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Monday, June 4, 2007

Masale Bhath / Masala Bhath

Indian cuisine is as wide, varied and colorful as the country itself. Every part of India has it's own culinary heritage to boast about. Probably one's lifetime is not enough to even get to know about the regional cuisines of India.
Kudos to Lakshmi for starting such an amazing event, which gives us a glimpse of regional cuisines of India and an opportunity to try our hand at unfamiliar cuisines. This month's RCI is hosted by lovely Nupur of
One Hot Stove and the theme is Maharashtrian cuisine.
I know very little about Marathi cuisine, except a few things like the common foods (Maharashtra & neighboring states) prepared at my home, the chat foods we enjoy at the local eateries, Maharashtrian 'Goda masala' & 'Kokum' which I come across when I go to shop at Indian grocers which have an exotic appeal (to me). I had the opportunity to taste Maharashtrian food as a tourist and I know that this is no way to get acquainted with local cuisine in a true sense.
This event has inspired me to try Masala Bhath / Masale Bhath (this is more appealing, sounds more like Kannada), a spicy, Maharashtrian rice dish. It is a simple, delicious rice - vegetable preparation, spiced up with the masala (powdered spices) added to it. It is simple in terms of preparation. If you have prepared your masala powder in advance, then you can come up with this dish in matter of minutes. The vegetables usually that go into the dish are tindora, green peas and eggplants. Some how the tindora - eggplant combo was not appealing to me and hence I skipped eggplants from the dish. If you are not familiar with Marathi cuisine , then believe me, this dish falls under 'Crowd Pleaser' category.

Rice - 1 Cup, heaped
Washed and quartered, Tindora - 1 cup ( I used 10 oz frozen tindora)
Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Oil - 3 - 4 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a few pinches
Cashew nuts - 1 Tbsp
Few curry leaves
For Masala powder, you need:
Grated Copra / Dry coconut - 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Cloves - 3 - 4
Red chillies - 5-6
1 inch Cinnamon pieces - 2
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 1
For garnishing:
Chopped cilantro

Preparation of Masala Bhath:
I took the privileges of a cook and went the easier way. I cooked the rice before, instead of cooking at the end along with the veggies..
Cook the rice using two cups of water in a pressure cooker.
On low to moderate heat, dry fry all the masala powder ingredients till they turn light brown in color. Let them cool and grind them into a fine powder. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan/wok. Add mustard seeds to the oil. When they start to pop, add cashews, curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute them for a few seconds and add tindora and green peas. Cover the lid and keep stirring in between. Let the tindora cook till they are done. I fried my tindora till they were crisp.
Now add the masala powder to tindora and saute for a few seconds. Then add cooked rice and salt to the tindora mixture and mix till all the rice and vegetables are coated well with the masala powder.
Garnish with cilantro.
I served hot masala bhath with papad and raita. If there are any authentic Maharashtrian side dishes that go with this dish, please let me know.

Masala Bhath - My entry to RCI - Maharashtrian cuisine hosted by Nupur.


Roopa said...

wonderfull entry! looks delicious...

Vcuisine said...

Suma Nice entry and an ideal dish for lunch box. Tks for sharing. Viji

Nupur said...

Thanks for a wonderful entry, Suma! This is such a typical Marathi dish, and yes, it is called "Masale bhath" in Marathi too! I love eating it just the way you did...with raita (the Maharashtrian kind, with peanut powder), and papad on this side. Traditionally, masale bhath is the second course in the wedding meal, so it served with 50 other dishes :D
I love the tindora only version, like you; or the mixed veggie version (cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, peas). Usually I end up making the mixed veggie version, because tindora is not that easily available.

Sia said...

wonderful entry dear:) although i have never had this masale baath i can almost taste the dish. using tindora in rice is something i have never come across, guess it must be giving that nice crunch to the rice dish. the pic makes me crave for masale baath...

Asha said...

Absolutely beautiful.Masale bhath does sound like Kannada word!
I would serve with raita too since it is already masale bhaat!:))
Great entry.

Suma Gandlur said...


I am also in search of new rice dishes like a true South Indian. Thanks.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks for hosting RCI Maharashtrian cuisine. I had the opportunity to try an authentic Marathi dish and we enjoyed it very much.

Richa said...

masale bhath looks yum, love it! it sure is a crowd pleaser, hence served in weddings! with papad & raita makes such a tasty meal :)

Seema Bhat said...

Beautiful and yummy entry. I have never ever even thought of using thindoora in bath or pulav. Looks great Suma.

Aruna said...

Suma, First time seeing Tindora baath, looks absolutely yummy!!! Thx.


Kribha said...

Looks so good Suma. Never knew that it is a maharashtrian dish. will surely make this.

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

Hey Suma,
Lovely recipe.This looks like hotel ones.Like your spinach rice too.the color looks awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suma,

Your Masala Bhath looks really gorgeous!

Your idea to put Tindora is really amazing... need to try it.

Thanks for sharing.

Check out my recipes at www.andhrachef.com
Hope you like them.


ushaprashanth said...

Hi suma!
The dish looks beautiful!!! lovely picture!

Shivapriya said...

Looks colourful and i'm pretty sure it tastes delicous.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks, I also never had a tindora rice dish. One of the reasons for trying this dish was to see how tindora fits in this dish. It was absolutely yummy.

Try madi nodi. I think you would love it.

Suma Gandlur said...

Richa, Aruna

I prepare tindora curry but never used tindora in a rice dish. This was something different.

Suma Gandlur said...

Kribha, Soumya, Usha

Thanks. I am going to definitely visit your site.

It is absolutely yummy.

Anonymous said...

wonderful bhath...have to try it...thanks for sharing

Malar Gandhi said...

wow...looks yummy to me!

Deepa G Sundar said...

I love the taste of this recipe!!! Yummy. The masala mix from scratch is just so good.