Sunday, August 12, 2012

This is an authentic dish from Karnataka.  Traditionally onion is not used in this dish.  However, I have seen people adding onion to it.  I have tasted both - with and without onion and I feel onion changes the entire taste by adding its unique flavor to the dish.  At our home we prepare bisibelebath without onion and I will continue to do so :)  Also, I used the home made bisibelebath powder and I will soon post the recipe for this.  However, MTR bisibelebath powder also is good except that it is not spicy and so you need to add the red chili.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 45 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
Sona Masoori rice - 1.5 cups
Yellow split pigeon peas(Toor dal or togaribele) - 1.5 cups
Mixed vegetables - 2 cups (beans, carrot, green peas, chayote, german turnip all cut into medium sized pieces)
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Tamarind paste - 2-3 tsps
Jaggery - as per taste
Salt - as per taste
MTR bisibelebath powder (or better if you have home made powder) - 4-5 tsps
For tempering:
Oil - 8 tbsps
Spicy red chili - 1-2, broken into 2 pieces
Mustard seeds (sasive) - 1 tsp
Black gram (urad dal) - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts - 10
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Green capsicum - 1, cut into medium size pieces
Tomato - 1, cut into medium size pieces


Cook rice and keep it aside. Cook the pigeon peas (toor dal) and mixed vegetables together (preferably in a pressure cooker).

Simultaneously in a heavy bottom pan heat 8 cups of water and add the MTR Bisibelebath powder, tamarind paste and salt and let it boil on a medium heat for 20 mins.

Once the pigeon peas and vegetables are cooked add this, the cooked rice and jaggery to the boiling water mixture and mix well.
If it is too thich add a little water as needed. The consistency should be a little watery because once it is cooled it solidifies. But make sure not to add too much water. The ideal consistency is a goldilocks state - not too solid not too liquid, just right. Turn the heat to low medium and let it cook for 10-15 mins. The important point here is to keep stirring else the rice and vegetables will get burnt at the bottom of the pan.

While this is getting cooked, in another pan heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, black gram, red chili, asafoetida (hing), curry leaves and cashew nuts. Then add green capsicum. Fry for a couple of mins and add the chopped tomatoes. Fry this mixture for 5 mins on medium heat. Do not cook the vegetables very soft, cook only until they are almost done. Add this tempering to the bisibelebath which is being cooked and switch off the heat.

Eat it warm with either boondi or raitha made out of cucumber and yogurt.

1. Carrot, beans and green peas are the compulsory vegetables according to me.  Chayote and german turnip are optional.  Green capsicum and tomato are nice additions as they give a fantastic flavor to the dish.
2. Cook the capsicum and tomato in the tempering and not with other vegetables, as that will make these two vegetables over cooked.

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