Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.
In different parts of the world different dishes are prepared by the local people as per the traditions and preferred flavours in that place. Wherever we go we find the flavour of local recipes available for us to taste and relish something new for our taste buds. There are mind boggling varieties when we move from one place to another as every place will have its own local variation and technique of cooking which brings such an authentic flavour to it.
Ras-Bhaat is a combo of two dishes - Ras (pronounced as Rush) and Bhaat. These two go well with each other. Bhaat is nothing but the usual rice boiled with water which is prepared in a majority of households. Ras is of course a unique dish belonging to the Uttarakhand region of India which is dominantly a hilly region.
Ras is prepared mainly using black soybean and adding a little quantity of some other whole pulses to it.
About black soybean
Black soybean is a very nutritive and healthy food but due to its black colour some people hesitate to consume it. The black colour soup or dish is derived from the black soybeans. But once the flavour of Ras is enjoyed then it becomes a dish of choice for many.
Soybean is available in other colours also like white and that can also be used for preparing this dish and the colour of the dish in that case would be more towards greyish white rather than black.
Soybean is also popular in some places in the world like Brazil where its soup is served in local restaurants but the preparation of that is different than that of the present dish described in this article. Further, some Indian cooks working in Australia have introduced there a few black soybean dishes and they are getting popular there.
A. For Ras:
The ingredients shown below are sufficient for 3 to 4 people when taken along with other food items during main meal times.
Preparation time is about 40 minutes.
- Black soybean - 1-1/2 cup.
- Whole urad dal - 1 tbsp.
- Whole moong dal - 1 tbsp.
- Whole masoor dal - 1tbsp.
- Rice flour - 1/2 cup.
- Cumin seed - 1 tsp.
- Mango powder - 2 tsp.
- Whole Red chilli (optional) - 1 No.
- Cooking oil - 1 tbsp.
- Green coriander leaves - 1 cup.
- Cloves - 4 Nos.
- Coriander powder - 2 tsp
- Salt to taste.
B. For Bhaat:
- Basmati Rice - 1-1/2 cups.
- Cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece or 1/8 tsp powder.
- Cloves - 4 Nos.
Put all the whole pulses in a big pan and wash them with water and drain and then finally mix 5 - 6 cups of water to it and keep overnight for making them soft. By doing this we can cook them in lesser time and get a thicker curry.
Chop green coriander leaves and break the red chilly (optional) in 2 to 3 parts. Keep aside.
In 8-10 hours time or overnight the soybeans will get soaked properly. Put the soybeans alongwith water in a pressure cooker and cook in medium heat about 3 to 4 whistles after the pressure build ups. This will take about 12-15 minutes of time and now open the cooker and check for soybeans whether it is cooked properly or not. If it is not soft enough then again it will required to be steamed in cooker for a further period of 4-5 minutes.
Once the soybean is soft enough then press the soybeans with a spatula for some time about 3-4 minutes so that they are broken and pressed in the process and help the soup become thicker as shown in figure-1. Take a rough sieve and drain the whole thing so that the solid soybeans are separated out and soup is collected after sieving.
Do not throw these solid soybean part because it can be separately seasoned with onions, garlic, and other spices resulting in a side dish that I would be explaining later in this article.
Now we have to season this soup with the spices and for that take a pan and keep it on medium heat and pour cooking oil in it. Once the oil heats up add Cumin seeds, Chopped green coriander leaves, Cloves, Coriander powder, Mango powder, and pieces of red chilli (optional) to it. Continue mixing and moving the spices with a spatula and when spices start giving their characteristic smell add the rice flour and saute for a few minutes and add soybean soup to it. Cook for 2-3 minutes and stir it and remove from heat. The dish is ready. If needed add some salt at this stage.
For preparing bhaat one has to boil the rice in limited water and for that one has to take about two times volume of water as compared to the volume of rice. Cinnamon and cloves are to be added before cooking the rice.
Figure-1: Thickening of Rash
Figure-2: Dish is ready
Using the solid part
The solid soybeans after draining the soup can be seasoned with onion, garlic, black pepper, green coriander leaves, and salt to taste and can be taken as side dish during the meals. The quantity of the solid part will be about 5 to 6 servings and can be relished during meals or as a stand-alone snack. It is a low calorie item and is having a good amount of fibre.
Ras is generally served in bowls to the individual. One bowl will be about 3-4 servings. It can be taken as soup or can be consumed with bread also. Many local people relish it best with cooked rice.
- Tamarind paste can be used in place of mango powder.
- People who do not like rice can take it with bread or chapati.
- If rice flour is not available then one can use gram flour in its place.
- Some people use a few cloves of garlic (5 to 6) and half a tsp of asafoetida also while adding spices but it depends on the liking of the individuals.
- In Uttarakhand region people generally relish this dish after adding some ghee (clarified butter) to it. That of course will increase the calories.
The 'Ras' dish prepared in this recipe will suffice for 3-4 persons and will have about 10 to 12 servings. One serving of this will give about 40 to 45 calories.
'Bhaat' quantity will also be sufficient for 3-4 persons and will have a total of about 12 servings and each serving will be about 30 to 35 calorie.
Ras is a tasty dish and is full of nutrition. People having liking for Indian spices will definitely appreciate this dish. When taken with cooked rice it becomes the most popular combination of the region to which it belongs and is known as Ras-Bhaat.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Umesh Chandra Bhatt