Quinoa Bisi Bele Bhath

Sometimes thinking ahead pays! For instance, when Usha came down to India last year, I shamelessly requested her to get me a pack of quinoa. It was around that time that I was making a list of dishes for Journey Through The Cuisines,where I am doing an A-Z recipe posts through the cuisine of Karnataka.

Quinoa is gaining popularity in India but in my place it is pretty expensive. So with the batch of Usha's quinoa, I have made a list of dishes to make with quinoa.Since I have never cooked with this grain, I went ahead to experiment with it.

The moment I mention about my link to Karnataka, the first question people often ask is if I can make a mean Bisi Bele Bhath!Until a few years back I was sort of a sore thumb in the family! I never used to like or appreciate this dish. But one fine day, suddenly I had a craving and I am a total convert now.

Mom makes a really delicious Bisi Bele Bhath, my great grand mothers recipe. I got the recipe from her and made it a handful of times. When the blogging craze took over me, I wanted to make new dishes and with the rest of the traditional dishes, this one too was forgotten.

I found this a chance to revive it and made Bisi Bele Bhath with quinoa there by fulfilling the dish name to start with Q!!

I already have our family version of the dish, so this time I decided to make it a little different by adding veggies. The dish that mom/ grandmom makes does not have veggies. I know that most people look forward to seeing veggies in Bisi Bele Bhath, but we never make it that way.

My nephew had come down for a few days and he became my guinea pig for this dish. There were no complaints from him or hubby. They both liked it and even Lil Angel had a second helping. So now if anyone asks me if I can make Bisi Bele Bhath, I can give a bold and honest answer.

So here is my version , a twist to our family recipe...

I used:

Quinoa – 1 cup
Thogiri bele/Toor dhal -3/4 cup
Hunisehannu/Tamarind – lemon size [enough to make ¾ cup extract]
Arisin pudi/Turmeric powder- a pinch
Hasi Kadalekaye / Raw groundnut - 1/8 cup
Uppu/Salt – to taste
Karibevu / Curry leaves- a few
Mixed veggies - I used carrot,peas,tomato,potato,beans
Yenne / Oil- 1 tablespoon

For the masala paste

Kothamari beeja /Coriander seeds– 3 teaspoons
Kadalebele /Channa Dhal - 2 teaspoons
Menthya/Fenugreek seeds -1/4 teaspoon
Ona Menasinakaye /Red chillies-2
Ingu/Asafoetida – a pinch
Thengin Thuri /Grated coconut – 5 teaspoons

Ogarnay /Seasoning

Ollenay /Sesame seed oil – 2 teaspoons
Karibevu/Curry leaves – a few sprigs
Lavanga/Cloves - 5
Kadalekaye/Groundnut – 1 tablespoon
Sasve /Mustard 1/2  teaspoon
Jeerege / Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

Soak the raw groundnut. Meanwhile chop the vegetables.Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and extract the juice to make 3/4 cup.Wash the dal and quinoa,drain and keep aside. Gather the ingredients for the masala paste and seasoning.

 Heat oil in a pan and add the ingredients to make the masala paste except the coconut. Roast till the dal turns brown. Add the coconut and turn off the heat. Give it a mix and allow to cool. Grind to a fine paste adding a little water and keep aside.

 Heat oil in a pressure cooler and add the vegetables, drained groundnut, tamarind extract[adjust to taste,it differs with the quality. The dish must be slightly tangy but not too much.].Add the ground masala paste and around 4 cups of water, salt.

Add turmeric powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the washed and drained quinoa-Dal mixture .Mix once and pressure cook for 15 minutes / till the dal and quinoa gets cooked. Open the cooker after the pressure releases and check the consistency. I t must be gooey. Else add a little water and mix. Check the taste and see if it needs salt or tamarind extract. If adding simmer for 5 minutes.

In a smaller pan heat oil for seasoning and add all the ingredients listed under it. Once the mustard pops and groundnut turns brown, pour over the quinoa - dal mixture and stir well.

Serve hot / at room temperature with a raita and crispies.Here I have served it with Kanchay soppu Raita.

This post also goes to the A-Z Challenge 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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