Well, after a break it requires a real lot of energy to get back to blogging for me.
After loads of food; literally 'pigging out' breakfasts, lunches and dinners cooked by seasoned chefs around the world (did I tell you we were on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Baltic for the final week of the holiday?) we realised the exquisiteness of the so called 'world cuisine'! French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Thai, Mexican, Lebanese...you name it! they have it! ( the only regret you hold to would probably be the extra pounds you'd gained along side :))
So, back home, back to the grind, comfort meals, South Indian and here's one of our choices. Bisibele Bath. To explain in a simple way it is Karnataka's Sambhar rice. The actual recipe calls for added vegetables, a one pot meal, but I use only drumsticks, coz that's the way it had been prepared in the family for years, I resort to the same.
Bisibele Bhath with DrumsticksTo serve a family of four,
get ready with,
To cook together,
1 cup rice ( I use ponni raw rice. since it cooks softer)
3/4 cup of dals (50% tuar dal or thuvaram paruppu and 50% roasted green gram dal or pasi paruppu)
Water = 4 cups + 1.5 cups ( 4 parts of rice and 2 parts of dal )
1 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
2 tbsps of grated coconut
2 pinches of hing (perungayam)
A handful of shallots/pearl onions
2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
A sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
6-8 tsps of MTR Bisi bele Bath Masala ( I substitute one tsp with homemade sambhar powder, but that's purely optional)
2 tbsps +/- tamarind extract
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of ghee to drizzle lastly
To cook separately and mix into,
2 drumsticks- washed and cut into 3 inches long
And to garnish,
Golden roasted cashews and finely chopped coriander leaves
Wash rice and dal together. Measure water (rice : water = 1:4 and dal : water 1:2) and cook well in a deep pressure cooker body. Be careful with the cooking part as the water frothes up through the vent if the body is not deep enough. You can also use another vessel placed inside the large cooker body(of course with water) to avoid mess. I cook for 4-5 whistles.
In the meanwhile heat oil in a wide kadai , preferably non-stick, splutter the mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and roast the coconut shavings until it is deep red in colour and the aroma spreads around. Throw in the hing, shallots, green chillies and curry leaves in order and saute further. Add half a cup of water to cook the onions.
Cook drumsticks in salted water until soft, in a separate vessel. Reserve cooked water.
Stir along the turmeric and the MTR Bisibele bath powders when the water has simmered away and the onions cooked.
Why do I use MTR brand? It has the aunthetic taste of Karnataka, where the meal originates from!
Add the water used to cook the drumstick pcs and a cup and a half more.( not more than 2 cups in all ) along with the drumstick pcs. Add salt. Let it boil and add the tamarind extract. Simmer.
Open the pressure cooker, give a quick mash to the cooked rice and dal mixture and stir along carefully to the simmering mix in the kadai. You can put off the fire and mix along as there is less risk of forming lumps.
Simmer the bisibele (check salt and tanginess at this point) for 3-4 minutes, drizzle ghee and serve warm with the suggested garnish.
The meal turns thicker while getting cooled. So take remove from the stove appropriately when you reach the right consistency of the semi thick form.
P.S - If you feel I have taken this girl's kind of food styling, esp in the first picture, you may be right!
Yes, she had gifted me those lovely looking napkins :)