Chomp & Cheers: BisiBeleBhath And Watermelon And Cucumber Margarita

Bisi Bele Bhath copy BisiBeleBhath

BisiBeleBhath literally means ‘hot lentil rice’. Rice, lentils and vegetables cooked and flavoured with a spicy paste makes this South-Indian speciality a complete and satisfying meal – adish to relish in the rains.

1 cup-Rice ;3/4 cup-ToorDal (Red Lentils); 5 cups- Water; – 1/2 (chopped)- Onion; 2 (chopped)- Tomato; 2 cups- Mixed Vegetables(of yourchoice – could include Brinjal, Ashgourd, Capsicum, Carrot, Potatoes, Green Peas, Drumstick, Yam, Beans, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Yellow Squash,etc);1/4 tsp. Turmeric Powder; Salt – to taste;1/4 cup (or as needed)- Tamarind Juice;2 tblsp.- Ghee;1 tblsp.- Sesame Oil.

Spice Mix:
1.5tblsp. – Channa dal; 1tblsp.- Urad dal; 5-Dry Red Chillies; 4-Black Peppercorns; 2 tblsp. – Coriander Seeds; 3-4 tblsp.- Dry Coconut Powder/Fresh Grated Coconut; 1/4 tsp.- Cumin seeds; 1 spring-Curry Leaves; 1 tsp (optional)-Poppy Seeds; 1 piece – Cinnamon; 2 – Cloves; 1 – Cardamom; Whole Garam Masala

1tblsp.- Ghee; 1/4 tsp. Mustard seeds; 1/4 tsp.Fenugreek seeds; 10-Cashews; 1 spring-Curry Leaves; A pinch-Asafoetida; 2-Dry Red Chillies.

Wash the rice and toor dal. If you have time, soak for ten minutes. Wash and chop vegetables in big chunks so that they don’t get mashed. In a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed pan, add the rice, lentils (toor dal), 1tblsp. sesame oil, onions, tomatoes and all the vegetables.

Add 5 cups of water, required Salt and Turmeric Powder. Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Alternatively, if you’re using a heavy bottomed pan, cook for about forty five minutes, till the rice, dal and vegetables are soft. In the meantime, dry roast all the ingredients under ‘Spice Mix’ on low heat till these turn light brown. Cool and grind into coarse powder. You can add water and make a paste. After the pressure cooker has cooled, remove the lid and set it on a flame again.

Mix the coarsely ground spice and the tamarind juice with the rice. Heat ghee in a separate small pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Fry the fenugreek seeds and cashews on low heat for thirty seconds. Add the curry leaves, dry red chillies and asafoetida. Add this hot tempering to the BisiBeleBhath. Mix everything together and let it cook on low heat for about ten minutes till the flavours blend.
Finally add 2 tblsp. of fresh Ghee and switch off. Serve it piping hot with potato chips, papads or salad.

Watermelon and cucumber Margarita copyCheers With Watermelon and Cucumber Margarita
This cool and refreshing drink is an amazing way to show your skills to your guests. An amalgamation of fruit and vegetable makes it the perfect health drink too!

3cups- Watermelon (cubed); 6- Slices English Cucumber (half a skinned cucumber);120 ml- Tequila (white);1/4 cup- Lime Juice (fresh squeezed);3 tbsps. Agave Nectar (Optional or to taste);8-fresh Mint Leaves;


In a blender, combine the watermelon, cucumber, Tequila, lime juice and Agave. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.Add the mint to the bottom of two glasses and muddle the mint using a muddler or the bottom of a rolling pin. Fill the glass with crushed ice and pour the watermelon mix over the ice. Gently stir to combine. Garnish each glass with a watermelon wedge and fresh mint leaf. Enjoy!

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