Friday, January 6, 2012

Bisibelabath & Simple potato fry

Tastes evolve, but certain classics stand the test of time. Why do certain dishes remain fixed on our menus (during occasions or get-together) for decades while others come and go? The answer is simple: they are unwaveringly, irresistibly good. What's more, by virtue of their staying power, they offer windows onto the eras in which they were born. 

One such dish is our Bisibela bath or Sambar Satham. All dishes have their unique flavors and taste although they can be altered to suit our palates. The flavors you see here will be unique without much masalas that are prepared in most of the Brahmin houses. 
This dish is authentic to Karnataka Cuisine, but when it came to chennai they were modified and altered more to suit our taste at home. We are going to see a very simple version of Bisibelabath. Lets hop in to the recipe,

I am little lazy to melt the ghee, so let the heat in the food to melt it!

You need:
1/2 cup rice
1 cup Toor dhal
1 cup shallots
1 cup vegetables (beans, carrots, double-beans)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup tamarind water (made from lemon sized tamarind)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves to garnish
1 Tbsp ghee to garnish
1 tsp mustard seeds to tamper

to grind to fine powder/ paste

10 dry red chillies
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 springs curry leaves
1 tsp channa dhal
2 Tbsp coconut

In a cooker, add the washed toor dhal along with turmeric and half cook. To this half cooked dhal, add the rice and tamarind water. Do not mix them. Just add and continue cooking. These can be kept directly in the cooker. Cook in low-medium flame. Cook without whistle for 10 mins.
In a pan, saute the spices to make a paste or fine powder. Add the coconut in the end. We do not want the coconut to turn brown. Once all the spices are sauteed well, add the coconut and saute for 2 mins.

Check for water. Now add the chopped vegetables along with the ground paste and cook for 2 whistles. Temper the mustard seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves and add to the cooked Bisibelabath.
Serve hot with a tsp of ghee on top.

I like Bisibelabath with potato fry and sundar likes with raita. So I prepare both to go with Bisibelabath.

Simple Potato Fry

Potato fry is all time favorite for everyone around the world. There were days when I lived on potato fry. But I got diet conscious and restricted and I know the kids are watching me every second.

I make these potato fry when I hesitate to be in kitchen for a long time. They are simple yet too yummy to resist. By the time I cook and bring them to the table, they get half exhausted.

You need:
1/2 lb baby potatoes
1 Tbsp Sambar powder
1/2 tsp Hing
Salt to taste
Mustard and curry leaves to garnish

Wash the potatoes well and cook in pressure cooker for 4 whistles. I like them cooked well. In a skillet add oil, and temper mustard seeds and then saute curry leaves and set aside. Once the potatoes are cooked, peel away the skins, and keep in a bowl. To this add the sambar powder and salt and mix well. Now, add these spiced potatoes to the oil. Keep in low flame. Add hind to the potatoes and mix well. Do not mash them. It would take 10 - 15 mins for the blank flavor of sambar powder to go away. Then remove from stove and serve with Bisibelabath,.

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