February 20, 2013

Bisi Bele Baath - Karnataka Special

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Bisi Bele Baath,a signature dish of Karnataka,India primarily made out of rice and lentils literally translates to
(Bisi)- Hot

  A slightly lengthy method of preparation,but the end result is delectable.There are various recipes used in different households for the preparation of Bisi Bele Baath.The recipe which I am going to share with you,is the one that I learnt from my Mom.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 45 mins
Serves : 3-4


For the Bisi Bele Baath Masala
1 tbsp Channa Dhall / Yellow Bengal Gram dhall
2 tbsp Dhania / Corriander seeds
10-15 dry red chillies (the spicy variety)
3-4 dry dry byadgi red chilli (no spice color yielding chilli)
1 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds 
1 small stick cinnamon
2-3 cloves 
Curry leaves - few 
turmeric powder

Main Dish
1 cup rice
1/2 cup thoor dhall
1 potato- chopped as cubes
1 onion - chopped as cubes
2 carrots- chopped as cubes
1 drumstick - chopped lengthwise 
50 gms french beans - chopped lengthwise
50 gms green peas
lemon sized tamarind - soak in hot water and extract thick pulp
1/2 cup grated coconut 

2 tsp Mustard Seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
curry leaves

Preparation of the Masala
1. Heat a little oil in a pan,add in the dry red chillies and roast until the pungent flavor  of the chillies is lost and they turn crisp and keep it aside.Take care not to burn them.
2. In the same pan,now add the channa dhall and roast it until it turns golden brown,keep aside.
3. Add in the corriander seeds,methi seeds,curry leaves,asafoetida and turmeric powder and roast them until the corriander seeds give out a nice aroma.Methi seeds should not turn brown.It will become bitter.
4.Lastly ,just dry roast the cinnamon and cloves.
5.Grind all of these into a dry spice powder.
6.This powder can be stored in a container and can be used later also.

Preparation of Bisi Bele Baath
  • Pressure cook the rice and lentil with a little turmeric powder and 3 cups of water.
  • Take about 3 tbsp of the masala and wet grind it with the grated coconut into a fine paste.
  • In a deep heavy bottomed vessel,heat a little oil and temper it with mustard seeds,curry leaves and dry chillies.
  • Saute the onions until pink,add in the rest of the veggies and saute till the oil coats around them.
  • Add in salt,asafoetida and pour in the tamarind extract and some water ,enough to cook the vegetables.
  • Add small amount of jaggery and 1 tbsp of the masala and let the veggies cook well.
  • Add the masala paste prepared using coconut,when the vegetables are half cooked.
  • Mean while,slightly mash the cooked rice and lentil so that it blends well when added to the cooked vegetable mixture.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked well ,add in the rice and stir well and allow the entire mixture to slightly come to a boil.
  • You may add a little water,if you find difficulty in stirring the mixture and it seems too thick.
  • Check for the spice and salt and add salt accordingly.If you need more spicy you can add in the dry masala and stir well.
  • Before serving,garnish with roasted cashewnuts or groundnuts and drizzle some ghee over it and serve hot with Papad,potato chips and curd.
Note :
  • For those who dont like the taste of onions,it can be omitted while preparing.
  • Vegetables such as capsicum,ash gourd(white pumpkin),Chou Chou (Chayote) can also be added.
  • Instead of green peas,boiled chick peas /chole can be added


  1. am gonna try this version with Chitti's spice powder :-))

  2. My pleasure Kalyani..do try and give me your expert comment :)


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