Bisi Bele Bhath is a delicious and spicy dish popular in South India. Made with rice, lentils, and vegetables, this makes a perfect one-dish meal for a cold winter night, or any night you don’t feel like making an elaborate meal. Bisi Bele Bhath is the South Indian version of the Italian risotto.
Bisi Bele Bhath is a pressure cooker recipe and is not only easy to make but also very nutritious.
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 cup toor dal (split red gram)
- 1 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 cup onions, cut lengthwise and halved
- 1/4 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup carrots, cut into small cubes
- 5-6 cashew nuts, fried and cut into pieces (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 8-10 red chillies
- 1 1/2 tsp dhania (coriander seeds)
- 1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
- 1 tsp urad dal ( black gram)
- 1 1/4 tsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
- 1-inch piece cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp grated dry coconut
- 7-8 tsp vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
Or you can use ready-made bisi-bele-bhath masala (available in Indian grocery stores).
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- Asafoetida powder (hing), a pinch
- 6-7 curry leaves
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the cashew nuts and keep aside.
- Saute the onions, beans, and carrots for a couple of minutes.
- Roast the dhania, methi, chana, cloves and toor dal in 1/2 tsp oil, till light brown. Then add the red chillies and dry coconut, and fry for a minute.
- Cool and powder these along with the cinnamon, and keep aside.
- Coarsely grind the rice and toor dal (pulse it for 2 seconds). You can skip this step if you like.
- Take a medium-sized container and add the rice and dal, and the vegetables. Add the tamarind paste and salt, and 4 cups of water.
- Add the ground bisi bele bhath masala. Check the taste and adjust salt and tamarind acordingly.
- Cook the rice, dal, and vegetables in a pressure cooker for about 5-7 whistles (until cooked).
- Heat 2 tsp of oil in a small pan. Add the hing and mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the cooked bisi bele bhath.
- Stir in the cashew nuts, and mix well.
- Serve hot with some ghee and pappadam.