Bisi Bele Huli Anna and the Confessions of a 'sore thumb'

It was that of the time of my life when I was being pampered and cared upon.Anything I asked for would be granted.People, known or unknown, would look at me and smile knowingly.Well,that was a nice phase actually.

I am definitely not talking about my toddler-hood but a stage in adult-hood where you are made to feel special in spite of all the morning sickness,unusual cravings,persistent hunger, bloated body and the tell-tale sign-a pot belly!You caught the point rite!!

The pampering felt so good and I would ask mom each and everyday to prepare one or the other of my favorite dishes and she too would prepare it with much care and love in spite of the fact that she had to attend office everyday.

One such day,I blurted out-'Mom I want Bisi bele hulu anna'.I think she was stunned.Bisi bele huli anna is to Karnataka as sambar sadham is to Tamil nadu.Though we are from Karnataka and people from that state love this dish ,I somehow don't like it and try to avoid it given a chance.Even at weddings or during festive times at my grandparents home,I would blurt out 'no thanks' when it was being served.Even if mom prepares it at home,I would but have a bite to taste.

Right from my great grandma,[who lived to a ripe old age of 90+],my grandma and mom,all are known for their delicious bisi bele huli anna.There would be recipe requests by the guests.Such was their fame.But hailing from this family was a sore thumb-Me!!Neither did I like it nor was I inclined to learn it!Sometimes I even wondered if I had a gene or two missing!!

Now you see why mom would have been stunned by my request.This must have been the result of one of those unusual craving I was telling you earlier.

Anyways,she did prepared it for me .We had a couple of banana trees in our backyard and I love to eat on those banana leaves at each meal.She had prepared another two of my favorite along with the other dishes for lunch-Carrot raita and pappad.

So when mom started serving I suddenly remembered that I had to click a pic and dashed out to get my cam.I was in no mood to 'arrange' the dishes and click coz the aroma was so tempting.A quick click and I sat for lunch.

That's when I realized how tasty her Bisi bele huli anna was and how much I had missed it all those years!I wished I had asked for this earlier.Well as they say-Better late than never!

While taking down the recipe she recollected how her grandma used to prepare it for festivals and functions and how she still remembered that taste.So this was her recipe actually.

After this incident I started savoring every bite of this tasty dish and now I am not the 'sore thumb' I used to be.Finally the gene that was probably in hiding has shown itself !!!

All these days I had only asked mom to prepare it for me and never ventured to try it in my kitchen for the fact that I wasn't sure if would taste as good as hers but Jaya's Repost event was too tempting to let go.So here I am with the same recipe that I posted exactly 2 years ago for her event.

Jaya,if not for your event,I would never had tried it on my own even though many times I felt the need for a better click.As you rightly said some of our initial posts are precious and needless to say bring out a lot of memories.

Now to the recipe...

I used:

Rice – 1 cup
Toor dhal -3/4 cup
Tamarind – lemon size [enough to make ¾ cup extract]
Turmeric powder
Salt – to taste

Fry with a little oil and grind to a smooth paste

Coriander seeds– 3 teaspoons
Channa Dhal - 2 teaspoons
Fenugreek seeds -1/4 teaspoon
Red chillies- 5
Asafoetida – a pinch
Fresh grated coconut – 5 teaspoons


Sesame seed oil – 5 teaspoons
Curry leaves – a few sprigs
Cloves - 5
Groundnut – 1 tablespoon
Mustard and jeera-1/2 a teaspoon each

1. Pressure cook dhal, rice and turmeric for 15 minutes [or till cooked], adding 4 cups of water. [The point is to add a little extra water than what you normally use to cook rice.].Don’t worry if it turns out mushy.
2. In a heavy bottom pan, smear oil and add tamarind extract. Bring to a boil.
3. Simmer and add salt and the ground paste. Stir.
4. To this add the cooked rice mixture and simmer. Stir so that it does not stick to the bottom and char.
5. Cook till the liquid is almost absorbed but still kinda ‘gooey’
6. Remove from heat and keep aside
7. In a small pan, heat oil and put in the seasonings.
8. When the groundnut turns brown pour over rice mixture and stir well.

Serve hot .

Bisi bele huli anna served with rice crispies and salad.

If you feel the mixture is too dry at any point of cooking add water and cook till you get the desired consistency.

I made this for lunch today and was a little hesitant while serving it .Mil was happy with the result and enjoyed the meal. Hubby had it for dinner and wondered why I had never prepared it before! So now that make me all the more confident to make this often!

I am glad that I won’t stick out like a sore thumb after this and I will now carry with me this recipe to pass it on to Lil angel when she takes her interest in cooking.And that day she will know that this recipe goes way back in the family tree!

Bon Appetit!!!

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