Bhath ( pronounced “bath”) in Kannada means mixed rice. It refers to an almost inexhaustible family of vegetarian friendly dishes. It is great for when you have many guests and you don’t want to spend the evening explaining what goes with what and how to eat it. All you need to do is serve bhath hot or cold, on its own or with a bit of raita (plain unsweetened yoghurt with salt and grated cucumber). One thing you do need to make in advance is the bhath mix which is a powdered mixture of all the spices required. The mix keeps for months so you don’t have to make it each time. I have a recipe for the bhath mix, the bhath itself and a simple raita. Hope you like it!
For the spice mix
1 cup channa dal
1 cup urid dal
4 sticks cinnamon
1 cup curry leaves
½ cup fenugreek seeds
2 cups red chillies
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
For the bhath
1 large potato, chopped into small pieces (see pictures 8 & 9)
1/2 a bunch of fenugreek leaves, stems removed (approximately 150 gms)
2 cups of cooked rice ( day old rice works really well for this dish)
2 heaped tablespoons of bhath mix
Juice from half a lemon (optional)
Salt to suit your taste
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
For the raita (optional)
1/2 a grated cucumber
1cm piece of grated ginger
1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. For the mix : Roast each of the ingredients (except asafoetida) until they are light brown and give off a lovely (or spicy) smell (pictures 1-5). Keep the exhaust fan on as the chillies will smoke and might set your fire alarm off. Once roasted, allow them to cool.
2. Once the ingredients for the mix have cooled to room temperature, grind them to a make a coarse powder. This is your bhath mix. Store it in an airtight container (in your cupboard) for up to 6 months.
3. Heat oil in a large pan and add all the tempering ingredients into the oil. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the chopped potatoes and cook until they go golden brown.
4. Then add the fenugreek leaves and allow them to wilt around the potatoes (picture 8).
5. Once the leaves turn dark green, add the bhath powder and salt to suit your taste. Mix well until the spice mix is evenly spread.
6. Add the rice to the potato-fenugreek mix and stir until uniformly combined (see picture above).
7. Squeeze some lemon juice and mix it into the rice if you like a bit of tang in your food.
7. For the raita, mix all raita ingredients together just before serving.
8. Serve bhath hot or cold with or without raita. I like it it hot with raita but it is also great for a cold lunch.
1. You can use eggplant, green capsicum (peppers) or beans instead of potato+fenugreek. Potato is always a nice addition to this dish.
2. If you are in doubt about what the dals I talk about are, see my blog on the Mysteries of Dal.
bhath = bath. If you are feeling enthused, go ahead and stress on the first “h” too – i.e. bha – th
raita = Ra (sun god) + eye + th + aa