Thursday, February 01, 2007

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! :)


Lakshmik said...

I love bisibele bath. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

Sandeepa said...

LOL :?) though didn't understand the meaning, like the "B silent"

Also the bisi bele bhaath looks delicious. I love it though have not made it ever, shall try it now

indosungod said...

The super classic Karnataka dish!
Looks awesome.

Asha said...

HeHeHe! oke umba amashe gittu!!:D

You have got to give us home made BBB pd Vani! Everybody has one, like your mom! ;D
Looks very appetizing and I haven't made it in a long time.I sometimes use MTR too,easy prep.

Enjoyed this post,good to see Kannada words.I don't think you can translate that oke!!:))

Enjoy Super Bowl!

TRS said...

Hi Vani,

I had this once at an aunt's house...and it was really filling..not to mention really tasty. Thanks for the recipe...I haven't had it in a while! Do let us know if you try the MTR Paste.


Roopa said...

Hi Vani!
BBB looks delicious! I always use my mom's BBB powder. The poppy seeds gives it a very distinct taste I think. I should try with Sambhar Pwdr next time. Joke PJ adhru thumba nagu banthu..just the word "Bhatre.." makes me giggle :)
BTW, thanks for stopping by Kitchen Aromas and your nice words. I am just catching up on blog crawling :) If you hadn't already guessed, I am a Bangalorean but love Mysore. When I visited India last year, we spent almost a week in Mysore and it was awesome. Looking forward to my next trip!
- Roopa

Seema said...

Nin maamandu joke sakkathagide. Jooru nagtha idene illi non stop. Just reminded me of one of my uncle who used to crack such jokes every time we used to sit on hanthi for oota at some function. My hubby is a big fan of BBB. Will make it from scratch sometimes just like yours.

Sia's corner said...

ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... joke sakat agide:)
he he he.... can't stop laughing....
b4 i forget i lovebisi bele baath:) i too love to make it from scratch and serve it with chips...mmmm... heaven...swarga sukha alla?:)

Coffee said...

LOL LOL LOL nice PJ.... don't understand what it means.... but get the point. :)

BBB!!!! my favourite!!!!! Lip smackingly delicious!!!!!

artnavy said...

yummy looking BBB

Try adding a little yellow pumpkin- it adds a slight rounded sweetness to this spicy rice

And your tadka can have channa dal, peanuts and cashew nuts when u want to serve it rich to visitors or indulge yourself- gives a litle surprise to the texture

jacob said...

both my wife and i love bisibele baath (i always think it sounds more like the original with a double 'aa':-)

my wife is kannadiga and i'm a hardcore mallu. when i first met my mother-in-law (who incidentally is an awesome cook) she made this and kheema kofta for me. so it will always have a special nook in my memories. thanks for the recipe.

Linda said...

Hi Vani, bisi bele bhath looks absolutely beautiful... just what I'd like for supper on a chilly winter day like today! Thanks for sharing :)

Jyothsna said...

Hi Vani, I've always wanted to prepare bisi bele bhath, and you've shared a nice recipe with us. Thanks for it!:)

Vani said...

Lakshmik- thanks! :)

Sandeepa- Do try it sometime. This is an easy version. If you get the MTR BBB powder, it's even more easier-you skip the grinding part altogether! :) I edited the PJ by adding a small explanation. Do re-read the last paragraph.

ISG- thank you! :)

Ashamma- glad you enjoyed the joke. Will find out the BBB powder recipe from my mom. She sends me some everytime but they get over in no time! Then I use the recipe I've posted.

TRS- Yeah, it is very filling. I love the taste of it too. Everybody makes it differently but I haven't eaten a BBBthat I haven't liked yet. Except once, maybe.

Roopa- hi and welcome to my blog! My mom sends me BBB powder too but I use it up in no time! Then I make this recipe. Bhatre got you started, huh? :) I always used to laugh heartily at all his be silent jokes. Nice to know another fellow Kannadiga, Roopa! :)

Vani said...

