Masale Bhat - A Terrific Maharashtrian Spicy Rice Dish
Masale Bhat is a Maharashtrian cuisine that is mostly prepared on special occasions, like festivals, marriages and parties. When you order a thali dish in Maharashtrian restaurants, this is a must item in it. Traditionally, kurdru (Ivy Gourd or as is called in Maharshtra, Tondli) is used as the main veggie in this dish. but it is also prepared with other vegetables like brinjals (eggplant), cauliflower and potato. The flavors of these vegetables and the spices that go into it make this hugely flavorful and an obvious favorite of many who love flavored rice.
I have added goda masala which gives a wonderful flavor to the rice. As mentioned above, I have used kundru in this dish, which along with the other spices really enhances the taste of this wonderful rice dish. As part of my garnishing, I use grated fresh coconut, which gives a delectable sweetness and tasty crunchiness to this dish, so traditional and so yummy. I've also used coriander leaves which adds a subtly beautiful herb-y feel to this dish, and ghee which adds a great richness to this rice.
So, let's take a look at the recipe below.
- 2 cups rice
- 150 gms kundru (Ivy Gourd)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp dry coconut (grated)
- 2 each of cardamom, cloves and 1/2 inch cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp pepper corns
- 1 onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 7 to 8 curry leaves
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp grated fresh coconut
- Salt (according to taste)
- 4 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp pure ghee
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp each of mustard and cumin seeds
- 2 or 3 pinches of asafoetida
- 2 bay leaves
1. Soak the rice in water and after 15-20 minutes, drain the water, and keep it aside.
2. Cut the onion and tomato finely.
3. Cut each kundru into 4 longitudinal pieces.
4. For making goda masala - dry roast coriander and cumin seeds, and the grated dry coconut. Grind them along with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and pepper corns, finely. That's your Goda Masala.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker and on a slow to medium flame, add bay leaves, mustard and cumin seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, and when they splutter, add onions and tomatoes. Fry till the onions change in color.
2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, kundru, turmeric and chilli powders. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then reduce the flame, and cook the kundru with the lid on for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the soaked rice and stir fry for 5 minutes. Then, add sugar, salt and the goda masala we prepared earlier, and fry for 5 minutes - you will notice, at this point, a wonderful aroma of the kundru cooking with the rice.
4. Add 4 1/2 cups of hot water to the rice and mix well. Now close the lid of your cooker, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes after the pressure comes. Switch off the flame.
5. After the cooker cools, remove the lid and take the rice out on to your serving bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated fresh coconut and spread ghee over the rice.
6. Your tasty and flavorful Masale Bhat is ready.
I have always been a fan of this rice. I used to have this on festivals and I absolutely loved the kundrus that went with it, so full of fiber and flavor, and the grated coconut that was added as a topping for it. The ghee makes this dish really awesome giving it a richness that is so enjoyable. This is often served with Patal Bhaji on festivals as well as a coconut and coriander flavored potato subzi/gravy. But it can also be served with any other subzi or chutney, or raita as well.
So try this out, and enjoy.