Girija Paati’s Bisibela Bath Recipe - South Indian Grandmother Style
Girija Paati’s Bisibela Bath, accompanied by her Masala Potato, is a favourite of her three brothers. She often makes these items for their joint Sunday lunches, which are a must every week for the three brothers and two sisters, for the last 50 years.
Over these lunches all five siblings, their children and grandchildren eat together, laugh, argue, gossip and generally catch-up on each other’s lives. Carry the magic of these relaxed Sunday afternoons into your family, as well, with this one-of-a-kind Bisibela Bath recipe from Girija Paati.
Rice – 1 cup uncooked
Thoor Dhal – ½ cup uncooked
Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp
Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball
Small Onions – ½ cup (cleaned and peeled)
Tomatoes – 2 big (diced)
Carrot – 2 medium (cut into ½ inch pieces)
Peas – ½ cup
Beans – ¼ cup (cut onto ½ inch pieces)
Grated / Dessicated Coconut – ¼ cup (dry roast and powder in the mixie)
Girija Paati's Bisbela Bath Podi – 2 tbsp (adjust for spice)
Girija Paati's Sambar Podi – 1 tbsp (adjust for spice)
Turmeric – as required
Ghee – to taste
Asafoetida – to taste
Salt – to taste
For the Seasoning
Curry Leaf – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad Dhal – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves (torn into pieces) – to taste
Cinnamon – ½ inch
- Use the tamarind to make 4 cups of tamarind water.
- Add four cups of water to the rice and pressure cook well (about 6 whistles).
- Add turmeric, asafoetida and water to the thoor dhal and pressure cook well (about 6 whistles). Mash and set aside..
- Heat the oil in a kadai (wok / pan). Once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Then add the urad dhal, curry leaves, clove and cinnamon and allow the fragrance to seep out.
- Add the onions to the kadai and saute till they turn translucent, add in all the remaining vegetables (except the tomatoes) and saute till fragrant. Finally, add the tomatoes and saute for a minute or two till the juice seeps out.
- Add the sambhar podi (powder), salt and mix well. Add the tamarind water, mashed dhal and let the whole mixture boil well till the vegetables are cooked all the way through.
- Take the whole dish of the flame and set down.
- Add the rice and mix well.
- Add the Bisibela Bath podi (powder), the powdered coconut and mix thoroughly.
- Top with coriander and fresh ghee. Maybe even a little Kara Boondhi.
- Serve hot with Girija Paati's potato masala.
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