When we last visited Navadarshanam I bought a packet of unpolished rice. Unpolished rice is not easy to make on a working day but on weekends I have space for it. This weekend it was cold and we need our dose of warmth from soups and khichdi. So I made Bisibele bhat.
Bisibele bhat in Kannada literally means Bisi-Hot as is steaming hot, bele-dal, bhat-rice. It is a not your tame khichdi. Here you have a Khara pongal which is like our khichdi and then there is the Bisibele bhat. It has the complex flavors of spices, tamarind juice and creamy dal completely blended with rice and for the crunch, mixed vegetables like beans, carrots, potatoes etc. I add almost anything that I have on hand. While serving it is always garnished with Khara boondi instead of your usual apalams.
The Bisibele bhat with unpolished rice makes it even more rugged. It keeps you stuffed till evening and though it is creamy it lends a texture you enjoy unlike the pasty versions. We got 5 servings of Bisibele bhat from just 1/2 cup of unpolished rice and 1/2 cup of dal.
The unpolished rice is an earthy red so that fits perfectly for this month's Click.
1/2 cup of unpolished rice
1/2 cup of Toor dal/ yellow lentils
2 cups chopped mixed vegetables
(I used field beans, capsicum, potatoes, carrots, onion, tomatoes)
1 tablespoon sambhar powder
2 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup thick tamarind pulp
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
few curry leaves
Preparation: Soak unpolished rice and toor dal in water for min 2hrs.
Put the small cooker on heat. Add oil and do the seasoning with mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves. Then follow in with sambhar powder, chopped mixed vegetables, soaked dal and rice. Top up with 5-6 cups of water. Pressure cook for 30 mins or 5 long whistles.
Let it cool till you can open the lid. Now add the tamarind pulp and mix well. Incase you find the rice to be thick add more water and make it to creamier pourable consistency.
Serve in a bowl topped with Khara boondi and a curry leaf. Here comes a perfect spicy khichdi from Karnataka - the comforting Bisibele bhat. Would you like to taste some?