Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bisi bele Bhath - South Indian Special

Bisi bele bhath is a rice-based dish with its origins in the state of Karnataka, India .The name Bisi bele bhath is the Kannada phrase, which literally means “Hot Lentil Rice”, as in Kannada, Bisi means hot, bele means Lentils and bhath means rice.

Bisibele Bhath  is prepared with rice, dal and varieties of vegetables. This is the great combo of all the ingredients and makes the meal very comforting. The people who taste it for the first time seem to love it, so give it a try!


  • Rice - 2 cups ( Any short grain rice)
  • Red lentil( Toor dal) - 3/4 cup or Split green gram( Moong dal) - 1 cup
  • Tamarind pulp - 2 tbsp
  • Tumeric powder - 1tsp
  • Salt to taste

  • Potato - 3 small (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • Carrot - 3medium ( cut into 1 inch of pieces)
  • Green bellpepper - 1 small
  • Eggplant(brinjal),diced - 3 medium
  • Drumsticks - 3 large (cut into 2 inch of pieces)
  • French beans - 12 to 15(cut into 1inch of pieces)
  • Onion,chopped - 1 medium
  • Tomato, chopped - 2 medium

Ingredients for tempering
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprig
  • Dry red chillies - 3 nos
  • Peanuts - few
  • Cashewnuts - few

Ingredients for Bisibele Bhath masala powder
  • Cloves - 3 to 4 nos
  • Cinnamom stick - 1inch piece
  • Green cardamom - 1 no
  • Mace (javitri) - 1 piece
  • Nutmeg powder - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Blackgram (urad dal) - 1 tsp
  • Bengal gram (channa dal ) - 2 tbsp
  • Dry Red chillies - 3 nos
  • Dry coconut or fresh coconut - 4 tbsp

  • Roast all the ingredients as mentioned for the bisi bele bhath masala powder on the low flame,till you get nice aroma from the spices.
  • Do not add dry coconut powder along with all the spices. Add it when the dal turns into light golden in colour. Just fry for 5 minutes and turn off the flame.
  • Let the fried ingredients cool down at room temperature and then grind it to fine powder.
  • Leftover powder can be freezed, it stays best upto more than a month.
  • Boil the dal in the pressure cooker with 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder and salt.
  • Mash the dal after it is cooked and keep it aside.
  • Cook the rice with 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder. While cooking the rice use the ratio of 1: 2.5,ie 1 cup of rice and 2.5 cups of water. Rice should be soft and mushy.

  • Place a large pot on medium flame and add oil into it.When oil heats up, add chopped onion and fry till they are soft and transparent.
  • Then add all the cut veggies except bellpepper.Saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add tamarind pulp ,salt and 5 cups of water. Cook till the veggies are soft.
  • Then add bellpepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • When bellpepper is cooked ,add masala powder and mashed dal. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes with continuously stirring.
  • At this point there should be enough liquid into the gravy,such that all the vegetables are submerged in the gravy liquid.If the water is evaporated,add more water (about 2 cups) to get right consistency.Adjust the salt
  • Now add cooked rice ad mix gently ,or otherwise the rice will become too mushy.Simmer for about 5 to 6 mintes.Stir occasionaly.
  • When done,turn off the flame and do not close the lid of the pot. Bisibele bhath will become completely dry.
  • Heat the oil into another pan and add all the tempering ingredients one by one and fry till cashewnuts becomes light golden in colour.
  • Then mix in the tempering into the rice and serve hot.
  • Bisibele bhath is served with papads or any chips. It tastes great !!