One of Karnataka's most well known dishes this is a complete meal and the closest dish we have to risotto. Ideally it should be thick and the rice and lentils soft but not mushy. You can also add cauliflower, moringa even radish to the stewed rice. if you are vegan replace the ghee with vegetable oil.
FOR THE SPICE MIX
You can buy this readymade as well.
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Bedgi or kashmiri dried chillies - 8
Fresh red chilies - 1
Black pepper corn - 6 pieces
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mace or Javithri - 3 petals
Black Cloves - 3
pod of Green Cardamom seeds only - 1
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Marathi Moggu (optional) - 3
desiccated coconut - 2 tbsp
White Poppy seeds or khus-khus - 1/2 tsp
white sesame seeds-1/4 tsp
Raw white rice such as Sona Masuri or Mysore Sanna or use brown rice – 1 cup
Toor or Arhar dal (split pigeon peas) – 3/4 cup
Tamarind concentrate– 1-2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Jaggery and salt to taste
vegetable Oil – 2 tbsp
Mixed Vegetables to add:
French/Green beans – 1 cup diced
Carrot – 1 cup diced
Fresh shelled green peas-1 cup
Small black Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Whole dry Begdi or Kashmiri red chilies – 3
Unsalted, unfrosted Cashew nuts or roasted peanuts – 10
Hing or Asafetida – 1/8 tsp
9 fresh green Curry leaves torn
Ghee – 2 t tbsp
Vegetable oil -1 tbsp
FOR SPICE MIX:
In a dry skillet roast all the spices except the coconut on a low flame until fragrant and toasty about 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
Transfer to a plate and let cool. When cool grind to a fine powder. Add coconut and grind again to a smooth consistency. Feel it between your fingers. if it feels gritty or sandy grind again.
Store in a clean air tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
FOR THE RICE
Wash toor dal and rice separately. Place them in pressure cooker in two containers. The rice in an excess of water about 4 cups and the lentil in 1.5 cups.
Steam and cook for 4 whistles. Cool cooker and remove rice and lentils.The lentils should be extremely soft and the rice just slightly over cooked.
Drain the excess water from the rice over the vegetables, add more water if required and parboil them about 4 minutes on high heat. Drain and reserve vegetables.
Muddle the rice lightly, then the lentils then combine them.
Add tamarind extract, turmeric and all the vegetables. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the powdered spice mix. Cook for 5 mins over low flame. Stir to prevent burning.
Cook until the water gets absorbed and the bisi bele bath thickens considerably.
Check for salt, tamarind, jaggery and spices at this stage. Add to your taste. Bise Bele Bhaat is not a very sweet dish so add jaggery in very small quantities.
For the tempering heat ghee and oil a small pan over high flame.. Add mustard seeds and saute one minute. Add curry leaves and red chillies cook 1 minute. Add cashews and cook till cashews are golden.
Pour this tempering over the simmering bisi bele bath and mix well.
Drizzle a little more ghee on top.
Serve piping hot with papads, tapioca or potato chips.