Bisi Bele Bhath (from scratch)

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                  Ready to serve Bisi bele bhath

In Kannada, Bisi means warm. Bele means pulses. This dish, a spicy dish with rice and pulses should be eaten warm or never be eaten at all. It is a delicacy from the state of Karnataka, more specifically from the Mysore area. The main dish for many of the get-togethers is often Bisi bele Bhath. In Bangalore area, this is a common breakfast dish. People relish it with either Potato chips, Boondi chips, or some Haldiram’s mixture or perhaps just tomato salad is okay too. Myself having grown up in Bangalore love it and so do both my kids.

I mention “from scratch” in the title because the powder which is integral to the preparation of this dish can also be prepared at home – please see my previous post. [ Or of course it can be purchased commercially ].

I am putting up this at the request of readers. The only downside about this dish is that it is rather time-consuming – but once every few weeks is not at all a bad idea.

What you need to have:

1. Toor Dal 1 cup

2. Fine Rice 1 cup

3. Green peas 1/2 cup

Toor Dal, Rice and Green peas

4. Mixed Vegetables – 6-8 cups

(More than 1/2 of it should be Ash guard(Kumbalkai in kannada) and the

rest should be the remaining vegetables )

A variety of cut vegetables


1. Mustard seeds – 3 Teaspoons

2. Blackgram Dal – 3 Teaspoons

3. Peanuts – 1/2 cup

4. Red chilly – 2

5. Curry leaves – 6-8 strings

6. Tamarind – Size of a big lemon

7. Copra – 1/2 cup

8. Bisi bele bhath powder – 8-10 spoons

Ingredients of Seasoning

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and clean rice, Toor Dal, cut vegetables with one or two teaspoon of salt (depending upon the quantity you prepare) and cook altogether including a few groundnuts/peanuts in a cooker adding sufficient quantity of water. (Probably 15-20 minutes until cooked)

2. Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the juice from it and set it aside.

3. Just run the Bisi bele bhath powder (refer to my earlier post) in the mixer with the grated raw copra.

4. Place a Skillet on the flame with 3-4 Tablespoons of cooking oil in it with mustard seeds. On sputtering add Black gram Dal to it. When the dal turns brown add peanuts, red chillies,  Cashews and curry leaves to it.

                                                       Seasoning of mustard seeds and Blackgram dal

                                                  Peanuts, Cashews,red chili being fried in the seasoning

5. Add Bisi bele bhath powder mix from step 3 to this mixture from Step 4 and stir well. Add salt (remember you have added salt earlier for cooking rice and vegetables) and the squeezed tamarind juice from step 2. Bring this to boil on a low flame till the water evaporates and oil remains on the side of the masala. It is as shown in the image below.

                                          Bisi bele Bhath powder being added along with Tamarind juice

Bisi Bele Bhath Masala

6. Add cooked vegetables and the dal-rice mix from step 1. Again add some water and bring it to boil and let it boil on low flame. Stir it constantly so that it does not stick to the bottom of the bowl. Bring it to the consistency of semi solid as shown in the image below.

                                            Cooked veg-Dal-rice mix being added to the seasoning

                                                                       Bisi bele bhath being cooked

Ready to serve Bisi Bele Bhath

7. Decorate it with coriander leaves, grated coconut and also potato chips.

Serve it hot with butter as shown in the image below.

Bisi Bele Bhath decorated with chips, butter and coriander leaves ( cIilantro )

How long it takes: 90 minutes

Number of servings: 8-10


10 thoughts on “Bisi Bele Bhath (from scratch)

    bernandina said:
    August 5, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    oh dear!i had always tried this classic recipe with diff masalas and variations.your recipe was most authentic.all loved it sniffing neighbours too!during my trip earlier to the south i had it at MTR they served with generous you said i served with amul butter.spicy monsoon treat.we all say thankssssssssss!

    prathibalrao responded:
    August 6, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Hi Dear
    Thanx a lot to your comments.

    Hema said:
    August 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Do we need to cook all the items (rice +dal+vegetables) together? or vegetables need to be cooked seperatly? because rice + dal would take more time, so with this the vegetables may get overcooked. The other vegetable (in picture which is in more quantity) what you have used is Lauki/or Bottle gaurd is it?


    prathibalrao responded:
    August 13, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Hi Hema,

    Thanx for ur comments. You may cook only Ashguard with a little salt seperately. Other vegetables you can cook with rice and Dal itself adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt. I have clarified all in the post again. To clarify what is Ashguard you may see my post Puli koddel wherein you can see the image of Ashguard.

    Hema said:
    August 13, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Got it. Thanks!

    prathibalrao responded:
    August 14, 2008 at 8:35 am

    thanks for the same

    sangitapawar25 said:
    January 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    nice recipe….

    prathibalrao responded:
    January 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Sangitapawar,

    Thax a lot for ur comments.

    […] and fried masala peanuts. We also use it in almost as seasoning in many of the rice items like the Bisibele bhath, Vangi bhath and Puliyogare. Today I would like to put up Peanut Holige which I learnt from one of […]

    kavitha said:
    August 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    nice recipe ………………………tried it n enjoyed eating ……………………………………with all praise .

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