Goan Bisibelebath

Bisibelebath (also written Bisi Bele Bath), meaning hot lentil rice, is a much loved dish of the Karnataka and surrounding regions of South India. In form, it is similar to a kitchari (rice and lentils cooked together), but is actually a variant of a the Tamil mixed vegetable Sambar with Rice (Sadam Sambar) as it has tamarind included. In some parts it is also known as Bisi bele huliyanna which means hot lentil sour rice.

This recipe is from Goa, where I first tasted Bisibelebath. Goan Bisibelebath is a beautiful dish, and this is the recipe that I learned there. By comparison, it is a simple version (but delicious) – some versions have 30 or more ingredients.

Are you looking for Indian Rice dishes? Try Zucchini Rice, Masoor Sprouts Rice, and Parsi Kitchari.

Perhaps you are after Toor Dal recipes. There are our Sambars, of course. Then try Punjabi Aamti Bhat, Eggplant with Toor Dal (Rasavangi), and Indian Dal Soup.

Try some other Goan recipes here and here. And all of our Indian dishes are here.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series. You might also like to explore our Kitchari recipes here.

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Norom Shada Khichuri | Latka Kitchari | Bengali Soft Kitchari

Bengalis love their kitchari, and love the rain. Often the two go together – as the rains come, the consumption of kitchari increases exponentially.

There are dozens of types of Kitchari. It is eaten in different forms all over India, but even in Bengal alone, many varieties exist. Kitchari style dishes can vary from pilaf/pulao-like dishes, to the more porridge-like Pongals of Tamil Nadu and the beloved Bisibelebath of Karnataka.

This kitchari is a well-cooked – that is, it is quite soft and moist, almost slightly soupy. It is delicious and it is perfect on a rainy day, any where in the world. The defining characteristics of this kitchari is that it is very soft (norom) and white, as well as healthy.  It is mostly tempered with onion and garlic. (It can also be served very soupy, almost like an Indian version of Chinese Congee. We will add a recipe for this version later on and add a link here.)

I have seen Kitchari referred to as Hodgepodge. My goodness! A hodgepodge is a random assortment of things — a group of things that don’t quite fit together. There is a dish from Nova Scotia called Hodgepodge but it is nothing like Kitchari. It is a collection of beans, peas and potatoes cooked in one pot. It is also common to call Kitchari as risotto. Again this is a great misnomer. Kitchari must be one of the most well known of Indian dishes outside of India, thus it is surprising to see Indian cooks give it other names. You can read more about that here.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Congee Bowls, Goan Bisibelebath, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Gujarati Kitchari, and Bengali Bhog Kitchari.

Or are you looking for other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer.  There are more Bengali dishes coming, so check back here.

Browse all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our lovely Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Norom Shada Khichuri | Latka Kitchari | Bengali Soft Kitchari”

Bhuna Khichuri | Bengali 5 Lentil Kitchari with Toasted Mung Dal

The warm weather disappeared and our thoughts turned to kitchari as it rained and rained and rained. Researching Bhuna Kitchari, I came across a very interesting recipe, one that took time and extraordinary care over the making of this dish.  Bhuna Khichuri is a richer version of Kitchari and injects flavours not only through the spices used but also by the slow frying of onions, the roasting of the mung dal and the frying of the other lentils and rice. There are 5 lentils used in this dish. The word Bhuna actually comes from the roasting of the moong dal and the frying the rice as the kitchari is made.

It is true that this recipe for Bhuna Khichuri is fussier than others – more steps and an attention to detail. But the end result justifies the means. Often at our house Kitchari is made in the rice cooker, and it is pretty fast and pretty good. But when time allows, more complex variations yield wonderful results. The recipe isn’t difficult – let me reassure you – it just has a few more steps. I have followed the original recipe fairly closely, with just a few alterations.

The secret to this dish, which I recommend that you note, is the frying of the onions – caramelise them – the quality of your ginger-garlic paste, toasting of the mung dal and the frying of the rice. The texture of the dish is wonderful! Also, on occasion I have used urad dal and matki (moth) beans when I have been out of masoor or mattar dal. Both need to be in the longer soaking.

Similar dishes include Moth Bean (Matki) Dal, Norom Shada Khichuri, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Maharashtrian Masoor Sprouts Kitchari,  and Gujarati Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt | Khichuri

A lovely light kitchari for recuperation, fasting or detox. Or just enjoy it at any time. I love it for breakfast.

Moraiyo, it sounds like a love song but is actually a millet, and it is a grain I have fallen in love with.

Since being introduced to Moraiyo (Barnyard Millet) by my Mahastrian friends, I have become a fan. It cooks up beautifully, and can be cooked to any texture you like, from separate grains, almost like couscous, to thicker, stoggy texture more akin to the South Indian style pongal. Add spices and perhaps some vegetables, and you have a meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner!

It is a quick and easy recipe to make – a no-fuss but loved breakfast item in this household.

This is also a fasting dish, for those who follow Hindu fasting practices.

Similar recipes include Moraiya Kitchari, Sago Kitchari, and Bhuna Kitchari with 5 Lentils.

