Bisi Bele Bath is dal and rice cooked together with tamarind and spice powders. As the name suggests it has to be served hot. It tastes best when seasoned in ghee and served hot with chips, mixture or yogurt. It is one of the most popular traditional rice-lentil-vegetable dish from the Bangalore, Karnataka cuisine.
Making bisi bele bath is a long process. You have to cook the rice, the lentil and the vegetables separately and then mix everything. Well its just not mixing everything, the flavors and the taste makes all the difference. The flavors come from the bisi bele bath masala and the tempering added towards the end. The bisi bele bath masala is a special spice blend which gives a lot of depth and flavor to this dish.
- 1 cup regular rice (I used sona masuri rice)
- ¼ cup raw peanuts
- ¾ cup arhar dal/tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 medium carrot
- 8-10 french beans
- ½ cup peas
- 1 medium onion or 3 to 4 shallots
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 tbsp tightly packed seedless tamarind
- 3 tbsp bisi bele bath masala
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 3 to 4 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 or 2 marathi moggu (optional)
- 1 tsp mustard (rai or sarson)
- 2 to 3 dry byadagi / bedgi chilies or dry red chilies
- 12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- ¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
- 18 to 20 cashews (kaju)
- Salt to taste
Lets start the recipe step by step:
- Rinse the rice and peanuts first. Add salt and 2.5 cups water.
- Cover the lid tightly and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles till the rice grains are cooked.
- When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and gently fluff the rice.
- Soak 1 tbsp tightly packed tamarind in ½ or ⅔ cup warm water for 25 to 30 mins.
- Later squeeze and extract from the tamarind pulp.
- For preparing the lentils / dal; in a pressure cooker add rinsed tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils, turmeric powder and 2 to 2.5 cups water.
- Pressure cook for 8 to 9 whistles or till the dal is cooked soft.
- Once the pressure settles down on its own, mash the dal and keep aside.
- In another pan, take the chopped veggies and ¼ tsp salt. Pour 2 cups water and stir.
- Cover and allow the veggies to cook till they are cooked and still retain their shape.
Once all the above items are cooked and ready, then we can start mixing together
- Now in the cooker with the mashed dal, add the cooked rice and peanuts.
- Then add the cooked vegetables along with its stock. Stir lightly.
- Add 1 cup water. Add tamarind pulp. Mix everything well taking care the rice grains do not break.
- Now in another pan or bowl, take the 3 tbsp bisi bele bath masala and 1 cup water.
- Stir very well. The masala tends to stick to the back of the spoon while stirring, so scrape it off and add to the mixture.
- Now add this bisi bele bath + water mixture to the cooker.
- Add desiccated coconut. Add 1 tsp salt or as required. Stir well.
- Keep the cooker without the lid on the stove top and simmer on a low flame for about 20 to 25 mins.
- Add more water if required. Keep on stirring often. The raw aroma of the tamarind has to go away and all the flavors should be blended well. Cover and keep aside once done.
- In a another pan or the tadka / tempering pan, heat ghee or oil first. Crackle the mustard seeds and then temper the curry leaves, marathi moggu, dry red chilies, cashews and asafoetida till the dry red chilies change color and the cashews turn a light golden. don’t burn the spices.
- Pour this tempering in the prepared bisi bele bath.
- Stir and cover the cooker with its lid for about 5 mins, so that the tempering flavors infuse in the bisi bele bath.
- Later serve the bisi bele bath with chips, mixture or yogurt
- While serving bisi bele bath you can top with some ghee if you prefer.
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