masala bhaat or masale bhat recipe - a spiced rice and veggie one pot meal, that i would always have at maharashtrian weddings. this was one of my favorite dish at the weddings and i have really some good memories with this particular spicy rice dish.
i still remember, we would all be sitting in a row for the food to be served to us. it would usually begin with salt, pickle, chutney, salad first ( i would skip the poori bhaji) and then with varan, rice, ghee followed by masala bath and mattha (spiced buttermilk or chaas). we would wait till everything was served to us. now here i would get confused what to have the masale bhaat with…. have it plain or with varan or mattha? silly i know, but after finishing the varan with rice, there would always be some varan left.
to be honest, i loved masala bhaat both with varan and mattha. the varan as well as the buttermilk would tone down the heat & spice of the masale bhaat and was good enough for a tween like me.
i still cannot forget when during a college social work visit to an NGO, we were served masale bhat by the women, who were part of the NGO, during a function. now that masala bhaat was one of its kind. i wish i had asked the recipe then. the taste of that masale bhaat still lingers and i have not been able to make it like that one.
this one pot rice recipe is more like a pulao in texture but not in taste and aroma. the spices used in a masale bhaat is a special blend called goda masala. now this masala gives a unique flavor and aroma to any dish that it is added in…. and so is the case with this masale bhaat.
i will not ask you to substitute garam masala in this recipe. that would completely destroy the authenticity of this traditional recipe. i always make a batch of goda masala at home and i will be adding the recipe soon. for now in the notes section of the recipe details below, i have mentioned a recipe to make a small batch of goda masala. just add about 3 to 4 tsp of this goda masala to the rice. the rest you can keep in the fridge and use whenever required.
while making masale bhaat, i stick to veggies like cauliflower, brinjals, capsicum, carrots, ivy gourds and potatoes. however, you add your own choice of veggies. the recipe is easy to prepare. the same recipe can be used to make vangi bhat (with brinjals) and tondli bhat (with ivy gourds).
for the rice, you can use any long grained rice like basmati rice or regular rice. I usually make this recipe with ambemohar rice (local and indigenous variety of short grained rice having an aroma of mango blossoms) or sona masuri. you can also use kolam rice. this recipe is also a no onion and no garlic recipe. this masale bhat recipe is a toned down version and not very spicy.
apart from mattha (spiced buttermilk), masale bhaat can also be served with raita or yogurt . i just love it plain and usually accompany it with some roasted papads and khamang kakdi (a tempered and mild cucumber salad with fresh grated coconut).
lets start step by step masala bhaat or masale bhaat recipe:
1. heat oil in a pot. add the bay leaf and mustard seeds. crackle the mustard seeds.
2. add the chopped or diced veggies and saute for 3 to 4 mins.
3. add the goda masala, red chilli powder and asafoetida. stir and saute for a minute.
4. add rice which has been previously soaked for 30 mins and then drained. saute for a minute.
5. pour hot water and stir well. season with salt.
6. cover the pot and simmer on a low flame till the rice grains are cooked well.
7. meanwhile dry roast cashews in a pan till they get golden. we will be adding these roasted cashews for the garnish.
8. add about a tsp of ghee on top once the rice is done.
9. while serving, masale bhaat garnish with fresh grated coconut, roasted cashews and chopped coriander leaves.
masala bhaat or masale bhat recipe below:
- 1 cup regular rice or long grained rice
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 small carrot
- 2 small brinjals/aubergines
- 1 small to medium capsicum/green bell pepper
- 1 small potato (optional)
- 1 small to medium tomato or 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 bay leaf/tej patta or 7 to 8 curry leaves
- 3 to 4 tsp [b]goda masala[/b]/kala masala (recipe for a small batch given in the notes section)
- ½ tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- a generous pinch of asafoetida
- 2.5 cups water or as required
- 2 tbsp oil
- salt as required
- 1 tbsp grated coconut
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 15-20 cashews
- 1 tsp ghee
- rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes in enough water.
- rinse and chop all the veggies.
- heat oil in pan.
- add the mustard seeds and bay leaf or curry leaves.
- let the mustard seeds crackle.
- then add the all the chopped veggies - carrots, cauliflower, capsicum, aubergines and tomatoes or yogurt.
- saute the veggies for 3 to 4 minutes stirring often.
- meanwhile heat 2.5 cups water and bring it to a boil.
- add the red chili powder, goda masala, asafoetida to the sauted veggies.
- stir and saute for a minute.
- then add the rice and saute for a minute.
- add the hot water and stir well.
- season with salt.
- check the taste of the water.
- if required add more salt.
- cover the pan and simmer the rice on a low flame till the grains are softened and cooked well.
- do check once or twice when the rice is cooking, by opening the lid.
- if the water looks less and the rice uncooked, add some more hot water and continue cooking the rice. stir gently with a fork.
- while the rice is cooking, roast the cashews till golden in a pan.
- once the rice is cooked, let the rice stand for 5 minutes in the pan.
- then sprinkle ghee on top of the masale bhaat.
- when serving masale bhaat garnish with coconut, cashews and chopped coriander
- you can also sprinkle a few dots of ghee on the served rice instead of adding it in the pan.
- serve the masale bhaat hot accompanied with yogurt, buttermilk, raita or a side maharashtrian vegetable dish or khamang kakdi.
- 1.5 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1.5 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1 or 2 dry red chilies or byadagi red chilies
- 1 small piece of stone flower/dagad phool (skip if you don't have)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 small indian bay leaf/tej patta
- ½ tsp caraway seeds/shah jeera
- 3 to 4 black peppercorns
- a pinch of asafoetida
1. first dry roast all the spices except sesame seeds and desiccated coconut in a pan till they become aromatic.
2. push them towards the sides of the pan. then add the sesame seeds and coconut. mix everything together and roast till the coconut becomes golden.
let this mixture cool and then grind everything in a dry grinder or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
3. store in a small jar and keep in the refrigerator.