Monday, 3 August 2015

Bisi Bele Bath !

Bisi Bele Bath , the famous rice delicacy from the state of Karnataka literally means "Hot Lentil Rice". Staying in Bangalore for more than 5 years I have enjoyed this rice delicacy at many places right from my Office canteen to many other Good restaurants in town.
There are many ways of preparing this dish, some people cook rice and dal separately and then combine everyting in a pot along with boiled veggies. I somehow do not prefer that method as it is time consuming and the veggies lack flavor as they are added at last. So I make it a one pot meal by cooking all the veggies, rice and dal together in a pressure cooker and finish with a flavorful tadka.
The key ingredients to bring the authentic Bisi bela bath are the BISI BELE BATH MASALA , peanuts, coconut (freshly grated or dessicated) and some jaggery. Oh yeah even sambars in karnataka have jaggery and coconut unlike Tamilnadu sambars. 
If you have this powder handy, then you can make bisi bela bath within 15 minutes.

INGREDIENTS (No Onion No Garlic)

  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup toor dal
  • big bowl of veggies (carrot, potato, beans, radish, capsicum, peas, squash etc)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 11/2 tsp Ginger paste
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut (I used dessicated)
  • marble size tamarind
  • 1 tsp Jaggery
  • fresh coriander
  • 4 cups water

For Tadka

  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • a pinch of hing
  • 8 - 10 Cashewnuts (halved)
  • 3 dry red chillis
  • few curry leaves (I didnt have)

  • Wash and soak rice and dal together for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile chop all veggies you are using.
  • Soak tamarind in warm water and take the extract.

  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add jeera, bay leaves and cloves.
  • Then add veggies (except capsicum and peas) and saute them well in oil for 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Now add in tomatoes and saute everything together for another 2 - 3 minutes.

  • Add the soaked rice and dal discarding the water, and dd the spice powders, required salt and 4 cups water. (Dont worry about more water, we need the bela bath a little loose and watery, and it tends to become thick soon too)

  • Add peas and capsicum, peanuts and coconut and give a mix.
  • Add the tamarind extract and jaggery and mix again. Close and cook for 3 whistles.
  • Wait till pressure is released and then see if the bela bath lacks water, add 1/2 cup hot water to make it loose.

  • Heat ghee in a tadka pan, add mustard seeds and hing and when mustard crackles, add cahewnuts and dry red chillis.

  • Add chopped coriander to the bath, and then pour this hot tadka on the dish and close it immediately to lock the flavors and let them infuse well with the rice.
  • After 5 minutes, open and mix well and serve.


  • The vegetbles are your choice, you can add brinjals, drumsticks, chow chow etc too.
  • If you are including raw mango in the dish, then skip the tamarind water.
  • You can also cook rice separately, pressure cook dal separately, boil veggies, and then combine all these 3 in a big pot, add the spice powders, tamarind water, jaggery and coconut and then cook for 10 - 15 minutes till everything blends together well.
  • Serve with fryums, papad and raita.

With Love,

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