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Monday, 20 November 2017

Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Beli Bath is a delicious and healthy dish from the state of Karnataka which is prepared with rice , tur dal (lentil) and vegetables and is flavored with freshly made spice blend. Bisi Beli Bath translates to hot lentil rice in Kannada language. This classic dish has a unique flavor and is bit spicy , a bit tangy and a bit sweet all in one go. The traditional preparation of the dish is very elaborate as the rice, dal and vegetables ,all are separately cooked and then mixed together and simmered with the freshly made special spice blend- Bisi Bele Bath masala powder , jaggery and tamarind extract. Tempering is done towards the end. I know the method may sound lengthy , but the final outcome is worth the efforts and time. The consistency of the Bisi Bele bath is porridge type and is a complete and wholesome meal on its own. It can be served at brunch , for lunch or dinner. It is served hot topped with ghee and some potato chips / papad and salad if preferred.

Bisi Bele Bath is commonly found in restaurants that serve the Udupi cuisine. Udupi cuisine is a cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of Tuluva - Mangalorean cuisine and takes name from Udupi , a city on the southwest coast of India in the Tulunadu region. Cuisine of Udupi is not only famous in Karnataka but throughout India. Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans , vegetables and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients. Udupi cuisine strictly adheres to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Source : Wikipedia


If you are wondering , why we are discussing about the Udupi cuisine , let me remind you that today is Monday , and we people at #FoodieMondayBlogHop are back again with an interesting theme for our #119th week and it is none other than #UdupiCuisine. The theme for this week is chosen by Preethi di. She is a very talented blogger and blogs at PreethiCuisine.Com. My contribution to the theme is the flavorful and wholesome Bisi Bele Bath. Do check my fellow bloggers post as well for more dishes on this theme.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4


For Bisi Bele Bath Spice Blend
  • 3-4 dry red chilies 
  • 2 tablespoon dry grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 1/2 tablespoon urad dal ( skinned and split black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenu greek seeds
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 black pepper corns

Ingredients for Bisi Beli Bath:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/4 cup pigeon pea (arahar / tur dal)
  • 3-4 tablespoon bisi beli bath masala / Spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
Vegetables - 2 cups
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 5-7 french beans , chopped rough;y
  • 1-2 brinjal , chopped
  • 1-2 potatoes , chopped
  • 3-4 shallots or 2 onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh green peas
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced 
For tempering :
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chilly
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nuts
  • Pinch of asafoetida


  1. Rinse and soak the dal and rice separately in little more than normal water. ( i used 3 cups water for 1/2 cup rice and 2 cups water for 1/4 cup dal) . Soak the rice and dal ( lentil) for 20-30 minutes. Soaking is purely optional , but it certainly reduces the cooking time. 

2. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida in dal . I arranged the containers of dal and rice, one above the other and placed them in pressure cooker and cooked for 2-3 whistles and then simmered for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, we can make the bisi bele bath powder. In a non stick wok, dry roast all the ingredients under the list of bisi bele bath masala powder at low flame . Allow the spices to cool down. Now pulse them to powder using a grinder.


4. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of  warm water for 10-15 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside until use.

5. Wash , pat dry and chop the vegetables . Cook them in separate sauce pan or wok with around 3 cups of water. The vegetables should be cooked well but should not be mushy and should be able to hold their shape.

6. Add tamarind extract to the vegetables followed by cooked dal and rice . Blend all the ingredients very well using a spatula.

7.Now add jaggery powder , salt and bisi bele bath masala powder to the mixture of rice, lentil and vegetables followed by salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low to medium flame.

8. Lastly , for tempering , place a small wok on the gas . Add ghee to it. Now add cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add in the other ingredients. ( peanuts, curry leaves, cashew nuts, asafoetida . Pour the tempering over the bisi bele bath. Put off the flame.

9. Serve the bisi bele bath hot topped with ghee and potato chips or papadam.

  • Do not use long grain rice / basmati for making Bisi Bele Bath.
  • The consistency of dish should be of that of a porridge. The rice should spread when served on a plate and the rice grain should not be separate.
  • The dish is a bit spicy in taste.
  • The bisi bele bath masala powder can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container for about a month on refrigeration, yet would suggest to make the masala fresh every time, as the flavors and aroma are distinct and more when the spice blend is freshly pound.
  • The vegetables of the bisi bele bath should be cooked well but not mushy and should hold their shape.

  I hope you would love to try out this recipe. Please feel free to drop in a comment below this post. Would love to hear from you. Follow me on Facebook ,  Instagram,  Twitter and  Google Plus for new recipes and updates.

For more recipes from south Indian cuisine, do check my posts on (Just click on the titles for the recipes)




  1. The best kind of one pot meal for winter!

  2. Bisi bele bhat looks so tempting Poonam. Perfect one pot meal for winter. Rice lentil vegetables and the masala, wow sounds great.

  3. This look awesome and on my to do list

    1. Do try out di..would love to have your feed back on this

  4. I love bisi bele bath! I had no idea it originated in Udupi. Your version looks so good.

  5. A wholesome and filling meal. I love the list of spices you've given to make the bisi bele bath powder at home.

  6. Awesome presentation! A must try recipe!

    1. Thank you Amrita..do try out ..happy cooking !

  7. Beautiful explanation and afternotes. Thanks Poonam

  8. I love bbb. A regular dish at my place with freshly ground masala. Love share!!

  9. This is looking so delicious! A famous recipe, and u made it perfectly Poonam

  10. I make this regularly. Love this. Looks very inviting!!

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