Bisi Bele Bath is mouth watering delicacy, typically prepared in the south Karnataka region. Not to say, only prepared here, but this full-of-wonder delicacy originated from south Karnataka region. The delicacy because of its mouth watering powers has moved away from the origin and can now be seen around in all corners of the world.
The literal translation of the name would sound something like “Hot lentil cooked mix”. For westerners and easterners (meaning to the east of
As the name suggests, the dish has to be served hot and savoured hot in a hot afternoon of summer to appreciate the finest elements of the dish. Bisi Bele Bath is made by cooking rice, lentils, some vegetables (any) with a very special masala (grinded mixture of spices) all at one go. Yeah!! All at one go. It just doesn’t sound simplistic explanation of how it is made, It is that simple. Even the spices used are very easily obtained and the masala can be prepared quickly.
It seems, Bisi Bele Bath was invented for the purpose of what cooks term as “Quickie”. Whenever a cook, (for those guys who are thinking house wives, think modern!) doesn’t want to put effort to prepare a dish. He just puts everything in a vessel and cooks Bisi Bele Bath. Simple!!!
No! No! No! Never get disappointed and say, “Oh! This is another quickie, I have seen them all”. No mates, this is what makes the dish special. Though it’s a quickie, the “balance of spices” and the mix, is so special that any person in the world will invariably love this. This provides such a height of sensual pleasure while eating, which can just be equalled by another well known quickie.
Bisi Bele Bath is one of the rare dishes, which touches the sensitive spots of all the pleasure points of the body. To explain a few,
Tongue: The mix of masala, rice, vegetables and lentils creates a bubbling water effect on the tongue. The chemical composition of masala is such that, the taste mixes with the liquid in the tongue and stays mixed for atleast 2 hours. This is unless, you do not do the stupidity of drinking coffee in between.
Nose, eyes, skin: The hot (as in hot) and hot (as in spicy) Bisi Bele Bath, typically creates an effect at the bottom of the nose. This in turn, runs water down the nose. The effect is also transported to eyes, which makes them water as well. The same effect is also reflected to the roots of the skin cells. This pushes the skin to water as well. This well rounded watering of all senses in the face is typical of good “Bisi Bele Bath”. Some of the blessed souls even say “No other dish creates this effect” and twirl there tongue in a funny way. The learned and knowledgeable seers have termed this as "Bisi Bele Bath" effect. It seems, the whole seer community of the ancient India couldn't relate the effect to anything else, and hence decided to name the effect after its creator.
Ears: The hot and hot spice effect is also propagated to ears. This increases the blood flow to the ears, and creates a pleasure paralleled by only one other activity under the sun.
For getting the best pleasure, Bisi Bele Bath needs to be had on a hot summer day in tropical climate. For the best effects, Bisi Bele Bath should always be had with minimum of one Spoonful of ghee sprinkled on the dish.
You might be already thinking! (If not? Start thinking now.) Where do you get this wonderful sensual stuff? Where you get good Bisi Bele Bath depends on the place, caste, religion, age, energy, money etc. etc. For the benefit of the general people, will try to explain the hierarchy of the best Bisi Bele Baths.
Top 1: Madhava Brahmin, a sub-sect in the Brahmin caste is uniquely known in this world for there ability to cook mouth watering Bisi Bele Bath. The cooks of the Madhava Mutts (sub-sub-sect grouping area) have the best balanced recipe of this delicacy. It has been kept as the best secret in the Mutts from time immemorable. Needless to say further, go find a friend who is Madhava Brahmin and force him to celebrate any occasion in the Mutt.
Top 2: Mavalli Tiffin Room, MTR, which is restaurant, has the next best Bisi Bele Bath in the world. If you start thinking, oh! A restaurant, an easy find. Guess what? It is not an easy thing to get an after seat for lunch in this restaurant. But the knower will always say, "for Bisi Bele Bath, any amount of hard ship you go through is worth the effort".
Top 3: Any restaurant/fast food in the south
Top 4: Get yourself invited for lunch in any of the “Karnataka” family. Its worth to have a friend just for Bisi Bele Bath.
Top 5: Ready made mix of MTR brand Bisi Bele Bath is available in most general stores in
Heil the pleasure of Bisi Bele Bath!!! Long Live Bisi Bele Bath.
-- Madhukar Hebbar