Bisi Bele Bath/ Bisi Bele Huli Anna

40 Mins
Serves 6 People
Author: Rajni Ram
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Bisi Bele Bath is a popular dish from the Karnataka state in South India. It is a rice and lentil dish cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce, with a lot of seasonal vegetables. What gives this dish a unique flavour and taste is the Bisi Bele Bath masala.  A good masala makes a lot of difference. Needless to say, homemade Masalas are always the best, as the freshness is intact. I will be blogging the Bisi Bele Bath powder recipe shortly. But then the store bought ones can also be used.

As for the vegetables used they are mostly whatever is available in season, but there are some must haves too, like- Drumstick, Capsicum, Onion, Tomatoes, Potato and Brinjal which make this dish stand out. A generous drizzle of ghee certainly elevates this gastronomical experience.

I don’t fuss much about pairing this dish with a side dish. Just some Raita and Papad will do. On that note check out the many Raita recipes here on the blog.

While you are here also check out other Rice varieties like Ven Pongal, Millet/Kuthiraivali Pongal, Soya Chunks Biriyani, Coriander/Chutney Rice, Cabbage Rice, and more…

Ingredients

  1. Rice 1 Cup ( any short grained rice)
  2. Tuvar Dal 1/2 cup
  3. Moong Dal 2 tbsp
  4. Tamarind paste 1.5 tbsp or Tamarind pulp from a lemon sized ball of tamarind
  5. Beans 4-5 cut to 1 inch pieces
  6. Carrot 1 small cubed
  7. Potato 1 medium cubed
  8. Brinjal 3 small ones cut into 4 lengthwise
  9. Capsicum 1/2 of 1 big chopped fine
  10. Shallots ( or onion) – If using shallots use 5-6, and if using onion 1 medium – chopped
  11. Drumstick 2 cut to 2 inch pieces
  12. Cinnamon Stick 1 inch piece
  13. Water as required
  14. Salt as per taste
  15. Turmeric powder 1tsp (divided)
  16. Red chilli powder 1tsp
  17. Bisi Bele Bath Powder 2 tbsp
  18. Ghee/Oil for tempering 2 tbsp
  19. Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  20. Peanuts 1 tbsp
  21.  Chana Dal 1 tsp
  22. Asafoetida  1 tsp
  23. Curry leaves few sprigs
  24. Dry Red Chillies  2 broken
  1. Wash the rice and the Dals together, add 4 to 5 cups of water, little salt and turmeric powder, Cinnamon stick, and pressure cook. Allow 5 to 6 whistles to come. Put off the flame and allow the pressure to settle. After the pressure has settled, open the cooker, get out the cooked rice and dal mixture and mash it with the back of a ladle while still hot. Set aside.
  2. In a pan take ghee/oil and heat. To this add chopped onions/shallots,capsicum,and tomatoes and saute. Add a little salt and continue to saute until the tomatoes turn mushy. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3.  Now in a big/deep kadai or heavy bottomed vessel add the tamarind paste and add 3 to 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil. Add turmeric powder, salt and the chopped vegetables and cook. When the vegetables are half done, add red chilli powder and Bisi Bele Bath powder and continue to cook until the vegetables are fully done. Add more water (about 1/2 cup) if the tamarind sauce is too thick.
  4. Now add the cooked and mashed rice to the tamarind and veggies mixture and stir well. The final consistency should be gooey, but not runny. For this a little warm water can be added towards the end. Taste for salt and spice and adjust accordingly . Now add the sauteed Shallot, capsicum and tomato and mix well.
  5. Now take ghee in a tempering pan, to this add mustard seeds, chana dal, dry red chillies, curry  leaves, asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the Cashewnuts and peanuts and fry until light brown. Pour this tempering into the rice and enjoy the Bisi Bele Bath hot with some raita and  papad or rice crisps.

Wash the rice and the Dals together, add 4 to 5 cups of water, little salt and turmeric powder, Cinnamon stick, and pressure cook. Allow 5 to 6 whistles to come. Put off the flame and allow the pressure to settle. After the pressure has settled, open the cooker, get out the cooked rice and dal mixture and mash it with the back of a ladle while still hot. Set aside. In a pan take ghee/oil and heat. To this add chopped onions/shallots,capsicum,and tomatoes and saute. Add a little salt and continue to saute until the tomatoes turn mushy. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Now in a big/deep kadai or heavy bottomed vessel add the tamarind paste and add 3 to 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil. Add turmeric powder, salt and the chopped vegetables and cook. When the vegetables are half done, add red chilli powder and Bisi Bele Bath powder and continue to cook until the vegetables are fully done. Add more water (about 1/2 cup) if the tamarind sauce is too thick. Now add the cooked and mashed rice to the tamarind and veggies mixture and stir well. The final consistency should be gooey, but not runny. For this a little warm water can be added towards the end. Taste for salt and spice and adjust accordingly . Now add the sauteed Shallot, capsicum and tomato and mix well. Now take ghee in a tempering pan, to this add mustard seeds, chana dal, dry red chillies, curry  leaves, asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the Cashewnuts and peanuts and fry until light brown. Pour this tempering into the rice and enjoy the Bisi Bele Bath hot with some raita and  papad or rice crisps.

Notes:

  1. The vegetables used can be customized as per your liking. But I recommend adding the shallots/onions,capsicum for enhanced flavours and taste.
  2. On days when I want to skip onions, I simply saute only the capsicum and tomatoes in ghee. So that works too. Mostly  when it is offered as Prasad(holy offering), the Bisi Bele Bath is made onion free.
  3. Though a one pot version is also possible, I almost never make it that way as I need to bite my vegetables and don’t like them over cooked.
  4. Be generous with the ghee,and additionally drizzle some after serving on your plate.
  5. Above all the Bisi Bele Bath tastes best when made with homemade masala. That said store bought ones also are good. Look for the date and buy the freshest.

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