Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bisi Bele Bath/Bisi Bele Bhaath-Karnataka Special

Bisi Bele Bath is a Karnataka special that is always a favourite of mine. Lately i feel like eating a lot of rice. May be because I m just back from vacation where rice was a regular during lunch. But i don’t prepare an elaborate meal on a daily basis like my mum and so i keep it simple by making some variety rice and a veggie fry to go with it.
Coming to the bisi bele bath it is rice with lentils like sambar sadham with a spicy touch. I first tried this bisi bele bath when i was trying to survive in my flat in Chennai. It was a crucial period and sure this dish helped me a lot. From then, i have been trying a lot of variations and as time passed by i developed one recipe that well suited my palette and now M’s as well. The basic recipe with which i started was from Mrs. Mallika Badrinath’s cookery show. Today I might be a fan of Donna hay and Rachel Coo but back then first chefs who inspired me were Mallika Badrinath and Revathy Shanmugam and they continue to do so. Now off to the recipe.
Ponni rice-3/4 cup
Tuar dal/Toor dal-1/2 cup
Mixed vegetables-1 cup (Carrots, French beans, Brinjals, Potaotes cut into 1 inch length piece)
Shallots-15, peeled
Tomatoes-2, chopped
Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
Salt- as needed
Jaggery-1 tbsp
Tamarind- lemon sized soaked in ½ cup water
Ghee-1 tbsp
To Grind:Coconut-Spice Powder
Coconut-1/2 cup, shredded
Red chillies-6
Coriander seeds-1 tbsp+1 tsp
Channa dal-1 tbsp
Tuvar dal-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Peppercorns-1/2 tsp
Rice-2 tsp
Cinnamon-1 inch piece
Cardamom -1 pod

Add a tsp of oil in a frying pan add red chillies first, roast them until they swell, remove them and add coriander seeds, when they start giving smell add all other ingredients one by one and when they are roasted remove and set aside. Next add rice and fry until it swells and when it starts popping add the shredded coconut and fry for a minute until the moisture of the conut is gone.Switch off the flame. Cool them and add all ingredients to a blender jar and grind them to a medium coarse powder. The powder may be a little lumpy due to coconut but thatz normal.
To Temper:
Oil-2 tbsp
Butter-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Urad dal-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Bay leaf-1
Asafoetida/ hing powder-1/4 tsp

How it Happened:

1. Wash rice and tuvar dal together and add in a pressure cooker along with 5 cups of water and salt. Pressure cook for 1 whistle in medium and simmer for another whistle. Switch off the flame and set aside for it to cool.
2. Now take another pressure cooker heat oil and butter and add the ingredients given under the ‘to temper’ list, when they pop add the shallots and fry for a minute, then add tomatoes and cook covered in simmer for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely mashed.
3. Now add the turmeric powder and salt along with the veggies. Mix them well and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add the coconut spice powder and mix well. Add the tamarind extract and 2 cups of water and mix well.

5. Check for salt and finally add the jaggery. Mix once and close the lid. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and switch off the flame. Allow it to cool.
6. Take a big mixing bowl/ a wide mouthed pan, add the cooked rice and dal and to it add the vegetable mix and mix the rice well with the veggie mix along with a tbsp of ghee.

7. Allow the rice to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
8. While serving top it off with a little more ghee and serve with papad.

* The rice is to be cooked till soft like that for a pongal, so the dal and rice gets blended well. So adjust the water level and also the number of whistles while pressure cooking.
* The color of the dry roast powder decides the colour of the rice so do not over roast / burn the ingredients. I strongly recommendd using freshly ground powder for fresh and bold aroma.
*Powder the jaggery for easy mixing. You can skip jaggery but still trust me this jaggery accentuates the taste, balances the acidity of tamarind and beautifully rounds off the flavours of this dish. The addition of jaggery takes this dish to another level.
*Dessicated coconut can also be used.
*Veggies like broad beans, peas drumstick can also be used.
* The rice will seem to be a little runny/ watery but do not panic the rice is to be given a resting time of a minimum for the flavours to incorporate and blend well. By the then all the water will be absorbed and also this rice is supposed to be a bit on the flowy side.
* Ghee is the main ingredient that adds a lot of flavour to the dish, so please do not skip it.
*The actual dish is made by cooking rice and dal together, then cooking veggies in an open pan. In this method only half of the coconut spice powder is added while cooking vegetables. The rest of the powder is added to the rice and then the cooked veggies are added and mixed. But this method does do well for me as M wants his vegetables well cooked and if I m goind to cook veggies like that in an open pan all the nuitrients are gonna be evaporated so i go for the pressure cooking method.
* Again this a recipe followed by me to suit my taste and i do not attest this as an authentic reciupe.(disclaimer)! But so far this works well for me and also it doesn’t compromise the taste and flavours of the original dish as i have tasted it in some restaurants.
*Yeah i hear it! thene pot style cooking doesn't work here.

1 comment :

  1. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes