Monday, August 11, 2008
Bisebelabath ~ The Bis-b!
I started developing affinity to this dish after tasting Hotel Saravana Bhavan's Bis-b!
Yeahhh, nothing comes like the one they serve..You could really enjoy the pearl onion's and ghee floating in it and the consistency is perfect ...Its neither too soupy nor thick.They serve it piping hot with plantain chips ..I couldn't stop craving for it..So I myself got into the venture of learning the SB's bis-b!!After many of my failed attempts,I came to know the perfect recipe for Bis-b from my cousin G (which she learnt from her MIL)..This tasted very close to the SB's Bis-b....
Bis-b is nothing but sambar rice.Although its origin is mainly from Karnataka it is made often in Tamilian's home which they call it 'sambar rice'..
Its recommended to use Sonamasuri rice for this dish which is less in starch and aromatic.I was not having this variety of rice at home so I used 'Ponni' rice..
Its very important to serve this dish piping hot..Because once you let it cool then the consistency will become thick..
Lets get into cooking now...
Take 1 cup of rice,3/4 cup toor Dal, and 1/4 cup peanuts..
In a pressure cooker add the washed toor Dal,peanuts and a pinch of turmeric powder..Add lots of water and turn on the flame..Let it cook without the lid..
Soak a small lemon sized tamarind ball in water..
Now start chopping vegetables..You can use any vegetables you like..I used carrots,drumstick,potatoes,peas and raw plantain ..
Its recommended to use drumstick..Its gives a distinct aroma to the bis-b..
And peel the skin of about 1 cup of pearl onions..
Crush 10 cloves of garlic..Remove the skin..
Chop 3 ripe tomatoes..
Keep an eye on the Dal while chopping the vegetables..Add water if necessary..
Now the real secret of Bis-b comes..The authentic taste comes from the masala which we are adding..
Take 10 dried red chillies,1 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds,1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds,1 tsp of urad dal,1 tsp of bengal gram,2 inch cinnamon stick,2-3 cloves,1/2 cup of coconut pieces,1/2 tsp of asafotedia,4 sprigs of curry leaves..
In a tsp of oil roast all the above for a couple of mins and ground them..
Fry the garlic and tomatoes in 1/2 tsp of oil and keep aside..
By this time,the Dal would have cooked well.Add the washed rice,vegetables and garlic-tomatoes.Extract the tamarind juice and add lots of water(no particular measurement for this..You must add water in such a way that it must be one half of the depth of the filled pan above it..)When the water comes to boil add required amount of salt and the ground masala and close the lid and put the weight on it.Cook it in medium flame for 3 whistles and 10 mins in low flame.
Points to remember:
Never cook this in high flame..It may lead to browning in the bottom.
Add lots of water..The bis-b gets thick like cake if you don't add sufficient water.Even if you find water remaining when you open the lid,just stir them in low flame till you get the right consistency!
When its pressure cooking,heat 2 tsp of ghee and fry the pearl onions and keep aside.
I did a big mistake.I fried the onions with the tomatoes and pressure cooked them along with the bis-b..So I could hardly find the pearl onions,which were overcooked..So make sure that you don't do the same mistake!
Once the bis-b is cooked and the pressure is gone open the lid and add 3-4 tsp(or as much as you want) of ghee and fried onions .Mix well.Close the lid and put on the weight.This will keep the bis-b warm until you serve!
Optional:You can also add roasted cashews to enrich the dish!
Try this method and it will never disappoint you..
We had with boondhi raitha and potato chips!!