Saturday, August 02, 2008

What's it again?

In our canteen, the day's menu is posted on the canteen display board.

The names of dishes are spelt any which way the manager pleases. It is fun. We Indians know what each means (most of the time) whichever way it is spelt and our overseas colleagues don't know what they each means even if it is spelt correctly.

So it does really does not make a difference.

"bisi bELe bhaat" is a popular South Indian (actually Karnataka) dish . Literally, it means hot lentils rice. It is also called bisi bELe huLi anna - hot lentils sour rice. Of course huLi could also mean a dish which is called huLi - a thick lentils soup with vegetables.

Recently the identity of this delicious dish was revealed thus "bisi belle bath!"! on the board.

Sounds like a cannibal's favourite dish. Does it not?

The word bhaat is actually alien to Kannada. Perhaps Marathi for rice. This is appended to the names of other rice dishes too. "khaara bhaat" - hot (as in spicy) rice, kesari bhaat - saffron rice. Saffron here is not just the colour but the spice saffron. Interestingly, both these dishes could be have no rice in it but made of 'cream of wheat' or soji or rava.

The best is the dish called "rice bhaat". Rice rice!


  1. :) :) Rice Rice reminds me of this street here in Chennai named 'Salai Street'.
    Salai is the tamil word for street so it becomes Street Street

  2. Like Avenue Road in Bangalore?