Cucumber Khichuri/KhichdiIn reality there is no Bengali dish called "Cucumber Khichuri". But I invented this dish today, proving "necessity is the mother of invention.".
There was one cucumber left in my fridge. I know it is healthy to eat salad with cucumber; I also know that cucumber raita helps to lose weight. But healthy food rarely tastes good and I don't consume dairy. So, I let the cucumber sit in the frigde, finding no tasteful utilisation if that harmless vegetable.
I had lunch at a friend's house at 17:00 and we all ate too much. On the way home in the evening I didn't feeling like going to the local market. It was New Year and the streets were crowded and the traffic was slow. A friend dropped me home on her way home.
I took rest, chatted over whatsapp a little and sent text messages to good morning and waited for sometime for him to reply. Then I went to the kitchen and found the lonely cucumber there, waiting! I decided to experiment. I decided to make Khichuri, our traditio .n rice and lentil dish, with cucumber. Here it is worth mentioning that we never cook cucumber; we don't even pickle it. We always eat it raw, often with puffed rice or even more commonly, with tomato and onion as salad. Yes, here salad refetes to tomato, onion and and cucumber cut into small pieces and served together, without any dressing and here "sauce" means mainly "tomato ketchup"!
Now back to our cucumber Khichuri, I cut the cucumber in very tiny pieces after peeling it. I heated mustard oil in my presure cooker and added shredded onion and green chillues to it.
After the onion turned golden I added sfhredded garlic and half a teaspoon if cumin seeds. Then immediately I added the cucumber; I didn't want to fry the garlic. I stirred and mixed everything and added mung dal that I soaked about half an hour. I did the same thing with rice, too. The quantity of rice was half of that of dal. At this point I added a little tumeric powder and a little cumin- and coriander powder. I wanted to really simple at dinner. But you can add cumin- and coriander- and turmeric powder before adding rice and dal and mix it well. You can also add a little red chilli powder which I very rarely consume.
I stirred everything to mix them well, added water and closed the lid. I waited till the cookerwhistled five times and then turned the gas off. I opened the lid only after the cooker stopped sizzling on its own.
I cooked without fulling concentrating because thete was an undercurrent of sadness and cry always at the back of my mind the whole time; I was expecting a normal reply from "Good Morning" but nothing came but my Khichuri was delicious!