden brown either side. (careful that they don’t get singed.
- After they are soft and brown, remove.
- Place in tray on foil.
Kichuri is rice plus lentils mixed together.
  • Start by chopping two potatoes into two or four medium sized pieces. Chop a little cauliflower into 8 or 10 pieces. Have a cup full of green peas.
  • Roast golden or yellow moong till it gives out a light aroma. Rinse in water and keep aside.
  • Separately fry the potatoes and caulliflower with turmeric till they are light golden. The caulliflower would get slightly brown.
  • Add the peas and saute further. You are done with the adding portion.
  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a deep vessel or pot. (one that can stand long periods of constant heat)
  • Put in 2 green cardamoms, 2 lavangs (laungs), a stick of cinnamon bark, a bay leaf, 2 dry red chillies, a little cumin seeds and jeera(or one of the two).
  • After the popping of spices has occurred, add ½ to 1 tbsp worth of grated ginger or ginger powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and saute for a minute or two.
  • Again add red chilli powder as per taste, and add the roasted moong.
  • Mix the two nicely and saute for a minute or two.
  • Add two to four cups of warm water to it. add the salt to taste. Cover and let it come to a boil. Add the vegetables and continue boiling for a few minutes.
  • After about five minutes of cooking add ½ cup to 3/4 cup of rice (basmati or short grained would do).
  • Mix the lot well. Add 2 cups of water, put salt if required for taste and add a little turmeric powder.
  • Let the whole thing come to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Allow the thing to cook.
  • Keep seeing whether it is cooked at intervals. Add one or two cups of water if required.
Your kichuri should be ready shortly.
Serve it piping hot with the begun bharta and mishti doi (optional) and have a sumptuous filling lunch or dinner.
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