Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bisi Bele Huli Anna - The all-in-one meal

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In recent times (last 4 months), this is the fastest that I have followed up on my posts. It is by no way an indication of me getting any spare time from work and other engagements. It is in fact far from it. If I told you sometime back that I was busy, I lied. Busy is what I am now, and going by the way things look, I'll probably make another similar statement in the next few months.

Coming to this post, Bisi Bele Bhat or Bisi Bele Huli Anna (as is called in Kannada) is the unrivaled king (or gender on food is muddled) of all Kannada dishes. Literal translation of this name means "hot rice cooked in sauce". It started out as a royal invention in the palace of Mysore and after finding its way out of the royal walls, it found its way into the stomachs and hearts of the common man or say the farmer. Its a complete meal in itself and with the addition of vegetables (and dry fruits) also very nutritious. Different versions of this dish exist, but most homes prefer to make the instant version by adding the MTR mix or Priya mix that you find easily in the supermarket. They are pretty close to the real thing and I like their taste too. Though as you can see from the pictures I do not make it too watery.


Tur Dal (Red Gram Lentil) - 1/2 Cup
Rice - 1.5 Cup
Shallots, peeled & diced - 8
Tamarind - Size of a lime
Eggplants, small, diced, - 2
Carrot, diced - 1
Potatoes, diced - 2
Green Bell Pepper, diced - 1
Dried Red Chillies - 4
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 Tsp
Mustard Seeds - 2 Tsp
Corriander Seeds - 2 Tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) - A Pinch
Curry Leaves - 6
Cashewnuts - 20 gms
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon- 1 Small Piece
Cardamom - 4
Aniseed - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 Tsp
Coconut, grated- 2 Tblsp
Sambar Powder - 2 Tsp
Gingelly Oil - For frying
Salt - To Taste
Ghee - 2 Tsp

1. Par boil carrots and potatoes. Soak tamarind for 20 minutes in warm water.
2. Half cook tur dal and rice together.
3. Grind together slightly roasted Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Aniseed, poppy seeds, coriander seeds & grated coconut with a little water. Keep this masala aside.
4. In a large wok add gingelly oil. When it is hot, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add the red chillies, curry leaves and hing.
5. Now add shallots. Once shallots become transparent, add egg plants and green peppers.
6. Add turmeric powder, salt, ground masala paste and sambar powder when the peppers become slightly soft.
7. Now add the tamarind water and the carrots and potatoes.
8. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the tur dal and rice.
9. Add a little water and keep stirring to avoid it from sticking to the bottom.
10. Once cooked you can add cashewnuts fried in ghee.
11. Serve hot.


Happy cook said...

Wth all the wonderful ingridients, like, rice, dal, potatoe etc.... this hasto bereally delicious and so comforting.

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