Mashkolai Daler Khichuri. A mellifluous duet of aromatic gobindobhog and mashkolai dal. A whiff of hing. The perfume of ginger. The earthiness of cumin. Rustic yet delicious.
Another classic relegated to oblivion.
Dry roast the mashkolai dal, some 5-7 minutes. Soak in water, overnight.
Soak the peppercorn and 3 tsp cumin seeds in hot water for 2-3 hours. Drain from water, make a smooth paste with a splash of water. Keep aside.
Drain the soaked mashkolai dal from water, transfer to a deep bottomed pan. Add 4 cups of water, a generous pinch of salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook till the dal is almost half cooked.
Add the rice, a pinch of salt and turmeric powder, continue to cook till the dal and rice are cooked. If it’s getting dry, feel free to add warm water as needed. (This khichuri shall be of runny consistency.)
Now stir in the cumin seeds and peppercorn paste, add the grated ginger, sugar and salt, give it a hearty mix, cook for 5 odd minutes.
Heat oil in a separate pan, when smoking hot, throw in the remaining cumin seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies, hing and bay leaves. Allow the spices to splutter.
Once the spices have released their aroma, carefully pour the oil and spices to the khichuri, mix well, cook for 2-3 minutes.