Dive into the heart of Dhaka with our traditional Bhuna Khichuri recipe, an authentic embodiment of Bangladeshi cuisine that offers a delightful twist to your regular meal routine. This recipe stands as a testament to the culinary diversity and rich flavors that are characteristic of Dhaka's local hotels.
Our culinary journey begins with a secret spice mix, a cornerstone of the dish, made from green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, a hint of nutmeg, mace, and black pepper. These spices are ground to a fine powder, promising to infuse the dish with an intricate layering of flavors.
In place of butter, we embrace the robustness of mustard oil and the versatility of cooking oil, heating them together to create a flavorful base. This choice of fats is crucial, lending a distinct aroma and depth that is uniquely South Asian. The addition of thinly sliced onions caramelized to perfection, alongside a selection of whole spices including shah jeera, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves, builds a complex foundation that is both aromatic and deeply flavorful.
The essence of this dish lies in the harmonious blend of kalijeera rice and moong dal, sautéed in the spiced oil to ensure each grain and lentil is beautifully coated. This not only adds flavor but also prevents the khichuri from becoming a homogeneous mass, allowing each component to stand out.
We meticulously balance water, a medley of spices, and a splash of kewra water, simmering everything to perfection. The result is a rich, fragrant khichuri that is both nutritious and comforting, embodying the warmth of Bangladeshi hospitality.
Our Bhuna Khichuri is versatile, serving as a hearty main dish or a sublime accompaniment to a range of sides. It’s a celebration of flavors that can be enjoyed in its simplicity or dressed up with garnishes like fried onions, ghee, and fresh herbs. This dish is more than a meal; it's a journey through the vibrant streets of Dhaka, bringing a piece of Bangladeshi culinary artistry to your table.
For the Secret Spice Mix:
2 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
A very small piece of nutmeg (to avoid overpowering the dish)
5-6 black peppercorns
For the Khichuri:
3 tbsp mustard oil
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ cup thinly sliced onions
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp shah jeera (caraway seeds)
2 bruised green cardamoms
2 small sticks of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
A splash of water
½ tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 cups kalijeera rice or any fragrant short grain rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
½ cup moong dal (split yellow lentils), soaked for 30 minutes (no need for pre-frying)
6½ cups warm water
1 tbsp any mixed pickle
Salt to taste
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
1 cup red lentils (masoor dal), soaked for 30 minutes
A few drops of kewra water
8-10 green chilies
For garnish: roasted cumin, garam masala, 1 tbsp ghee, 2 tbsp fried onions, fresh coriander
Prepare the Secret Spice Mix: In a mortar and pestle, grind together 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 2 cloves, a very small piece of nutmeg, ½ mace, and 5-6 black peppercorns to make a fine powder. Set aside.
Cook the Onions: In a deep pan, heat 3 tbsp mustard oil and 2 tbsp cooking oil. Once warm, add ½ cup thinly sliced onions and ¼ tsp salt. Cook until the onions are light brown.
Add Whole Spices: To the pan, add ¼ tsp shah jeera, 2 bruised cardamoms, 3 cloves, 2 small cinnamon sticks, and 2 bay leaves. Sauté for a minute to let the spices become fragrant.
Add Ground Spices: Splash a little water into the pan, then add ½ tbsp garlic paste and 1 tbsp ginger paste. Cook for 30-40 seconds. Add ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp red chili powder, and 1 tsp turmeric powder. Sauté until the spices separate from the oil over medium heat.
Add Rice and Lentils: Add 3 cups soaked kalijeera rice and ½ cup soaked moong dal to the pan. Mix well with the spice mix for 3-4 minutes. Then, add the secret spice mix and combine well.
Cook the Khichuri: Add 6½ cups of warm water, 1 tbsp mixed pickle, and salt to taste. Add ½ tsp roasted cumin, 1 cup soaked red lentils, a few drops of kewra water, and 8-10 green chilies. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
Garnish and Serve: Open the lid, mix well, and garnish with a pinch of roasted cumin, garam masala, 1 tbsp ghee, 2 tbsp fried onions, and fresh coriander. Cover and let it rest on the lowest heat for another 10 minutes.
This aromatic and flavorful Khichuri pairs wonderfully with meat curry and dim bhaji (egg dish), offering a comforting and satisfying meal that brings a taste of Dhaka's local cuisine to your home. Enjoy the depth of flavors and the blend of spices that make this dish truly special.