Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rava Bisi Bele Bhaat

In 1981, when I was working in a Bank in Chickpet Bangaluru, I used to have snacks at Balepet Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan(USKB), skipping lunch. My regular order used to be Dumrote, Idli Sambar and a plate of Khaara Bhaat on regular days and Rava Bisi Bele Bhaat on Wednesdays, only day on which they used to make that special dish found nowhere else! 
Yes. Rava Bisi Bele Bhaat is an invention of master chefs of Balepet USKB, and they also introduced it in their two branches in Koramangala and Gandhi Bazaar later, as I am given to understand by Purushotham, their manager. I was totally bowled by the taste of this dish, that's loaded with lentils and vegetables, and also the flavours of masalas and slight sourness of added lemon juice. I think they also add little tamarind extract to it, but I like more lemony taste and flavour.

The recipe I came out, is not new. I had tried making Rava Bisi Bele Bhaat at least thrice in the last 27 years, and succeeded in getting the right taste and flavour. We don't make it often, as making this involves extra work like preparing veggies and other stuff. 

Try making this, and you will also love it. If you can't get Bisi Bele Bhaat powder, you can substitute that with sambar masala and garam masala. We had excellent Bisi Bele Bhaat powder given by our family friend Nirmala Urs from Maisuru and that added to the flavour very much. I made it adding pure ghee, but those who are cautious about fat may add refined oil. Adding boiled kabuli Chana is mandatory, as the taste of this dish will be perfect with it. You can reserve a cup of boiled kabuli chana when you make them ready for preparing chana chole or other curries. Please note that volume of  water used in making this rava based dish has been slightly reduced, because we are adding mixed veggies, tomatoes and boiled chana with its soup, which compensate for the right amount of water content needed to cook the rava perfectly.
Bombay Rava - 2 cups
Ghee/Oil - 6 Tsp(30 ml)
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
Chana Daal - 1 Tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Onion - 1 medium thinly sliced
Green Chillies - 2 cut diagonally into 1/2" bits
Grated Coconut - A handful
Mixed Vegetables(As per list given below) - 2 cups
Tomato - 1 medium thinly sliced into 1/2" pieces
Bisi Bele Bhaat Masala Powder - 2 Tsp(or 1 and 1/2 Tsp sambar powder and 1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder) 
Kabuli Chana - A handful soaked overnight, pressure cooked with 1/2 cup water. 
Salt - 1 Tsp(or to taste)
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Lemon - 1 small
Coriander Leaves - A handful chopped

List of Mixed Veg:
Fresh Green Peas (or dry ones, soaked and boiled) - A handful
French Beans - 2 cut into thin 1/2 " long julienne 
Cabbage - 1 leaf cut into thin 1/2 " long julienne or,
Cauliflower - 2-3 florets cut into thin slices
Carrot - 1/2 small, cut into thin 1/2 " long julienne

Keep 5 cups of water for boiling in a vessel.
Heat 4 tsp ghee or oil in a thick bottomed kadai or pan and reduce the heat to sim.
Add mustard seeds, allow them to splutter, add chana daal and curry leaves, fry until daal turns golden.
Add rava and fry on medium flame until a nice aroma emanates and the rava turns slightly golden.
Remove and wipe the pan clean with a dry cloth.
Heat remaining 2 tsp ghee or oil.
Add chopped green chillies and onions, grated coconut and fry until onions are transparent.
Add mixed vegetables and stir fry on high flame until vegetables are crisp but partly cooked.
Now add the tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are slightly cooked.
Add Bisi Bele bhaat masala(or sambar powder and garam masala powder) and fry on medium flame for 1-2 minutes.
Add boiled Kabuli chana along with its soup, salt, sugar and squeeze lemon.
Add hot water and bring to a boil.
Check for salt and add roasted seasoned rava.
Mix gently and allow rava to cook on medium flame for 3-4 mins.
As the water gets absorbed and rava swells up but still wet, switch off the flame, remove the pan and keep it on the kitchen platform for 5-10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, mix and serve hot.

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