Bisi Bele Bath

Literally meaning hot lentil rice, this is a fragrant and filling rice-based dish with lentils, vegetables, tamarind and spices
Ingredients - Serves 6
  • 1½ cups long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal) or split red lentils (masoor dal), uncooked (split pigeon peas/toor dal will increase the cooking time)
  • 2½ cups mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, potatoes, green peas, green capsicum or bell pepper)
  • 3-4 green chillies, slit lengthwise (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 3 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3 tbsp bisi bele bath powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies, broken into small pieces
  • 40 g tamarind
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • fresh coriander, chopped, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Fry the cashews in a tsp of ghee or oil till golden brown and set aside
  2. Place tamarind in a microwave-safe bowl with ½ cup of water and cook on high for 30 seconds. Let it cool and squeeze out the juice using your fingers. Discard the seeds and fibre and set the juice aside
  3. Fry the mustard seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves with 1 tsp of ghee or oil till the mustard seeds splutter. Turn off the heat, add asafoetida and set aside. This is the tempering
  4. Heat the remaining ghee or oil in a large pot. Add all the vegetables, green chillies, lentils and rice and fry for 3 minutes
  5. Pour in 8-10 cups of water, cover and cook till the rice and lentils are very soft
  6. Use red lentils instead of pigeon peas to reduce cooking time
    Use a {pressure cooker} to cook the lentils quicker
  7. Mix in the tamarind juice, bisi bele bath powder and add salt to taste
  8. Turn off the heat and add the tempering and fried cashews along with whatever ghee is left. Add more ghee if you like
  9. Mix well and serve with fried pappadums and/or yoghurt
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