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 🙂


  1. srivalli said

    wow..that looks lovely linda…so nice of you to cook up something new for all rci…

    Thanks Sri… it’s fun for me to try all the new dishes 🙂

  2. Aparna said

    Looks good, Linda. Live in India, but Bihari cuisine is new to me. Will look it up. Basmati has a lovely flavor and is good for pulao/ pilaf, but do try making khichdi with regular rice too. The real taste comes out then.

    Hi Aparna, and thanks! I was actually going to try this with rosematta rice, but I had the brown basmati so used that instead. Brown basmati doesn’t seem to have the same delicate taste as white — it’s a bit more of a nutty flavor. I have made khichdi with sona masuri rice — that’s my fav 🙂

  3. sra said

    Love the first photo, it reminds me of flowers, for some reason.

    They are rather like springtime colors, those dals 🙂

  4. Nupur said

    Chaar yaar! Just adorable! I need to keep that in mind now that khichdi season is upon us. Your khichdi and its chaar yaar look like a happy group 🙂
    I had forgotten about that khichdi write-up of mine from early ’05!

    It’s a great write-up, too, Nupur! I actually found it linked on Wiki (see this entry)!

  5. Very true! The River basins are where the civilizations flourished! Lovely khichidi and I loved the picture of dals soaking in rain! 🙂

    Thank you Latha! 🙂

  6. nice snap. Linda

    Thanks so much, Sona 🙂

  7. Happy Cook said

    Love them. Bihari cuisine i don’t know any idea so have not send anything.
    It make me feel so bad tha i didn’t do the effort to find out a bihari dish and make them.

    Oh, don’t feel bad HC! There will be lots to try when that round-up is done! 🙂

  8. Asha said

    I loved this too, isn’t this so tasty and nutritious?:))
    Great veg dish to have after all the Turkey!:D

    It was perfect after all that Thanksgiving dinner, yes Asha. I forgot you made this too! I liked yours with the palak raita 🙂

  9. Seema said

    Nice dish, liked its unique name!! Liked the dhals in the rain, under your faucet.. Great entry.

    Thanks Seema… the colorful dals really brighten things up 🙂

  10. indosungod said

    “Chaar Yaar” love the name Linda and Khichadi East, West, North-South all have their version of khichadi and is well loved and cherished.
    Love the picture you have of the dal, on first look thought it was rice falling 🙂 looks beautiful.

    Rice falling would have made a neat capture, ISG! Too bad I don’t think I am that coordinated 😉 I liked that “chaar yaar” name too 🙂

  11. TBC said

    You are one amazing lady, Linda! 🙂
    Though I’m Indian, I only know about the cuisine from the part of India that my parents hail from. RCI is teaching me so much. What a nice dish you have prepared for RCI!

    RCI teaches me a lot too, TBC! Glad you liked the dish, thanks! 🙂

  12. vimmi said

    Hi Linda,

    We punjabis also have the same chaar yaars for our khichi, and a song too.

    Khichdi de hain chaar yaar,
    Dahi, Papad, Ghee Achaar.

    GReat looking khichdi too.

    Hi Vimmi, I love the song! Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  13. bee said

    it’s the perfect meal after hogging on rich, festive dood for days. it’s just rustic and comforting.

    My sentiments exactly, Bee 🙂

  14. Shweta said

    Linda! I made this Khichdi too 🙂 The daals look lovely, glad you took the picture. When I washed the lentils they looked so pretty I really felt like taking a pic but it was way beyond lunchtime and I hardly had the patience 🙂 And my ‘fourth friend’ – the pickles were store bought too :p You did better than me! 😀

    So many days I feel that way about pics, Shweta! Luckily I was still full from too much Thanksgiving so I had time for a pic this time 🙂 It’s tasty, that khichdi isn’t it? Even if the Chaar Yaar is from the store 🙂

  15. sandeepa said

    Loved your place settings on Thanksgiving Day. Looks like you had awonderful meal. Your heirloom crockeries are so beautiful

    About the Khichdi…it is perfect with the accompaniments. My dad loves dollops of Ghee in his Khichdi, sadly I have to restrain myself 😀

    Hi Sandeepa, and thank you 🙂 The dishes from my nana are very special to me yes 🙂 I guess I’ll have to restrain myself from all that ghee too, and your dad can have my extra 😉

  16. Namratha said

    Lovely first pic…oh and the Broadway thing…hehehee! 🙂 Looks delicious…this one is on my “to try” list

  17. bhags said

    Thats one of my fav to cook, when i come late from work famished….easy and quick to cook and comfortable for the stomach

    I even like it next day warmed up now, Bhags! 🙂

  18. mandira said

    love, love the name of the dal…comfort food, and something I can eat 🙂 Thanks for checking Linda. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving break!

    Thanks Mandira — it was a good time with some family we haven’t seen in awhile. Glad you’re doing better and will send a plate of khichdi “chaar yaar” just for you! Take good care of yourself 🙂

  19. prema said

    Dal is always comfort food Linda. The pic looks very nice..nice recipe. thanks.

    Thanks Prema — I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  20. Meera said

    It looks like a perfect comfort food, Linda. Thanks for sharing a nice recipe.

    Thanks Meera — I loved this name and the recipe was v. easy from barwachi 🙂 Asha made the same thing first, but she had spinach raita which would be yummy! 🙂

  21. Menu Today said

    Hi Linda,

    ” Comfort food”.The picture of dal looks very nice, Thanks for sharing.

    Hi MT — I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thank you! 🙂

  22. Cynthia said

    That’s a beautiful pic at the top. I like how the colours of the dals play well together.

    Thank you Cynthia — they do mix nicely, those dals, don’t they? Reminds me of spring or even autumn 🙂

  23. sharmi said

    hi Linda,
    I am moving to Chicago from NJ. so thats why on a break. hey BTW do you live in chicago? thanks a lot for dropping by.

    Hi Sharmi! Glad to see you’re doing well. I don’t live in Chicago, no — I live in Mass. — but I do love it out there in Great Lakes country! All the best luck with the move 🙂

  24. mallugirl said

    Thanks for ur wishes..bihari cuisine is an absolute stranger to me. but the mixed dal kichdi looks so welcoming that i will try it soon.

    Hi S, it was totally new to me too but I guess that khichdis are pretty universal in one form or another — see — that’s something I learned 🙂 Glad you liked it, and hope all’s well with you!

  25. Manisha said

    Great looking pickle, Linda! I am so glad you enjoyed it! I remember you added your own twist to it so now it’s your pickle! 😀

    Thanks Manisha! It was a great recipe. I did use garlic in place of ginger, but I still think yours looks better! I must try try try again, next summer 🙂

  26. Puja said

    The bihari khichdi looks very tasty and yummy. India is known for its foods and the variety of foods that you would find across the length and breadth of India is countless.My blog at http://www.thetastesofindia.com is an attempt to present all these foods at one place. Check it out and give me a comment.

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