I recently learned that a fleet of 1,000 government personnel is organizing a Tk5 crore trip to learn how to cook khichuri. Just imagine what India's Modi, Pakistan's Imran, and Bhutan's Lotay Tshering would say if they heard about this.
Our subcontinent's traditional cuisine is khichuri. The Bengalis' fascination with khichuri has no bounds, whether it's raining or it's a cold winter morning (a local dish). Apart from being delicious, khichuri appeals to a wide range of people, from students to singles, because to its time-saving and straightforward cooking technique.
A bachelor colleague of mine posted a picture of his cooked khichuri on Facebook two days ago, much like this. Despite his reservations, he headed out to make khichuri in the searing heat to prepare his lunch, as he stated in the post. But, just as he was about to finish cooking, it began to rain, leaving him with the foolish Facebook post.
Meanwhile, I read that a fleet of 1,000 government employees is planned a Tk5 crore trip abroad to study how to cook khichuri. That was a bad decision! Why do they have to travel abroad and spend so much money only to learn how to make khichuri? Seriously? By no means could I accept it.
What do you think India's Modi, Pakistan's Imran, and Bhutan's Lotay Tshering would say if they heard about this? So I became serious about saving the country from this humiliating predicament, sat down with my notebook, and wrote down the Khichuri recipe for everyone.
1 cup Mung bean
2 cup Basmati rice
½ cup ghee or butter
½ cup onion, sliced
2 green chilies
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1 bay leaf
2-3 cinnamon, about 1" each
5 cups boiled water
1 tablespoons salt
Rice and mung beans should be washed. Using a strainer, remove all of the water. Remove from the equation.
In a medium-sized pan, melt the ghee/butter. Sauté the onion until it turns slightly yellow.
Everything from chilies to cinnamon can be added. Cook for a few minutes, or until aromatic.
Add the salt and the water that has been heated. Put a lid on the pan when bubbles appear and cook for 20-22 minutes, or until rice and beans are done.
The bhuna khichuri is ready to eat. Serve with a pickled onion on the side.
Isn't it amazing how simple it was to prepare this classic Bengali dish? I'm curious as to why government officials are going to such lengths and spending public funds to understand it!