Seema- I'm so glad you enjoyed the joke! Serious mukha ittikondu, haage tumba jokes heluvanu nanna maama. Ella silly aadare naavu tumba nakktha iddvi. :)

Supriya- swarga sukha is right! :) I love chips with this too. I will edit my post to include that. Thank you, Sup! Neevella joke enjoy maadididhu nanige khushi aayithu! :)

Coffee- thank you for your lovely comment! :)

Artnavy- will try your way sometime. thanks.

Jacob- welcome to my blog! I LOVE your sketches. I haven't visited you in sometime now. You'll be seeing some comments of mine soon! :)
Since the bhath is the big 'bha' as opposed to the 'ba', I tend to use that. But I absolutely understand the 'baath' thing. It's word association.

Linda- thank you! You're right -it's great for a chilly day. The word "bisi" means hot so you KNOW it's perfect for a winter day. :)

Jyothsna- welcome and thank you for your comment! Do try it sometime.

Prema Sundar said...

I love bisibelabath Vani..lovely picture and a good recipe.

Spicelover said...

Hi Vani
Yummy bisi bele bhath. I use my mom's recipe which is almost the same as yours except we do not add the spices cinnamon, cloves, etc. But I guess your recipe is more authentic. I will try this next time.

Sumitha said...

Vani I made this bisi bele bath and it was delicious.Thanks a lot Vani,Im so glad that i didnt have the readymade powder,i feel so great to do it from the scratch,i thought making this powder was tough,do you have the recipe for vangi bath?

Vani said...

Prema- thank you! :)

Spicelover- thanks! I don't think there's any one recipe for BBB that can be called authentic really. Each family has it's own unique way of making this!:) Do let me know if you try my way, SL!

Sumitha- how nice that you tried it and even better that yu really liked it! :) I haven't posted a vangi bhath recipe but I have posted cabbage bhath that uses the palya powder that we use for vangi bhath as well. Just swap the cabbage with brinjal and you have vangi bhath! You will find it under rice category, Sumitha.
Thank you for trying the BBB! :)


We go all the way to Cafe Madras, Matunga just to eat bisibele hulle annu bath

Sugan said...


I tried your recipe and it came out very well. Thank you very much for this easy and wonderful recipe.

Seema said...

Tried your BBB and loved it. Tasted very authentic-- this was my what my hubby said. Thanx to you.

Aruna said...

Tried your BBB & loved it. thumba chenagittu. Thx

Vani said...

Sugan, Seema, Aruna- Glad you tried it and liked my recipe. Thanks for letting me know!

Pavan said...

I am a single bachelor living in Melbourne, and tried your recipe last night as I found it the simplest amongst numerous other ones. Just a note to thank you for that. Appreciate your kind efforts in putting this up.

Vani said...

Pavan- thank YOu for taking time to let me know! Glad that you liked it. It's one of my favorite dishes of all times! :)

anipeddi said...

Hi vani,

thanks for your recipe to prepare bisi belle bath. I love family enjoyed your tasty bisi bele bath.

soumya said...

i am going to try this recipe bisi bele baath
today with mosaru bajji & alaru sandige
hi i am mysoorean and now in uk.
i was delighted to see bbb in mysorean blog

Vani said...

Anipeddi - glad you tried and liked it! Thanks for letting me know! :)

Soumya- bbb is a classic, isn't it? I think all Kannadiga blogs have their versions of it. Glad to see u here, Soumya. I hope u like my version. With raita & sandige is the ideal combination, i think! Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

What else can I say Vani, EXCELLENT BBB recipe. Made it several times and people loved it. I have tried several of your other recipes too and each one has turned out lip smacking good.

Meghna said...

This recipe is delicious. I have one question though. I have heard that marathi moggu is an often used ingredient in bisi bele bath but I have been having a hard time getting it in indian stores here in the US, I was wodering whether using this spice would change the taste a lot? Also I would love to make the powder in advance and use it whenever I need it. In that case,should I make the powder with the copra in it or add the copra to the pre-prepared powder just before I prepare the bisi bele bath?

