I love to cook. You all kinda know that by now.
But I have my days when I don't want to enter anywhere near the kitchen except maybe to refill my water or coffee. I don't want to cook more than one thing sometimes and I desperately look for a one dish wonder to make. And of late, my slow cooker and I are slowly getting to know each other because of this. And I realize she's very helpful. She loves me much and wants to make life easier for me. And I reciprocate the love and use her totally. I can assure you I'm not like that in real life.
This was one of those when I had to take my daughter to one of her many classes in the evening and had no time after work to cook up a full meal. And so, my slow cooker came to my rescue. I dumped everything in, switched it on and left the house. Three hrs later when we all sat down for dinner including my slow cooker, it was a perfect, delicious and satisfying meal.
If you're thinking of buying one of these, just do it. They are not too expensive. You do get good ones on sale for 20-30 dollars and if not everyday, many a days these do make your life easier. Mine was a gift from my dear sister - rather she bought it for herself and kept it for a year without using it. Then, one day she was cleaning up and decided she wanted her 1 sqft back. And that's why people you are seeing this post! (Side note - eventually my sister filled up that 1 sq.ft with something else!)
There are 3 settings on my slow cooker - the Low, High and Warm. The low setting takes about 7-8 hrs to cook something - this would be perfect to like switch on in the morning when you go to work and by the time you come back home, dinner is ready. In California though, you just hope one of those earthquakes don't come by and topple your slow cooker. Other than that, no other issues having them on while you are away somewhere else. The High setting takes about 21/2 hrs to cook your meal which is what I used this time. I switched this on at about 5:00pm and we had dinner at 7:30pm and it was perfect. The warm setting ..well just keeps things warm.
Get the pot out and turn it on. Get your cutting board and the veggies that you like to add in your Bisibelabath. Wash all the veggies. Start chopping them up and directly adding to the pot. I added 1 tsp of oil to the pot before I added the veggies.
So, I have tomato, green beans, carrots, 1 potato, onions, 1 chayote squash (chow-chow), and also some green peas (not shown here). Chop it all up roughly and add to the pot.
I put 1.5 cups of rice and 3/4th cups of toor daal. Wash them well together. If you have time, you can actually soak these together for about an hour. That will cook them easier.
Add the washed rice to the veggies.
Add salt to taste.
A pinch of turmeric.
Some red chilli powder according to your heat level.
One heaped tsp of Sambar powder.
Mix it all up well.
Now, add water. I added about 6 cups of water for 1.5 rice and 3/4 daal. Bisibelabath always taste better when its a little thin and completely cooked. So, don't worry about adding a little extra water. Remember, you need enough water for both the rice-daal and also the veggies.
In a pan, add 1 tsp of oil and do a tadka of Mustard seeds and curry leaves. I was out of curry leaves and missed it dearly - so please add if you do have. Once the tadka is ready, add it to the slow cooker on top of all the rice and veggies. This flavor of mustard seeds cooked with the rice turns out good.
Then, for the masala - take all of these ingredients below -
Channa Daal - 2 tsp
Urad Daal - 1.5 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Black Pepper whole - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Corainder seeds - about 2 tsps
Red Chillies - 3-4 or more if you want it spicier
Coconut - about 1/2 cup
Dry roast all of the above in a pan until the aromas start floating up.
Move to a mixer or blender, add a little water and make a paste out of the spices.
Add the ground masala paste to the pot.
Mix it all up well once.
And finally, add 1 tsp of ghee to the pot.
Close it. And go do your other stuff. I was out chauffeuring and was stuck in traffic! Maybe you can watch a movie.
Lo and behold, after 2.5 hrs, bisibelabath is ready!
Give it a quick stir and get your dinner plates ready.
Serve hot out of the pot with some raitha and potato chips. I don't think there is a better accompaniment for this dish.
Now was that an easy meal or what? And perfectly satisfying like I said before.
Enjoy. Peace Out!