Friday, 23 January 2015

Bisi Bele Bath:Hot Spicy and Sour Lentil Rice

This is a rice based dish from the State of Karnataka,India.The name Bisi Bele Bath may be translated as hot lentil rice.It involves a process where cooked rice is again cooked with tuvar daal(split pigeon peas),vegetables and a special  prepared masala with tanginess of tamarind and with a hint of jaggery Though it is a long process but worth the effort as the result is a filling and mouth watering one pot dish which makes a meal special.I learnt to make this from my dear sister Anu Pai with slight changes in the masala.

Rice                                         3/4cup
Tuvar daal                           3/4 cup

Carrot                                     1
Chayote squash                  1
French beans                       5-6
Green peas                            1/4cup

For Masala:
Fresh/dry coconut             1tbsp
Red chillies                           4byadagi,3guntur(roasted)
Chana daal                           2tsp
Urad daal                              1tsp
Coriander seeds                 4tsp
Cumin seeds                         1/4tsp
Cloves                                     4
Cinnamon                             1 inch piece
Poppy seeds                         1/2tsp
Garlic                                     1 flake(optional)
Black peppercorns           4-5

For seasoning:
Oil                                           2-3tbsp+1tsp apprx for roasting
Mustard seeds                   1tsp
Curry leaves                      5-6
Peanuts                               1tbsp
Asafoetida                         2pinches
Turmeric powder           1/4tsp
Onion(M)chopped         1nos
Tomato(m)Chopped     2nos

Other ingredients:
Salt                                      to taste
Jaggery                             1-2tsp
Tamarind pulp
(thick)                               prepared from a cherry sized ball

  • Prepare rice directly in a vessel or a cooker and set aside(should be soft,like the one we use for regular meals).
  • Peel carrot and chayote,remove the fibre from beans,wash and cut the veggies into 1 inch long pieces.
  • Wash daal and put in a pressure cooker and in another vessel add the veggies and cook for 3whistles.
  • Heat a shallow pan with little oil and roast dhania lightly,set on a plate add chana daal,roast till colour changes and aroma is felt.
  • Similarly roast the urad daal too.Also roast the jeera,black pepper and poppy seeds,set on the plate.
  • Add little oil and roast the cloves and cinnamon,if roasted chillies are not available in your pantry then roast it till crisp.
  • Roast coconut and crushed garlic flake to light golden.
  • Let everything cool,transfer the roasted ingredients into a blending jar and blend to form a nice powder.
  • Take the powder in a bowl and mix adding little water to form a paste and set aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed deep pan/Kadai and heat oil.
  • Once heated toss in the mustard seeds,followed by curry leaves and then the peanuts,let the nuts get roasted.
  • Add the chopped onions,saute to translucent,add turmeric powder,stir and add tomatoes and saute for few minutes.
  • Add the pressure cooked veggies(reserve water separately),salt and jaggery to taste,and assafoetida/hing for flavour.
  • Add the tamarind extract and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the masala paste and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the cooked daal(mash it,if there is water,reserve it for later adjustments),rice and mix till combines well.
  • Pour required reserved water(stock) and let it be of pouring consistency as it gians thickness with time.
  • Meanwhile have a taste of it and make necessary adjsutments(should taste taste like rice mixed with sambhar)
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes covered on a low flame.
  • Serve topped with little ghee(clarified butter)with some boondi/chips and some raita or plain yogurt.

  • I have cooked rice directly in a pot on stove top by discarding the starch method as it is my usual process,but you may  even pressure cook it.
  • The vegetables can be of your choice.Veggies like knol khol(kohlrabi),and avare kaalu(field beans) are typically used by the natives.

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