Archive for November 25, 2007

RCI: Bihar ~ “Chaar Yaar” Wali Khichdi

moong and masoor dals
rain from my faucet ~ pouring down on moong and masoor dals

Thank you all for your lovely Thanksgiving wishes!
I hope everyone celebrating had a wonderful day 🙂

Between the holiday and the Broadway Production — OOPS — I mean school play my daughter was in this fall, I was afraid I might not find just the right dish I wanted to cook for RCI: Bihar, hosted by lovely Sangeeta of Ghar Ka Khana.
Does that ever happen to you? You hear of this or that event, and oh, you have just the thing in mind, or will find it! With me, I always have a million ideas, and half the time I end up sending something in a hurry.

Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, and I always learn so much along the way. This time I happily stumbled upon this wonderful site chock full of traditional Bihari recipes — it was a little late in the game for me however, so I am saving it to go through leisurely.

From another old standby, barwachi.com, I managed to come up with this khichdi. It’s not really a lot different from other versions I’ve seen, perhaps except for the addition of both black and green cardamom. It was the name that caught my eye, and once I read the translation I knew it was what I wanted to make.

Chaar Yaar, ‘four friends’, makes this dish sound special.

I followed the recipe I found at Barwachi by Mohita Prasad, with only minor modification. I used brown basmati rice instead of regular, and I cut way back on the amount of ghee used in cooking. I halved the recipe, so for 1/2 c of brown basmati rice, I used only 2 tsp ghee and 3 c of water to make the dish.

The four friends of course, you all will know: yogurt, ghee, pickle and papad.
My papads were microwaved, my yogurt store bought, the ghee half melted into the khichdi… but the pickle I can proudly say, is my own from
Manisha’s wonderful recipe. Please click to get the whole pic — you won’t want to miss Manisha’s pickle! 🙂

khichdi chaar yaar
Bihari Khichdi “Chaar Yaar” ` with four friends

One thing I love about the RCI series is how it inspires me to learn more about different regions of India. I learned that the capital of Bihar State, Patna, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, and that through this ancient city, the mighty Ganges passes, looking more like a sea than a river, according to one description.

From a lovely site called Image India, here is one scene I would love to someday feast my eyes upon. Out of respect for this person’s work, I don’t copy the photo here but urge you to look!

Ganges at Patna

For more on traditional khichdi, see this excellent write-up by Nupur, fellow blogger, wonderful cook, dear friend and all-around inspirational kind soul 🙂

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