Friday, April 8, 2011


Since I started this week with a sweet from Karnataka (Kesari bhath), I thought I’ll end it with another favourite dish of Karnataka. This dish has been a childhood favourite of mine. Bisibelebath is also called “Bisi bele huli anna” (In Kannada, bisi=hot, bele=dal, huli=tamarind,anna=rice) can be termed the "king" of Kannadiga cuisine. Having lived in Bangalore (Karnataka) all my life, it would be unfair if I don’t share this recipe. I enjoy this heavy but nutritious dish and yet feel healthy as it has everything…rice, dal and veggies… (ideal for kids!) This is a perfect one-pot meal for a weekend lunch or brunch . The recipe list seems long but it’s worth the trouble

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30minutes
Serves: 5-6

You need:
¾ cup rice (I used sona masoori)
½ cup toor dal (pigeon pea)
1 cup vegetables – carrot,beans,potato(cut into medium size)
1 cup peanuts (raw)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
lemon size tamarind

For the Bisibelebath masala powder:
2tsp dhania (coriander seeds)
3 tsp urad dal (black gram)
3 tsp channa dal (bengal gram)
¼ tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
5 red chillies
a fairly large pinch of hing (asafoetida)
¼ cup grated copra (desiccated coconut)
salt to taste
2tsp cooking oil

To Garnish:
Ghee (as required)

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and extract the juice. 

Pressure cook rice with dal, veggies and peanuts with double the water (for two whistles)
Meanwhile let’s make the masala for the bisi bele bath (either you can double the quantity, make and store this masala or make it fresh each time) 

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and roast (on low fire) coriander seeds, urad dal, channa dal, methi seeds, red chilies and asafoetida (roast till the dals turn brown)
Add the grated copra and remove from the fire.
Once cool, grind it in a mixer
In the same pan (in which you roasted the dals), pour the tamarind extract with a little salt and turmeric powder. Let it boil
Add the ground masala powder and 1/2 cup of water to the boiling mixture. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes 
Open the cooker, pour this mixture in and mix them thoroughly ( the rice and dals should be mashed, so don't be careful while stirring!)
Bisibelebath is ready!! (this dish thickens as you keep it. It needs to be steaming hot and slightly watery, that's the best way to eat it!)
Pull out your plates and you'll see this dish vanish in no time!
Garnish with ghee
Serve hot with potato wafers or mixture

Yours tastefully!!

Sending this recipe to Kiran's "Cooking with Whole foods" hosted by "Veggie Platter"


  1. Never thought that making Bisibelebath is such a complex process! Better to have it in Sukhsagar!

  2. Thank you for the feedback Sibi…I am doing my best to keep the process uncomplicated…and make cooking fun. Have you tried using the recipe at home…or is it that it just appears complex…? Do check all other recipes listed…and try some of them…let me know if you have better recommendations and suggestions. And yes, by the way… we can have everything that’s worth treating taste buds in restaurants…but the real satisfaction comes when people around love what you whip yourself in the kitchen…may not be perfect but every single dish is worth a try! keep writing in…

  3. Hey Bini...Tried your Bisibela yesterday...came out good...a little spicy though...must be cos of the spice variation of mine & yours!! So am going to "award" you with something!!...visit my blog & go to AWARD section of the blog...Surprise Surpprise!!

  4. thank you Roh! glad you liked my bisibelebath!...thank you for the pleasant surprise:)

  5. This is my favorite dish. Thanks for sending it over.

  6. Thank you Suma... I love this dish too but don't make it very often:)