Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bisi Bela Bath

I got this recipe from my husband's friend, Anil Parthasarathy's Mom, Mrs Padma Anandan. I think of her, when I make this. It turns out very well. I made this for a potluck party.
At this time, I must say i dont like to use the frozen mixed vegetable bag for this or for any other indian dish, be it avial or undhiu or Biriyani. I think it is a crime....
It really takes away all the taste that is intended for it.
Also I always use the REAL tamarind in all of my recipes, but if you like you may substitute it but the taste will not be awesome...
The ratio of Rice to dal is 1 is to 3/4th cup.
You Need
Rice (Jasmine or Long Grain or Ponni Raw or Sona Masoori) 1 Cup (I used Ponni )
Tuvar Dal (Split Pigeon Peas ) 3/4th Cup
Ghee 1/3rd cup
Oil (Indian Sesame Oil) 4 tablespoons
Turmeric Powder 1 Teaspoon
Sambar Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Salt - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind - 1 American lime size
Water - 6 cups
Mustard seeds - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves to garnish - about 4 strands
Turnip - 1 Medium Peeled and Cubed
Bell pepper Green - 1 Large Deseeded and Cubed
Tomatoes - 4 Medium Cubed
Chayote - 2 peeled, deseeded and Cubed
Indian Eggplants - 2 Large cubed
Carrots - 3 cubed
Coriander Seeds 1/3 Cup
Dry Red Chillies - 1 handful (more if you need it spicier and less if not, also depends on the spicyness of the chili)
Split Channa Dal - 4 tablespoons
Urad Dal - 2 Tablespoons
---> Wash the Rice and dal together.
---> Soak the Tamarind in 1 cup warm water.
---> Start getting all the vegetables ready, i e, peel, cubed etc.
---> After about 20 minutes, squeeze the tamarind well and take out all the juice.
---> In a pan, add half the oil and ghee, and keep on medium fire, saute all the vegetables together
---> Once the vegetables are half cooked move everything to a pressure cooker
---> Add the washed rice and dal to this and then add the remaining4 and 1/2 cups of water
---> Add the sambar powder, salt and turmeric powder
---> While it comes to a boil, simultanousely start dry roasting all the masala stuff
---> Once the coriander seeds is well roasted, (you will be able to smell it) , make a fine paste, you can add 1/2 cup water to this and make a really good thick paste.
---> By now, the stuff in the pressure cooker will start to have a slow boil, add this masala to that and again wait for another slow boil
---> Close the cooker and put the wight on it and give it about 2 whistles, at the third whistle, make the fire to a low and after 5 minutes switch it off
---> Once the pressure goes down, add the remaining oil and ghee to a pan and on a medium flame, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to it. Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, pour this over the bisibela, and enjoy it HOT ....
Since this really is a one pot meal, you can just have it or make some raita with it or have it with chips.
this measure will easily feed upto 6 hungry people! :)
I forgot to add this yesterday!
You can use shallots or onions also for this.
Taste it and see if the tamarind taste is ok, otherwise, you may add 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste to it, this really depends if the real tamarind is old or new.
Also, when you add the water, make sure your cooker is big enough so this wont boil over, there should some space in between.
And then, once the pressure is down, transfer the contents to another vessel, because there will be some stuck to the cooker. Be careful, not to scrape otherwise the bisi bela will taste burnt.
And then, last but not least, Keep it covered intil you eat otherwise it crusts up and form a hard covering on it.


Anonymous said...

Mouthwatering..yummy..!Good pictures.

Sagari said...

delecious looking bisibela bath vandana

Cilantro said...

My recipe is similar too. Love to have them hot with papadam or raitha

Anonymous said...


Perfect timing actually. Just today morning I was having this craving for Bisibellebath. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe with us.

Thayirsaadham said...

Hey Vandu...Guess what....we tried this just as per your recipe....its the best bisibela bath that we have made till now......really great one.....you just earned two forever fan of your cooking !!!! hats off:-)