(BTW - MTR restaurant is the same name that now sells the packaged South Indian foods all over the world - pickles, Sambar powders etc)
Bisibelebath seems a bit daunting to make - because of all the different spices and varied things to be done - but fear not - try it once or twice and you will be able to master it.
My mom has been making Bisibelebath from about 5 decades or so and everyone in our extended family swears by Mom's recipe which I present below:
Time to prepare: 45 minutes
Ingredients for Bisibelebath:
- 150gms - Raw rice
- 150gms - Toor dal (Togari bele in Kannada)
- 3 tsps - coriander seeds
- 6 - red chillies
- 1/2 tsp - pepper corns
- a pinch - menthya (or Fenugreek seeds)
- marble sized - tamarind lump
- 1/2 tsp - jaggery (optional - but recommended)
- 5 tsp - dessicated coconut
- 1/4 tsp - haldi (or turmeric powder)
- 4 tsp - urad (black gram dal)
- 2 tsps - chana dal (bengal gram dal)
- 4 - cloves
- 2 pieces - cinnamon
Seasoning for Bisibelebath:
- 6 tsps - pure ghee (cooking oil is a poor substitute - as benefit of fragrance won't be present)
- Fistful of Pearl onions (aka sambar onions aka madras onions - the tiny variety)
- 1/2 cup of halved and roasted cashews
- 1/2 tsp - mustard seeds
- 1 tsp chana dal (bengal gram dal)
- 2-3 - green chillies
- 2 sprigs - curry leaves
- Dry roast (individually, if you have time) - coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugrek, pepper, cinnamon, black gram dal, chana dal and cloves. Separately roast red chillies with a spoon of oil.
- Roast coconut gratings separately.
- Grind in a food processor or mixie, all of the above items together.
- In a pressure cooker - add the rice, dal, tamarind, vegetables - about 4 times the volume in water. Cook for about 4 whistles - until overcooked.
- When done, on a low flame, add the roasted powder mix, the cashews halves and keep mixing well.
- The consistency should be pouring thickness - something thinner than dosa batter.
- Finally do the seasoning - first pearl onion wholes fried in oil and then the remaining items mentioned above.
- Add the seasoning to the bisibelebath, mix well.
- Bisibele bath is ready! Enjoy with salads, curds, chips or papad.