When my MIL taught me how to cook the Bhaath in the Karnataka style, I could not believe how simple it was and yet so tasty and healthy. As explained by her Bissi means 'hot' bele means 'daal' and anna means 'Rice" so it actually means " hot rice and daal cooked together".
As the name indicates it requires very basic ingredients readily available in the kitchen and if all the chopping is done it takes no time to cook. It can be an ideal meal if you are expecting guests for lunch/dinner....keep all the veggies chopped and refrigerate. Just cook the Bhath an hour before the guests are to arrive.
The only difficulty I feel with the Bhaath is that you should have a bed ready for slumbers as the Bhaath sits tight in your stomach and makes you feel very drowsy, so as a caution I do not make it on week days.
The best way to serve the Bhaath is with a dollop of ghee on top along with plain Potato wafers (crispies) and raita.
Before I tell you how I made the Bhaath and Raita it's important to know how the Sambhar Masala is made in my kitchen ( Kannara version) as the masala gives the main flavor to the Bhaath. This Sambhar Masala again is my MIL's recipe .
Ingredients for the Sambhar Masala
2 cups red chilies ( I used bedagi and guntur)
1 cup Coriander seeds
1/4 cup Bengal Gram ( Chana Daal)
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds ( Methidana)
2 sticks cinnamon ( dalchini)
3/4 cup grated coconut(dry)
2 tsp oil
Method for Sambhar Masala
- Heat oil and add Fenugreek and Cinnamon followed by the daal.
- Roast on a medium flame for a few minutes till the daal turns pink then add the coriander seeds and roast.
- Add the chilies and roast for a few minutes till they become lightly crisp.
- Now add the coconut and roast for a minute and switch off the flame. Let the contents be there in the pan and keep stirring till the pan cools a bit.(This avoids burning)
- Cool the ingredients and then grind it to fine powder in a coffee grinder.
The final product(Sambhar Masala) looks like this
Ingredients For Bissi Bele Bhaath
1 1/2 cups rice
1 cup tuvar daal (yellow lentils)
4 medium size potatoes (cubed)
3 medium sized onions (sliced)
1 large carrot ( cubed )
3/4 cup peas
15- 20 spinach leaves roughly chopped(can be omitted)
10-15 french beans cut into 1inch pieces
tamarind pulp as per your taste
salt as per your taste
about 1 - 11/2 tsp cinnamon pwd
1/2 tsp clove powder (I add this my MIL does not)
1 tsp turmeric pwd
4 tbsp sambhar masala
a few sprigs curry and coriander leaves
2-3 dry red chilies
oil for cooking
mustard seeds 2 tsp
Method of making Bhaath
- Heat oil and add mustard seeds , curry leaves and red chilies.
- Add sliced onions followed by all vegetables and saute.
- Add tamarind pulp, turmeric, sambhar masala, cinnamon and clove pwd, and mix properly.
- Now add the washed rice and daal and mix it properly.
- To the mix add about 12 cups of water and chopped coriander (I added 13 cups as I like eating the Bhaath in a semi liquid state).
- Pressure cook till 4 whistles.
- Serve the bhaath hot with a spoon of ghee along with some raita and crispies.
- The addition of cinnamon and clove pwd provide an exquisite flavor to the Bhaath.
Ingredients For The Vegetable Raita
1 small onion finely chopped
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 cucumber finely chopped
2 green chilies finely chopped
2-3 tsp coriander finely chopped
1 cup thick curds
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
3/4 tsp roasted cumin pwd
For the Tempering
A spoon of oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a spoon of chana and urad dal mixed
Method of Making Raita
- Mix all the ingredients of Raita and adjust the consistency by adding water.
- Heat oil and mustard seeds and the urad-chana daal mix. Let the daals turn
golden brown and pour it on the Raita. Mix and chill for an hour before serving.