Dalimbi Bhat is a traditional, very delicious Maharashtrian delicacy made with field beans, rice and spices especially cooked for special occasions. This yummy pulao is aromatic, flavourful and has all the rich spices of India, the special spice mix Goda masala from the Maharashtrian cuisine and the flavourful sweet grated coconut giving this dish amazing taste and flavours that would tickle your taste buds craving for more.
Though the staple food at Maharashtra are a variety of Indian breads made of all kinds of flours, mainly jowar (jowar ki roti), bajra (bajre ki roti), or the commonly prepared rotis, chapattis or phulkas; rice is seldom cooked for special occasions and festivals. Rice is eaten throughout Maharashtra but is not totally dependent on rice only. Maharashtrian foods consist of large variety of vegetables, fish and coconuts. Tomatoes, brinjals, potatoes, dry beans are often used. Fresh coconut is an inevitable part of cooking and is used to make variety of curries, masalas and garnish the food.
Dalimbi bhat or Dalimbay bhaat (Sprouted beans pilaf) is one of the popular rice pulao recipes often cooked during special occasions. There are other rice recipes also like the Vangi Bhath (Eggplant pilaf), Varan Bhat and Dahi Bhat (Yoghurt rice) that are popular in Maharashtrian cuisine. Dalimbi bhat makes a nutrient rich food as beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Moreover sprouted beans helps increase its vitamin and mineral content and makes it easily digestible too.
This dish is considered as a Maharashtrian delicacy and the Kadve or Kadu vaal is the most difficult ingredient to find. This variety of beans is generally used in Maharashtrian cuisine and they are also known as bitter field beans. These beans have a delicate, bitter taste which is considered as a delicacy when cooked. They are usually sprouted and cooked and the sprouting process is a bit unusual then the regular beans. They need to be soaked overnight in sufficient water until they appear swollen and puffed up. The water is drained and the beans are kept aside for about 4-5 hours for sprouting. Then they are soak in water again for at least an hour or two or put them in boiling water, which helps in removing the outer skin of the beans as they are slightly difficult to chew.
Dalimbi bhat is an exceptional dish that must be included in our meal especially to be given to the kids as they beans are naturally low in fat, an excellent source of fibre and a good source of protein. Sprouted field beans when cooked, adds a nice variety to many dishes due to its unique flavour and has an amazing buttery texture. The beans complements coconut and ginger very well as many recipes have this unique combination. Field beans could also be added to soups or salads. Field beans also goes very well with sweet potatoes. It can be added to other vegetables or pulses or grains.
For preparing this exotic, mouth-watering Dalimbi bhat, firstly wash and soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Next morning, drain all the water and rinse beans until the water runs clear. Wash and drain the rice and keep aside. Meanwhile bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, when the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds, crushed green chillies and curry leaves. Add soaked field beans and fry them for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, hing, coriander powder, goda masala and salt. Mix all the ingredients well.
Add rice (just water nicely and water drained) and mix well. Add hot water, i.e. for 1 cup of rice add 2 cups of hot water and stir gently. Add a pinch of sugar. (Check the seasoning and adjust as per your taste). Bring it to a boil and then cover the pan with the lid. When most of the moisture is evaporated, then add 1 tsp of ghee and sprinkle some fresh grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. Cover with lid and simmer for another 5 mins. The Dalimbi bhat is ready to be served.
The field bean is generally soaked in warm water after cleaning it properly to remove any dirt or stones present in it. This result in lowering the time required to cook these beans.
The bean may also be allowed to sprouted, by covering the beans soaked in water with the help of a muslin cloth. This may take up to 16 hours, depending upon the quality of the beans you are using.
Parboiling is an excellent cooking technique in which soaked beans are partially cooked in boiling water, but removed before it is cooked all the way through since beans takes a longer time to cook. Parboiling them in advance ensures that they get completely cooked in the final dish.
Field grain is a very healthy food item and also protects and cures many diseases. They are highly nutritious, supply vital nutrients to your body and give you an almost complete diet. They have a high content of Vitamin A, vitamin B and C. Field beans are very well known for lowering your cholesterol levels. It also has a high fibre content, which regulates your blood sugar levels, especially after a meal, and also helps in proper functioning of your digestive system.
Do try this wonderful, nutritious recipe and enjoy its exotic flavours. Click on the below link to watch the making of this Maharashtrian delicacy: