As part of our series of ‘cultural cook-alongs’ over zoom on Wednesdays, Joba, food ambassador, chef and business owner of ‘Busy Kitchen’ showed us how to make these classic Bengali dishes: kisuri and chana masala. She explained that these are dishes that she will often cook for her family at Ramadan. Kisuri is a rice and lentil dish (also known as Kishuri in India) and is popular with children because it has a rice pudding like texture.
Photo credit: Preeti
1 cup of basmati rice
Half a cup of red lentils
Half a tablespoon of thinly sliced fresh ginger
Quarter a teaspoon of turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon of salt
- Soak the rice and red lentils for 10 minutes in cold water. Drain and then place them in a saucepan with 3 cups of water.
- Add the salt, fresh ginger, turmeric and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down to a low heat and stir after 10 minutes. Keep adding about 3/4 of a cup of water at a time, if the rice begins to dry out. You will need to keep stirring until the rice and lentils have dissolved so that it is the consistency of porridge or rice pudding – this will take about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Whilst the rice and lentils are cooking, melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and cook on a medium heat until the onion is brown and some of it starts to go crispy. Then stir through the cooked onion into the rice mixture.
1 tin of black chickpeas (or regular chickpeas if you can’t find)
1 large onion
1 large potato
2 tomatoes, chopped (or half a tin)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder
1 tablespoon of oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice (optional)
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Fresh chilli (optional)
Salt to taste
- Heat the oil and add the chopped garlic to the saucepan, stirring for a minute being careful not to burn. Then add the chopped onion and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Chop the potato (you can peel or leave on, whichever you prefer) into small cubes and add this to the pot, alongside half a cup of water. Cook for around 8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Then add the drained chickpeas and gently bring to the boil and cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Add the fresh chilli and lemon juice if using. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir through the chopped fresh coriander.