Bisi Bele Huli Anna - Rice and Lentils cooked with veggies
A couple of months back there was a sudden surge of Bisi bele baath recipes in the Indian blogs. Thats when I decided to make it too. It is a one pot meal, not as simple as kichdi or tomato baath, but definitely very very yummy and comforting. I made a cooker full of it on a saturday and it was all over by the evening with me needing to scrape a little from the bottom of the vessel for dinner :-)
Bisi Bele Huli Anna, is a Karnataka speciality. Bisi - hot; Bele -dal; Huli - tamarind; Anna - rice. Its similar to sambar rice, the rice here is cooked along with the sambar made from freshly ground spices.
Here goes the recipe for this splendid medley of rice and dal. The recipe list is long but all you have to do is roast all of them in a skillet and grind. So don't shun this wonderful dish looking at the long list of ingredients. This is a perfect one-pot meal for a cold, rainy weekend lunch.
- 1 nos - Potatoes, cubed
- 1 nos - Carrot, cubed
- 1 nos - Onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup - Green peas
- 1/2 cup - Lima beans
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- (You could choose any combination of veggies)
- 2 1/2 cups - Rice, I used sona masoori
- 1 cup - Toor dal
- 1 key lime sized ball of tamarind soaked for 10-15 mins in warm water.
- 2 tsp - Mustard seeds
- 2 tsp - Cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 tsp - Fennel seeds/saunf
- 2 tsp - Coriander seeds/dhania
- 1 tsp - Fenugreek seeds/Menthulu
- 4-5 nos - Cloves/lavang
- 5-6 nos - Whole pepper
- 1 no - Cinnamon stick, 1 inch long
- 2 nos - Cardamom/elaichi
- 1 nos - Star anise
- 1 Tbsp - Urad dal
- 1 Tbsp - Channa dal
- 2 Tbsp - raw rice
- 1 sprig - Curry leaves
- 2 nos - Red chillies, dried
- Oil for sauteing the above, roughly 2 Tbsp.
- Pressure cook the dal and rice separately. You can toss in the vegetables that take time to cook along with the dal. Soak the tamarind in some warm water.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and slightly toast the ingredients under the 'to grind' list. Take care to avoid burning any of them. I roasted the ingredients in 3 steps, first those from mustard seeds to cardamom in one go(add the fenugreek seeds last, they burn really fastttt), reserved them, then roasted the dals and rice and finally the curry leaves and red chilies. Allow all of them to cool.
- Transfer all these to the grinder and blend to get the spice powder. This masala does not have to be extra fine.
- Extract the pulp from the tamarind and bring the water to a boil. Also add the vegetables not cooked with the dal. Once they get cooked, add the spice mix and boil for a few minutes.
- Next add the cooked dal and fold in the rice taking care not to mash the vegetables. Add salt to taste and more water if required to get a slightly watery dish.
- Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles or leave covered on the stove top stirring occasionally till the masala blends with the rice and comes together as complete dish.
- Mix in some fresh coriander leaves and let the rice stay covered for a few more minutes
- Serve hot with a small dollop of home made ghee, some more coriander leaves and some vadiyum/papad. Now sink into the couch with your plate & your favorite movie playing on TV :-) You can also serve it with some tomato-onion raita too.
- You can use veggies of your choice. Beans, zucchini, chole etc. I personally don't like adding cauliflower to sambar dishes as they become mushy.
- I prefer my bisi bele baath a little liquidy with the rice grains soft, unlike the separated rice grains for pulao dishes.
- You can adjust the amount of red chillies and cloves according to your taste. I added a teaspoon of mom's sambar powder too apart from the spice mix.
Well I am going to stop here...looks like nearly every Indian blogger has written about it !!!