Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bisi-Bele-Bhaath with Kosambari

Since I started blogging to learn more about the different cuisines round the globe, there was no chance that I would not participate in Regional Cusines of India (RCI) event-Karnataka (one of the southern state of India) being hosted by our dear Asha of Foodie's Hope. The announcement for this event is here. RCI was originally started by LakshmiK of "Veggie Cuisine" blog and other foodie bloggers take turns hosting this event

More about Karnataka tourism here.

Karnataka, in particular Bangalore, is a place very dear to me. As a kid, this was the very first place (Bangalore and Mysore) my parents had taken me on sight-seeing. After every trip, my dad would require (read, trouble) me to write an essay about it (Well, I hated it as a kid. But now you know why I loved writing GRE and eventually blogging). The grandeur of the Mysore palace and the vast expanse of natural beauty Brindavan Gardens with Mysore all decked up for Dussehra was enchanting. And the simplicity and the warmth exuded by the people made the essay-writing a cake-walk..even here I have to mention food ;)

Fast forward a few years and I land up in Bangalore for training (and eventually work for a year) with all my dear friends. We have literrally grown up there. This was the first time we were away from home and away from the secured environs of the dorm. But Bangalore was home - a city with warm loving people who are cosmopolitian while maintaining the Kannadiga culture - the modern-day India. I miss Bangalore!

I cherish the memories of our weekend movie outings (first movie was at Rex theater, yeah! remember, Vrindu?), window-shopping in MG Road/Brigade Road ;), actually shopping at Commercial Street and Jayanagar 4th Block. Or stuffing ourselves with yummy chat at Gangotri, Koramangala. First bite of KFC Chicken - Thanks to the yummy Indianized version of KFC Chicken, I can never develop a liking for the KFC Chicken in US :( Dosa outing at Dosa Corner, Jayanagar. And the multitudes of other eating places! How easily we slip into food memories! :)

Since I have provided more than enough background on why I am excited about RCI-Karnataka, you would think that contributing for this event was easy for me. Not at all. Since I never cooked back then. :( How could I ever just eat without finding the recipe...That's not the present day me :) Now I get so inquisitive, I wonder if people think I am confirming whether they actually made it or not :) So I searched and searched and finally narrowed down on Kosambari and Bisi-Bele-Bhaath. Funny thing is I loved Kosambari when it used to be served for lunch in office cafeteria. I used to like it so much that I would eat only Kosambari for lunch. But I did not know it was called so and that it was made of Moong dal till exactly two days ago! :)

Enjoy the recipes and do let me know if anything can be modified to make it authentic Kannadiga. Please let me know if you have any authentic Kannadiga non-veg dishes. I would love to try them.

Kosambari (makes 4 servings)

I used Payaswini's Recipe as noted here.


Yellow split moong beans - 1/2 cup (Initially soak in hot water, leave soaked for 3 hrs and then drain)
Cucumber - 1 medium , peeled and finely chopped
Coriander - 2 tbsp, chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste

For Seasoning

Canola oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Asafoetida - a pinch

Step 1

Place the drained moong beans, coriander, ginger, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Add cucumber at the end, just before tempering so that it does make the mixture watery. Mix well and set aside.

Step 2

Heat oil in pan, add the mustard seeds and allow the seeds to pop.Add green chillies, and fry a few seconds. Add asafoetida and remove from the heat. Add this seasoning to the cucumber mixture from Step 1 and mix well. Serve cold.

Bisi bele bhath (makes 5 servings)

I used Nupur's Recipe from "One hot stove" blog as noted here with some modifications.


Rice - 1 cup
Toor dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped or Peanut
Mixed vegetables - 2-3 cups (green beans, frozen peas and carrots, zucchini, eggplant)
Tamicon Tamarind Concentrate - 2 tsp
Sambhar Powder (or MTR BBB Powder) - 4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt 2 tbsp or as per taste

For seasoning

Ghee - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 10
Asafoetida - 2 pinch

Step 1

Soak rice and dal for 20-30 mins.

Step 2

In the pressure cooker, add ghee. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds , curry leaves, asafoetida. When the mustard seed crackles, add chopped onion.When onion turns translucent however still crunchy, add turmeric powder, chili powder, sambhar powder and salt to taste. Stir in vegetables, dal, rice, tamarind concentrate, roasted cashews (optional) and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil and then pressure-cook for two whistle on Medium-High heat.

Garnish with coriander. And ghee (optional). Enjoy with chips, papad, something crispy!


Asha said...

I didn't know you are familiar with Mysore and B'lore too. Wonderful. We used live in 9th Block Jayanagar before we moved to England, great memories for me too. I went to Law school(dropped out to go to UK) in B'lore too.
Good to know about your dad making you write essays, does help now!:))
BBB and Kosumbari both are Karunaadu special of course. MTR BBB masala makes it authentic. Kosumbari is perfect, I skip ginger.Thank you for both entries P!
I have a cookbook with Fish curry recipe, I will e mail you the recipe when I get your entries.I cooked chicken dishes but not with fish.It would be great seafood entry for RCI K.

Rajitha said...

pragyan.. i love is so healthy and delicious..the BBB look yummy too.. i used to hate writing those boring essays too..felt i was getting jipped as i had to do homework on vacations ;)

Redchillies said...

Rex theatre, MG Road, Jayanagar 4th all brought back sweet memories. Loved the kosambari and BBB.

Nags said...

i dont much like kosambari though I love the way it looks :D may make it one of these days :)

Tee said...

Nice write up, Pragyan! Kosambari and bisi bele look delicious! :)

Sandeepa said...

Hey you have almost similar experiences in B'lore as mine :)
Did you eat at Queens and Koshy's ? My fav places
Plan to do a RCI post soon

Saju said...

all I can say is Yum, or maybe yum yum!
looks so delish

Pragyan said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! Really made my day.

Asha: Bangalore is a wonderful place. Love it. Even I will skip the ginger in Kosumbari from now on, I guess. Gives it an extra pungent flavour! Thanks for the fish recipe. Will definitely give it a shot.

Rajitha: I am with you...I do agree nothing helped more in my writing skills than those essays.

Redchillies: So many more lovely memories about Bangalore..maybe I will do a writeup someday specifically about Bangalore.

Nags: Do give it a shot..its healthy!

Tee: Thanks, dear!

Sandeepa: Thats nice to know. I remember Koshy's ..never been there. Even Queens sounds familiar. Wasn't Koshy's the one when going from MG Road towards Lavelle Road?

Saju: Ha ha..thanks!

pawankalyan said...

hi i visit br hills with my wife really we enjoyed a lot over there and bandipur resorts realy good place ill vist one more
time for sure