Bisi Bele Bath is a flavorful and comforting dish hailing from the South Indian cuisine. It is a wholesome one-pot meal that combines rice, lentils, and a medley of vegetables, all cooked together with a blend of aromatic spices. The dish gets its distinct taste from the special Bisi Bele Bath powder, a spice mix that typically includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices. The tamarind pulp adds a tangy element to balance the flavors, while the tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dal adds a delightful crunch and aromatic touch. Bisi Bele Bath is often served with crispy papad or refreshing raita, making it a satisfying and nourishing meal that is loved by both kids and adults alike.
Preparing Bisi Bele Bath may seem like a labor-intensive task, but the end result is well worth the effort. The process involves cooking the rice, lentils, and vegetables together until they are soft and perfectly cooked. Meanwhile, the flavorful spice paste is prepared by sautéing onions, tomatoes, and the special Bisi Bele Bath powder. These two components are then combined, allowing the flavors to meld together while simmering on low heat. The aroma that fills the kitchen as the dish cooks is simply irresistible. The final touch of garnishing with fried cashews and fresh coriander adds a delightful crunch and visual appeal. With its rich flavors, wholesome ingredients, and comforting nature, Bisi Bele Bath is a true gem in the realm of Indian cuisine, bringing warmth and satisfaction to every bite.
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- 1/4 cup tamarind pulp
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, etc.), chopped
- 2 tablespoons bisi bele bath powder (available in Indian grocery stores)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional, adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (split black lentils)
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (split Bengal gram)
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Few curry leaves
- Cashews for garnish
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- Wash the rice and toor dal separately, and soak them in water for 20-30 minutes.
- In a pressure cooker, add the soaked rice, toor dal, chopped vegetables, turmeric powder, and 4 cups of water. Cook for about 4-5 whistles or until the rice and dal are cooked and soft. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
- In a separate bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the pulp, and discard the fibers.
- Heat ghee or oil in a large pan or kadai over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, and asafoetida. Stir fry until the dals turn golden brown.
- Add chopped onions and curry leaves to the pan. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they become mushy.
- Add tamarind pulp, bisi bele bath powder, red chili powder (if using), and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice, dal, and vegetable mixture to the pan. Mix everything together gently, ensuring the spices are well incorporated. If needed, add a little water to adjust the consistency.
- Cover the pan and let the Bisi Bele Bath simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- In a small pan, heat a little ghee or oil and fry the cashews until golden brown. Remove from heat and keep aside.
- Garnish the Bisi Bele Bath with fried cashews and fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with papad or raita.