Bese Bele Powder
from Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by Julie Sahni
makes about 2 cups
1/4 cup yellow split peas (channa dal)
1/3 cup white split gram beans (urad dal)
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
Four 3-inch pieces stick cinnamon, broken into small bits
1/2 teaspoon whoil cloves (about 6)
1/4 cup dry red chili pods (about 15) or less, to taste, broken into
2 tablespoons dry curry leaves, broken up
2/3 cup packed flaked dry unsweetened coconut
1. Heat a kadhai or a heavy frying pan for 2 minutes over medium-high
heat. Add the split peas and dry-roast them, stirring and turning them
constantly, until they begin to color (about 5 minutes). Add the gram
beans and continue roasting until both peas and beans smell nicely
roasted and turn a light golden brown (12-15 minutes). Transfer them to
a plate and cool completely.
2. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon,
cloves, and chili pieces to the same pan. Roast the same way, stirring
and turning, until all the ingredients are several shades darker and
sxude a spicy aroma (10 minutes).
3. Add the curry leaves and coconut and continue roasting for an
additional 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Mix all the ingredients
with the reserved peas and beans and cool completely.
4. When the legumes and spices have cooled completely, grind them to
fine powder, using a blender, spice mill, or coffee grinder. Store in an
airtight container in a cool place. Bese Bele powder will keep fresh for
up to three months.
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made for humans any more than black people were made for white,
or women created for men."