Bisi Bele Bath | Bisi Bele Bhath | How to Make Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath is the signature dish of the Mysore/Bangalore region in Karnataka. It is a wholesome meal-in-one and has rice, dal and vegetables all in a slightly-runny-khichdi-like consistency. Each family has their own unique recipe for bisibelebath (or bisi bele hulianna, as it's sometimes called). My mom makes it the traditional way, boiling everything one by one and cooking them in freshly ground masala. This is my aunt's way of making this classic Kannadiga dish.

Update: For a quicker version of bisi bele bath using a pre-made masala powder, like MTR's, click here. And ,a href=''>here
is Bisi Bele Bath with quinoa, an excellent substitute for rice.


1 cup Rice (uncooked)
3/4 cup Toor Dal (uncooked)
2 cups Mixed Vegetables (onions, potatoes, peas, beans, carrot, spinach, corn etc)
2 tsp Tamarind Paste
2 tsp jaggery
6 cups Water
Salt to taste

1/2 cup grated Copra or grated coconut
2 tsp huli pudi or Sambar Powder*
2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1" stick Cinnamon (*if using sambar powder, increase to 3-4 sticks and add 1/2 tsp methi)
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Cardamom
1 tsp Khus Khus
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 sprig Curry leaves

4-5 Tbsp Oil
3-4 Red Chillies
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 sprig Curry Leaves
1 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Asafoetida

In a little bit of heated oil, fry the masala ingredients, except for the copra and the sambar powder. Grind all of the masala ingredients, including copra and sambar powder) to a paste with a little water. Keep aside.

In a pressure cooker, do the tadka. Add the mixed vegetables and fry for a few seconds. Add the rice and dal and fry for a few more seconds. Now put in ground masala, water, tamarind, jaggery and salt to taste. Cook in the pressure cooker for 3 whistles (well, 3 in my cooker. The rice and dal should have turned soft). It is a whistle more than when you cook plain dal. Once cooled, mix well. And that's it! It tastes delicious and we usually have it with sandige, rice papad, boondi, potato chips and/or raitha.

MTR makes a Bisi Bele Bhath powder that is pretty good too. With that powder, you bypass all the frying and grinding stuff. Update: Here is the recipe for Bisi Bele Bhath using MTR Powder

My youngest maama used to tell us these "Be silent!" jokes. The one on BBB goes like this. In a wedding, a man while waiting to be served lunch, shouts to the server impatiently "Bhatre, bisi bele bath badisi". Annoyed at the man shouting, another person tells him "Be Silent!!". So the man goes "Atre, isi ele aath adisi!" :)
To my non-Kannadiga pals, the man asks to be served BBB (all words in the sentence start with a B) and with the "Be silent!" the man repeats the same sentence silencing the B! A major PJ but we enjoyed all of my maama's silly jokes! :)

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