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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bisi Bela Huli Millet

millet bisi bele bath bela huli vegetarian indian delectable victuals

"Bisi bela huli anna" translates to "hot lentils tamarind rice" in Kannada, a typical vegetarian dish that is out of this world when done right. Instead of the "anna" which is the rice part, this dish is made with millet.

This may not be the conventional method of preparation here, but, this is what I like to do: Simply add the chopped veggies, lentils, millet, tamarind paste, spices, salt to taste, in a pressure cooker, with enough water to cook it through. When cooked and ready, add some fresh tempering and garnish, and serve hot, with a generous dripping of ghee.

Most of the time, I use my home-made Sambar powder for the spice mix and flavoring, but this time I went with store-bought mix of spice powders that are easier to find at the local grocery stories.

Pressure cooker:
3 cups assorted chopped veggies: eggplant, onions, squash, peppers, broccoli stems, carrots (optional: peas)
½ cup Tuvar dal (split pigeon peas)
1.5 cups pearl millet
2 Tablespoons tamarind concentrate (I use Vietnamese Sour Soup Mix)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red hot chili powder (optional)
salt to taste
enough water to immerse the contents and build up pressure - about 5 cups

Garnish: ghee-roasted cashews

¼ tsp urad dal
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds
3 or 4 curry leaves
1 tsp vegetable oil


  1. Pressure cook: Combine the ingredients for the pressure cooker and cook till done; the cooked dish will be mushy with a porridge-like consistency
  2. Tempering: Heat oil in a small pan, add urad dal and allow it to turn a mild golden brown, add the mustard seeds and let them pop; cover with a perforated lid if preferred as the mustard seeds will spatter all over when they pop; add the fresh curry leaves, remove from heat and add to the bisi bela huli millet from the pressure cooker
  3. Garnish: Heat some ghee in a small pan and roast some unsalted raw cashews till golden brown, toss in Curry leaves if available

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