This dish is a favourite from the Southern state Karnataka. It is called Bisi Bele Bath, a spicy rice dish with lentils. This is a very unique dish from the Kannada cuisine and this recipe is very tasty.
This rice dish is different from the Sambar Rice prepared in Tamilnadu.
It’s important to dry roast the ingredients for the spice mix and blend to a fine powder. If dry coconut is not available, you can dry roast some fresh coconut until it is dry and use that instead. Tamarind paste can be substituted for fresh tamarind.
It’s very essential to use ghee for seasoning the rice. I usually fry the cashewnuts in the ghee. There’s nothing that can replace the aroma and taste of ghee.
I have used peas but you can substitute it with any vegetable of your choice – carrots, potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower. It is a really wholesome dish and can be prepared for breakfast or lunch.
Hot Lentil Rice Dish
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup yellow toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt to taste
For the spice mix
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp urad dal
- 6 red chillis
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 6 tbsp dried coconut (copra)
- ½ tsp shahjeera
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 10 sambar onions (shallots)
- Curry leaves
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 gms cashewnuts (split)
- ½ cup ghee
Dry roast all the ingredients for the spice mix and blend to a fine powder.
Cook the rice and dal in a rice cooker with 8 cups of water. It should be well cooked. Add the tamarind paste, salt and the spice mix and mix well. Allow to cook for a few minutes more.
Heat the oil for the seasoning, and add the mustard. When they stop popping add the dal. When the dal is golden, add the curry leaves and onions. When the onions are cooked, add the seasoning to the rice and dal mixture. If it is dry, add a cup of hot water. Add the frozen peas and mix well.
Heat the ghee and add the cashewnuts. Reserve a few for decoration and add the remaining with the ghee to the rice. Mix well.
Serve hot, garnished with fried cashewnuts.