This is a thick jam-like gravy with a tamarind base, spiced with a mix of roasted powdered pepper and lentils. Perfect over a bed of hot steaming rice, with an accompaniment of vegetables (kootu) or curry.
Bisi-bela-huli-anna is a signature dish of Karnataka cuisine. I have split the name to explain what it means.
In Kannada (language spoken in the state of Karnataka), bisi means hot, bela means lentil (paruppu/dal), huli means tamarind/puli, and anna means cooked rice. The name pretty much gives you the recipe in a nutshell! It’s a wholesome dish that has starch, protein, fat, and vitamins in the form of vegetables. Since I started using the Instant Pot, this has become a much simpler dish as it involves just one, at the most 2 (to fry the spices and toast), pots to wash.
This is an involved recipe and the list of ingredients could be intimidating at first, but if you plan and get organized, it really is a simple dish to make and enjoy for a couple of days! On to the recipe now!
I always got intimidated by this dessert, but found that it was a simple recipe, if somewhat time consuming (boiling and reducing the milk). Made a very small batch of 6 pooris for deepavali, and it was gone in seconds! The traditional pooris are made with rava/sooji/cream of wheat, but I made it with maida/AP flour. Regular whole wheat pooris would also work, if you really want to reduce the guilt quotient!
Rasam is what I crave when we’ve been traveling or eating out too much. And on those days when I simply don’t want to mess with soaking tamarind, waiting for the toor dal to cook, and make rice in a different pot. A few years ago, I came across this method where you can make it all in one go and tried it in my pressure pan – this was before the OPOS days. Now, I have started using my instant pot for the same, and even the extra step of watching and turning it off is eliminated. It’s ready with minimal prep – no soaking tamarind, no making a pot of rasam, and rice separately, no waiting for dal to cook. All the ingredients go in the instant pot together, pressure cooked for 15 minutes, and a simple rasam rice is yours – hot, steaming, and will soothe your soul in under 30 minutes. And it tastes heavenly!
This is the ubiquitous stuffing that goes inside the crispy golden folds of dosai (please don’t call it pancakes). Also a popular side dish for pooris, specifically in the southern parts of India, called poori masal. Favorite of almost anyone, it’s a very simple dish to make.