Vani said...

Meghna - thnaks for your comment. I don't think using maratha moggu will change the flavor by that much. I've never used it in BBB though. My mom makes the powder with copra in it. the only thing is that you should store in an airtight container or a freezer bag & store in the freezer so the masala remians fresh.

Meghna said...

Thanks Vani! This really helps, I am all set to make the powder at home now!

Sunitha said...

Hi Vani,

The BBB looks so good, just want to take it out and eat it :) I will try it, Thanks for the wonderful recipe.


Lakshmi said...

Hi Vani,

First time at your blog. I was going over all the receipes, specifically the baked wheat vadas. It is snowing heavily here today, and I am going to try your vadas :)

Loved the BBB joke, had me giggling away at office :)

Looking forward to more yummy Karnataka recipes.

Vani said...

Sunitha- thanks :)

Lakshmi- thanks for stopping by and your nice comment. Those baked biscuits would be perfect for cold weather! We had some snow today too but not heavy and not the sticky kind, thankfully! Take care :)

Lakshmi said...

Hi Vani,

Did not make the biscuits yesterday, but defn tried out the corn chaat. It was amazing.

BTW, you don't have to answer this, but are you in NJ?


Vani said...

Indeed I am :) Are you too?

Lakshmi said...


I guess my comment did not get posted for whatever reason. Yes, I am also in NJ, very close to Punjabi Rasoi actually :) Hope to meet you in the neighbourhood patel sometime :)


Anonymous said...

I tried the BBB recipe today, it was just awsome!! good post.

Harini said...

Cannot believe how amazing this tasted. Even with the short cuts of sambar powder and using a pressure cooker, this tasted just like the authentic Kannadiga brahmin version of BBB. Thanks for this recipe.

Pav said...

Just got married and trying to learn how to cook....I've never made bisi bele bath before but I loved eating it in restaurants. Your recipe was super easy to follow and came out deliciously. I loved it!

Bisi Bele Bath said...

very good are an expert

Sugan said...

This is so simple and delicious. Thank you very much.

krupa said...

Yummy. looking at the BBB pic only.. my mouth is watering... i am definetly going to ty to make it the same way at home..
thank you so much.

poo said...

I used your recipe. It tastes pretty good... :)

vidhya said...

Made the exactly same recipe , came out very well . Thanks for the same.
Only thing I missed is the colour , I got a light brownish colour where as your bright red looks very appealing. Any suggestions for that ?

Vani said...

Vidhya, my apologies for missing your comment. I keep forgetting that I've enabled comment moderation for older posts!
So, the color is from the sambar (huli) powder. Mine has quite a bit of byadgi chilies, which give it a red color. You could add a couple of those in the ground masala (after frying, of course). Since they're not too high in heat factor, it will not increase the heat by much.

Subramanya said...

Thanks a lot

indirag said...

I tried your bbb recipe and I loved it absolutely.. just the taste I was looking for. I added a lil jaggery to it out of habit.. thanks for the recipe

indirag said...

I tried your bbb recipe and I loved it absolutely.. just the taste I was looking for. I added a lil jaggery to it out of habit.. thanks for the recipe

Usha Rao said...

I made this last month and it came out perfect. I made it twice, the first time I over cooked for 5 whistles. The taste was great but was more like a baby food. The second time I cooked it for 3 whistles and the rice was a bit mushy. Was wondering if it had to do with the rice I used. I used basmati rice and was curious which variety of rice is used for BBB.

Both the times it tasted awesome! No wonder this recipe is still your all time most popular post. I will link back to your post when I update my blog. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Vani said...

Thanks Indirag and Usha for the comment. Usha, please don't use basmati - just regular raw rice like sona Masuri works well. Appreciate you taking time to leave your feedback.

Unknown said...

Hi when should we add cocunut, sambar powder and jaggery no mention abt it

Vani said...

Thanks, Unknown! I had missed jaggery - added in the method now. The sambar powder and coconut are in the ground masala