About this recipe:This is the classic dish of Karnataka and is probably made in every home. I have eaten Bisibele bhath in many homes in Bangalore, and no two versions taste the same. This version is what I have liked the most. Do not be intimidated by the long ingredient list. The fresh ground bisibele bhath powder makes all the difference.
1 cup toor/arhar dal (split pigeon peas)
2 cups rice (sona masoori is my preference)
3 cups diced vegetables (you can use potatoes, french beans, green peas, capsicum, onions, carrots)
1 teaspoon turmeric (haldi) powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (if concentrated, use carefully)
Boil diced vegetables in water with salt and turmeric powder until cooked. Drain the water and keep aside.
Make bisibele bhath powder: Dry roast all the powder ingredients and grind into a powder. This powder will keep for a few months if stored in an airtight container.
To 'assemble' bisibele bhath, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients and fry till mustard seeds splutter. Now add the cooked dal and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons of the bisibele bhath powder (more or less to taste), tamarind, and coconut. Add salt to taste. Add some water if necessary. The consistency of the dal mixture should be like a thick sambar. It should be a little runny at this stage because when you add the rice, it will absorb water.
Add rice to the dal mixture. Stir well and add ghee. Simmer on low heat for 10 – 15 minutes till bisibele bhath is bubbling. Serve hot or at room temperature.