There is something about ready-to-eat rice dishes that really appeals to me. Tamarind Rice, Lemon Rice, Coconut Rice, Sambar Rice, Tomato Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice … May be it is the ease of eating these dishes or then just the fact that they incorporate many flavours in one dish. One of my absolute favourites is Bisi Bele Huli Anna.
Bisi Bele Huli Anna (also called Bisi Bele Bhath), from the Indian state of Karnataka, is one such dish. Flavoured with aromatic cinnamon and clove-based masala, it is a dish that combines lentils, vegetables and rice. All you need as accompaniment is some roasted papads and assorted vadiyalu, or then a mild curry like cabbage poriyal or beans poriyal.
Bisi Bele Bhath is similar to Sambar Sadam or Kadamba Sadam. The major difference is that Sambar Rice uses coriander seeds and pepper as a flavour base, and uses vegetables such as drumstick, baby aubergines, and lady finger (okra). Bisi Bele Bhath, on the other hand, uses cinnamon, marathi moggu, javitri and cloves with vegetables such as French beans, carrots, and peas.
Also try my recipe for Avarekalu Bisi Bele Bath.
How to Make Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath
Serves: 4 to 6
Time: 60 minutes
- Rice – 1 Cup
- Pigeon Pea or Tuvar Dal – 3/4 Cup
- Carrot – 1 Small
- Peas – 1 Cup
- French Beans – 10 to 15
- Shallots or Madras Onions – 12
- Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
- Cashews – 8 to 10
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 1 tbsp (Use oil for vegan version)
- Asafoetida -1/8 tsp
- Curry Leaves – A Few
- Salt to Taste
For the Bisi Bele Bhath Masala:
- Bengal Gram or Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
- Black Gram or Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
- Red Chillies – 4
- Cinnamon – 1.5″ Piece
- Cloves – 3
- Marathi Moggu – 3
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Mace or Javitri – 2 Petals
- Methi Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Pepper Corns – 8 to 10
- Poppy Seeds or Khus Khus – 1/2 tsp
- Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
- Thick Tamarind Pulp – 3 tbsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
Method to Make Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath
To prepare the rice:
- Dry roast the Tuvar dal till it just starts to turn brown.
- Soak the rice and roasted Tuvar dal in 4 cups of water for about an hour.
- Pressure cook in the same water for 4 whistles or till the rice-dal mix is of mashable consistency.
- Mash with a heavy ladle and set aside.
To make the masala:
- In a ladle or a wok, heat the oil.
- Add the chana dal and udad dal.
- Fry till the dals are golden brown.
- Add cinnamon, cloves, Marathi Moggu and pepper.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the mace and split red chillies.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the coriander seeds and stir-fry till the aroma is released.
- Add the poppy seeds and grated coconut.
- Stir-fry till the coconut starts to change colour.
- Set aside to cool.
- Grind the fried dal-spice mix with a little water to a smooth paste.
To prepare the vegetables:
- Cut the ends off the French beans and chop them into 1″ pieces.
- Peel the shallots.
- Peel and dice the carrots into 1/2″ pieces.
Making the Bisi Bele Huli Anna:
- In a heavy-bottomed vessel or wok, heat the ghee.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the peanuts and cashews.
- Fry till the nuts start to turn brown.
- Add the shallots and curry leaves.
- Fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the beans and carrots.
- Stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the peas and 1 Cup water.
- Cook covered till the vegetables are cooked and the water dries up a bit.
- Add the tamarind pulp, turmeric, bisi bele bath masala, and asafoetida.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell of the masala and tamarind disappears.
- Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
- Add the mashed rice-dal mix and salt.
- Mix well.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with papads.