Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bisi Bela Bhath

Bisi Bela Bhath is a kannada phrase which literally translates to hot lentil rice. The traditional recipe involves a lot of spices, lentils, and vegetables. A variety of spices contribute to the unique flavor of this dish. The spices used in this dish are available either as paste or powder, but I like to prepare my own. There are several versions to this recipe but this one is my mom's recipe.


For the powder:

4-5 red chillies
1 tsp channa dhal
1 tsp oil
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
4 tbsp shredded coconut

For the bisi bela bhath:

1/2 cup tur dhal
1 cup raw rice
1 cup mixed vegetables (beans, carrot, peas, cauliflower, drumsticks-optional)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder (can add more if you want it spicier)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of Asafoetida powder
Tamarind pulp, to taste

For seasoning:

3-4 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
1-2 tbsp ghee


For the powder:

In a pan, pour oil and fry red chillies, channa dhal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin and shredded coconut. Fry for a while until the ingredients turn golden brown. Cool it and then powder it finely.

For the bisi bela bhath:

Soak the tur dhal and raw rice. Pour 5 cups water in a cooker and add the soaked rice and dhal to it. Boil it with turmeric powder for 2-3 whistles.

Boil the diced vegetables, onion and tomato with salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida powder. After the vegetables get cooked, add tamarind pulp and boil again. Now, add the vegetable mix to the boiled rice and dhal. Mix it well.

Add the spice powder and mix well with the rice. Add some salt, tamarind pulp based on your taste.

Heat 5 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. After it splutters, add the seasoning to the rice mix. Mix well before taking it out from the stove and add ghee. Mix well and serve.

Makes 4-5 serving.