Bisibelabath (One Pot Sambhar Rice)

Bisibelabath is a well-known South Indian dish. Otherwise called Sambhar Saadam. It is predominantly made during weddings or for festivals and is a rich and creamy dish fit for any celebration. Thankfully, with the Instant Pot, it is made even easier as you still everything in a pot (apart from tempering ingredients) and relax!

Oh and don’t “cheap” out on the ghee, it makes all the difference!! I usually advocate healthy alternatives but there are some dishes where making a compromise with the ingredients will end up compromising the taste!

So, what’ll you need?

1 cup raw rice

½ cup toor dal

1 carrot chopped

1 medium sized potato chopped

4 shallots, chopped

1 drumstick, chopped (I’ve used frozen)

½ cup frozen peas

1 tomato chopped

1 cup of tamarind water (I’ve used ¼ tsp of tamarind extract in water)

1 tbsp Bisibelabath Powder

½ tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

4 cups Water

Coriander leaves to garnish

1tbsp ghee

For tempering:

1tbsp ghee

1tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urid dal

1 tsp channa dal

2 dried red chillies

1tsp cumin seeds

A handful of cashews

A small bunch of curry leaves

Sauté mode, add 1tbsp ghee. Add the shallots, rice, toor dal and all the veggies followed by the turmeric water. Stir well, add the Bisibelabath, turmeric powder and salt. Add 4 cups of water.

Cancel sauté mode. Put the lid on and set to sealing. Cook on high pressure under manual for 10 minutes. let the pressure release naturally or do a quick release after 15 minutes NPR.

Open the lid and add a little hot water to loosen the Bisibelabath.

In a separate pan, add the ghee and oil, fry the cashews first, once they’ve turned light pink in colour, add all the other tempering ingredients and fry for a few seconds.

Add all the tempered ingredients into the instant pot, stir well. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with poppadums.


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