Friday, January 9, 2009

Avalakki Bhath (Beaten Rice Bhath)

Avalakki bhath is usually prepared on ekadashi (11th day of new moon or full moon) in few Ashrams & gurukulas to satisfy the hunger of the students & yet maintain the tradition of observing a fast. It is said that avalakki is ideal to be consumed on such days(I don't know the reason behind it, but will try to find out & let you all know). My brother-in-law is studying in one such institutions & he keeps telling about what kind of items could be consumed on ekadashi day. I just follow his instructions. I know, you would be thinking as to why I’m telling all these stories to you, it is because yesterday was “Vaikunta ekadashi” & it was avalakki bhath at our home.The preparation & taste is very similar to the very popular bisibelebath.



Ingredients:
2 cups yellow moong dal
2 cups thick beaten rice
1 cup chopped vegetables (french beans, peas & carrots)
1 tsp thick tamarind juice
¼ - ½ tsp powdered jaggery
1 tomato chopped
2 tbsp bisibelebath powder (You can see the recipe here or just use MTR bisibelebath. I used MTR as the powder was all over & did not have energy to prepare the powder)
Salt according to taste
3 tbsp grated dry coconut

For tempering:
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
½ tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp peanuts
8-10 cashewnuts
1 medium sized capsicum sliced
8-10 curry leaves
1 red chilli (broken)
A generous pinch of hing

Method:
  • Pressure cook the moong dal & chopped vegetables separately for 1-2 whistles
  • Take a broad pan, add 2 cups of water & tomatoes to it. Add tamarind juice too & allow the tomatoes to get cooked completely.
  • Meanwhile, wash the beaten rice & soak it in water.
  • Add the jaggery, salt, bisibelebath powder, grated dry coconut to the cooked tomato mixture & keep stirring.
  • Add cooked vegetables & dal to it. Allow it to boil for 2-3 mins.
  • Now add the soaked beaten rice & reduce the flame. Cook on slow flame for 20 mins (Add water if mixture becomes too thick). Keep mixing in between as it gets burnt easily.
  • Prepare the tempering by heating ghee in a separate pan. When ghee is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves, peanuts & cashew nuts. Fry till cashews & peanuts turn golden brown. Add red chilli, capsicum & fry for 2-3 mins. Add asafoetida & pour the tempering on the mixture prepared.
  • Mix it well & serve it hot with papad or chips.