Friday, August 10, 2012

Bisibele Bhath with Drumsticks

Well, after a break it requires a real lot of energy to get back to blogging for me.

 After loads of food; literally 'pigging out' breakfasts, lunches and dinners cooked by seasoned chefs around the world (did I tell you we were on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Baltic for the final week of the holiday?) we realised the exquisiteness of the so called 'world cuisine'! French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Thai, Mexican, name it! they have it! ( the only regret you hold to would probably be the extra pounds you'd gained along side :))

So, back home, back to the grind, comfort meals, South Indian and here's one of our choices. Bisibele Bath. To explain in a simple way it is Karnataka's Sambhar rice. The actual recipe calls for added vegetables, a one pot meal, but I use only drumsticks, coz that's the way it had been prepared in the family for years, I resort to the same.

Bisibele Bhath with Drumsticks

To serve a family of four,
get ready with,

To cook together,

1 cup rice ( I use ponni raw rice. since it cooks softer)
3/4 cup of dals (50% tuar dal or thuvaram paruppu and 50% roasted green gram dal or pasi paruppu)
Water = 4 cups + 1.5 cups ( 4 parts of rice and 2 parts of dal )

To season,

1 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
2 tbsps of grated coconut
2 pinches of hing (perungayam)
A handful of shallots/pearl onions
2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
A sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
6-8 tsps of MTR Bisi bele Bath Masala ( I substitute one tsp with homemade sambhar powder, but that's purely optional)
2 tbsps +/-  tamarind extract
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of ghee to drizzle lastly

To cook separately and mix into,

2 drumsticks- washed and cut into 3 inches long

And to garnish,

 Golden roasted cashews and finely chopped coriander leaves


Wash rice and dal together. Measure water (rice : water = 1:4 and dal : water 1:2) and cook well in a deep pressure cooker body. Be careful with the cooking part as the water frothes up through the vent if the body is not deep enough. You can also use another vessel placed inside the large cooker body(of course with water) to avoid mess. I cook for 4-5 whistles.

In the meanwhile heat oil in a wide kadai , preferably non-stick, splutter the mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and roast the coconut shavings until it is deep red in colour and the aroma spreads around. Throw in the hing, shallots, green chillies and curry leaves in order and saute further. Add half a cup of water to cook the onions.

Cook drumsticks in salted water until soft, in a separate vessel. Reserve cooked water.
Stir along the turmeric and the MTR Bisibele bath powders when the water has simmered away and the onions cooked.

Why do I use MTR brand? It has the aunthetic taste of  Karnataka, where the meal originates from!

Add the water used to cook the drumstick pcs and a cup and a half more.( not more than 2 cups in all ) along with the drumstick pcs. Add salt. Let it boil and add the tamarind extract. Simmer.

Open the pressure cooker,  give a quick mash to the cooked rice and dal mixture and stir along carefully to the simmering mix in the kadai. You can put off the fire and mix along as there is less risk of forming lumps.
Simmer the bisibele (check salt and tanginess at this point) for 3-4 minutes, drizzle ghee and serve warm with the suggested garnish.

The meal turns thicker while getting cooled. So take remove from the stove appropriately when you reach the right consistency of the semi thick form.

P.S - If you feel I have taken this girl's kind of food styling, esp in the first picture, you may be right!
Yes, she had gifted me those lovely looking napkins :)


  1. Yummy's my favourite//

  2. yummy and Perfectly done

  3. Woww...I love any type of sambar rice and bisibelabath is my fav too...Looks yummy.....I can see the towel and mat :))

  4. Delicious preparation...Love this...

  5. Looks delicious Bharathy. Glad that you had a relaxing vacation. I did my part of traveling and pigging out. Struggling with those extra pounds around my thoppai.

  6. Hi Bharathi ,

    WelcomE Back !!!!

    Looks Adorable as usual your recipes :)

    Keep on Dear..

  7. This is a pretty delicious one, I did some recipe for a salad desert using some herbs like mixing a basil herb(tulsi), some parsley, beans, olive oil, mustard seed, cabbage and mix them all together!

  8. The Bisibele Bhath looks really delicious and welcome back. I love you writing style ... it makes me smile. :)

  9. I didn't know you had been visiting Scandinavia. Hope you enjoyed your time here. Thanks for letting me know the name of that fruit. Honestly, I didn't know there was a name for it in Tamil. Had seen it in the grocery section for so long and wanted to try it. :)

    BTW, congrats on your award from DMBGLiT. That pic of the masala chai is priceless.

  10. this is one of my favorite indian rice yummy...looks very tempting


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