18 December 2017

Bisi Bele Baath

A classic example of a one-pot meal in South Indian cuisine is Bisi Bele Baath. I call it a mash between a khichdi and sambar rice! There are many recipes for this, but for me, my mom's style is close to my heart. So here goes...
Rice - 1 cup
Toor Dal (split pigeon peas) - ½ cup
Tamarind – a small lemon size (soaked)
Sesame oil – 3 tbsps + ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds – 2 tsps
Hing powder – ¼ tsp
Cashews – ¼ cup
Ghee – 2 tbsps
Vegetables – 2 cups ( Mix of Drumsticks, Potato, Knol kohl, Carrot, French beans, Peas, Shallots (optional))
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves

Spice mix:
Dry red chilies – 6 med.
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Methi seeds – 1 tsp
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
Cloves – 4
Green Cardamom – 4
Cinnamon – ½ inch stick
Grated coconut – 1 small cup

1. Heat ¼ tsp oil in a small pan and add red chilies and dhaniya seeds. Roast for ½ a minute. Now add the other ingredients except coconut. Roast for 1-2 minutes till light golden. Finally add the coconut and let roast till golden brown. Remove and keep aside to cool. Dry grind to a coarse powder.
2. Pressure cook rice and dal together with 6 cups water upto 4-5 whistles or till well cooked.
3. Boil the vegetables in minimal water till cooked. If using shallots, fry them for 1-2 minutes in very little oil and then add to vegetables for cooking. Drain but preserve the stock.
4. Use the stock for extracting tamarind pulp, make up to 1 cup.
5. Heat 3 tbsps oil in a large wok, add rai and let splutter.
6. Add the cooked vegetables along with hing and sauté for a few minutes.
7. Add the tamarind juice, salt to taste and curry leaves. Stir well and let simmer on medium heat till the raw aroma leaves. Lower flame.
8. Lightly mash the cooked rice+ dal and add gradually to the above mix, stirring continuously. Mix well and check for salt.
9. Once the excess water evaporates and the rice mix thickens, add half the spice mix powder and mix well. Check for taste and add more if needed.
10. Heat ghee and roast split cashews till golden brown. Add both ghee and cashews to the baath. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with raita.


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