Khichuri and Ghee: A Rainy-Day Story

16 Jul 2019
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India seems to be an obsession with monsoons. Agrarian India desperately prays for a generous share of it to quench the parched lands and fast track the process of another crop season, while another section of the country rejoices in the relief of getting summer off their backs. Some of the most notable emotions that Monsoon adds to the Indian culture have been etched in the celluloid through some iconic songs and moments in our movies –monsoon in Bollywood stands for passion, romance, drama, intensity& poetry.

Expressing Indian cinema’s larger-than-life aspect, the rain has always been one of the most loved props of storytelling in Bollywood. Though music is a very personal choice, we are sure the love for these classic rains songs of Bollywood is universal. Ask an elderly grandparent in the family and you’ll hear them lovingly narrate memories of the late Raj Kapoor and Nargis classic ‘Shri 420’and the ‘pyaar hua ikrar hua’ song or the ‘ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si’ from ‘Chalti ka naam gaadi’. And who can forget late Sridevi setting the screen on fire in a blue chiffon saree in ‘Kate nahin kat te raat’ in‘Mr India’.


Admit it, deep down every Indian starts humming their favorite monsoon song as the first raindrop hits the earth every year. But there is one more thing Indians love as much as their cinema – Food. And who doesn’t long for a plate of freshly prepared hot pakodas and tea when the rain gods descend through an overcast sky.

Monsoon generally lasts for about four months in Bengal and it rejoices very differently than the rest of the country by coming up with an entire menu dedicated to the rain gods.

For the Bengalis, gastronomy lends a completely different twist to the smell of wet earth and romance associated with the monsoons. This love affair of a Bengali with monsoons and food lead to an entire monsoon culinary spread. It revolves around the khichuri or khichdi, a mix of rice, pulses and assorted vegetables, slow-cooked into a gruel. Served with cow’s ghee, along with an array of pickles made painstakingly in the summer, and a variety of vegetable fries and fritters with various kinds of fried fishes, where the crowning glory being hilsa and its roe. The meal ends typically with tomato chutney, papad, and sweets.

Every Bengali home eagerly looks forward to the khichuri meal even as the downpour threatens to become a deluge., Restaurants ranging from the low-end to the five stars also jump on to this bandwagon by hosting khichuri and hilsa festivals at this time, knowing well that a Bengali can go to any length to get his hands on this meal.

Just as the dark clouds are incomplete without the accompanying showers, a plate of steaming khichuri is not complete without the slowly melting dollop of ghee submerging it. But just the way, not any song would rekindle the nostalgia that you have associated with monsoons, it takes the special touch of pure cow ghee to recreate the magic of authentic taste of Khichuri that every Bengali swears by.

According to Ayurveda, a generous consumption of pure ghee is as good for your health as your palette during monsoons. Ghee aids digestion and keeps your metabolism high. The rain clouds are already here, have you had your plate of khichuri yet? If not, then make sure you have it and don’t forget that generous spoonful of ghee, nothing else would satiate your soul this monsoon. So, what could be a better choice than a spoonful of Annapurna super ghee to top it all.

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