You might like to explore other Moraiya dishes, or browse our Kitchari recipes. Our Indian recipes can all be found here and our Indian Essentials are here.. Perhaps some Spring recipes for you? Explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari

Bengal has so many different types of khichuri (kitchari), its quite mind blowing. They adore their them. This one is a kitchari with the classic combo of peas, cauliflower and potato, together with an onion-spice mix. It is quite a flavoursome dish, and another addition to our 20 or so published and scheduled kitchari dishes.

You might guess that kitchari is also well loved in this house – a more nourishing and comforting dish is hard to find. The vegetables in this one add to its nutritional value as well as flavour and texture. Bengali’s make kitchari on rainy days, it is popular in the monsoon season – but don’t be held back. Make this dish at any time of the  year.

Kitchari is also very good for babies and invalids.

It is difficult to get the local Bengali rice unless you have a specialist Indian grocer near you, so use Basmati rice. You might like to begin the recipe by making your own ginger paste and Bengali Garam Masala.

Similar recipes include Buttery Steamed Kitchari, Norom Shada Khichuri, Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt, Barnyard Millet Kitchari, Parsi Kitchari, and Ven Pongal.

We have other Bengali recipes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer and Bhog Kitchari.

Or explore all of our Kitchari recipes and we have a number of Indian mixed rice dishes. Browse all of our Rice dishes. Our Bengali recipes are here, all of our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Autumn collection of recipes.

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Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi | Khichuri

Moraiya Kitchari is a delightful dish, healthy and nourishing. It is regularly made for Navratri fasting, Ekadashi fasting or any other time of Hindu fasting as it is an easily digestible dish. It is delicious in its own right – lightly spiced and less vigorous of taste than many Indian dishes, but don’t put it aside because of that. Try it with a wet curry like a yoghurt or besan curry, even a Poritha Kuzhambu! You will enjoy.

Moraiya is composed of tiny, white, round grains. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, Moraiya is a popular alternative, especially during Navratri. It is often used in place of rice, although it does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is quite sticky when it is cooked and the grains stick together somewhat.

Are you looking for other Kitchari dishes? Try Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt, Sago, Peanuts and Potatoes Kitchari, Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor Sprouts, and a Simple Parsi Kitchari.

You might like to check to see whether we have posted other Moraiya recipes. You can browse all of our other Kitchari recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes .

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Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf

Remember Kurma? If you are of a certain age, and Australian, you will recall his TV shows of vegetarian Indian cooking. He really was the first to bring Indian food to Australians in a way that made it easily comprehensible and easy to cook. He was a stickler for detail, and for this I love him. So many recipes out of India these days are low in detail, low in precision, and that allows others to take liberties with Indian recipes. Soon, Indian food is no longer Indian food, but some mish mash of regional differences and non-Indian preferences.

One small example. I am constantly frustrated by recipes that say “1 cup rice”. Which rice? Basmati? Short grained? Long grained? Red or white? A South Indian variety? or a North Indian Variety? And it can make a huge difference to the end result. Do you need rice that is harder? Softer? Sticks together? Separates beautifully? Kurma would never leave one in doubt.

We don’t use rice in this recipe, even though it is a kitchari. This recipe from Kurma uses sago. But as usual, Kurma is precise in all details.

Are you interested in other Sago recipes? Try Sago Payasam, and Sago Coconut Payasam.

We have quite a number of Kitchari recipes, for example Goan Bisibelebath, Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor SproutsGujarati Kitchari, Bengali Kitchari and Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt.

Or go with Sesame Potatoes.

Feel free to browse all Sago recipes, and all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version. Or explore some Kitchari dishes like Buttery Steamed Kitchari.

And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari | Khichuri

Today’s recipe is a kitchari from Maharashtra that incorporates sprouts made from masoor lentils, and which uses Goda Masala. Goda Masala is a spice mix unique to Maharashtra. I should say, one of the several spice mixes unique to that state of India. It is a spice mix that is complex and layered in flavours. There are a whole range of dishes that use it (e.g. Masoor Sprouts Usal), and we intend to make a few over the next weeks.

Goda Masala can be difficult to get outside of Maharashtra – try in North Indian groceries, because those specialising in South Indian ingredients won’t have heard of it. You can try to make your own masala – I generally prefer to do this, but several of the spices used in Goda Masala are hard to find outside of Maharashtra, even in India.

This kitchari is pilaf style rather than the South Indian style which is more porridge-like. It uses the long grained basmati rice rather than the shorter grained rice of South India.

Similar recipes include Goan Bisibelebath.

Browse other Goda Masala recipes and our Kitchari recipes. There are other sprouts recipes, and browse all of our Maharashtrian recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Cauliflower, Mung Bean and Broken Wheat Kitchari | Khichuri

A Kitchari with a difference

Making rice with veggies is so easy, and can be made with whatever is in the fridge. This is my general method for making Kitchari with cracked wheat and vegetables. Today the vegetable is roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower melts into the kitchari, leaving a beautiful creamy texture and flavour.

Have a look at our Cracked Wheat Kitchari recipe. You might like to check out all of our other kitchari recipes too.

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