Bisi Bele Bath

Ingredients:

For the rice:
1 cup regular rice (i used sona masuri rice)
¼ cup raw peanuts
¼ tsp rock salt
2.5 cups water for cooking the rice.
for the dal:
¾ cup arhar dal/tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 cups water
For the vegetables:
1 medium carrot, 100 to 120 gms
18 to 20 french beans, 80 to 100 gms
½ cup peas, 60 to 70 gms
3 to 4 gms small brinjals, 80 to 100 gms
1 medium onion or 3 to 4 shallots, 80 to 100 gms
1 medium tomato, 80 to 100 gms
1 tbsp tightly packed seedless tamarind soaked in ½ or ⅔ cup water
2 to 2.5 cups water for cooking the vegetables
1 cup water added later
3 tbsp bisi bele bath masala dissolved in 1 cup water
¼ tsp rock salt for cooking the vegetables
1 tsp rock salt added later or add as required
For tempering:
3 to 4 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp mustard (rai or sarson)
2 to 3 dry byadagi/bedgi chilies or dry red chilies
12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
18 to 20 cashews (kaju)
Method:
cooking the rice:
rinse the rice and peanuts first. add 2.5 cups water.
soak both rice and peanuts for 20 to 25 mins. add salt.
keep on the stove top and cook the rice.
if required, then you can add some more water while cooking the rice.
bring to a boil and then lower the flame. simmer till the rice grains are cooked well. the peanuts would also cook well. cover and keep aside.
preparing the lentils and veggies:
soak 1 tbsp tightly packed tamarind in ½ or ⅔ cup warm water for 25 to 30 mins.
later squeeze and extract the tamarind pulp.
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.
mixing:
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 everthing 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 tend 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 in the cooker.
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.
tempering:
in a another pan or the tadka pan, heat ghee or oil first. crackle the mustard seeds and then temper the curry leaves, dry red chilies, cashews 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.

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