Bisi Bele Bath Recipe

Bisi Bele Bath Recipe

90 Mins
7-8 People
05 Mins



Growing up in a household where aromas danced in the air and every meal was a celebration of flavors, I was introduced to the rich tapestry of Indian cuisine from a young age. Among the myriad of dishes that adorned our dining table, one particular recipe stood out – Bisi Bele Bath. This traditional South Indian delicacy, with its perfect blend of spices and textures, not only tantalized my taste buds but also ignited my curiosity about the culinary heritage of Karnataka.

Bisi Bele Bath, often referred to as the "hot lentil rice," is more than just a dish; it's a culinary journey that captures the essence of South Indian flavors. As a child, I vividly remember the first time I watched my grandmother craft this masterpiece in her kitchen. The medley of spices sizzling in the pan, the aroma wafting through the air, and the anticipation of tasting something truly extraordinary – it was a moment that left an indelible mark on my culinary journey.




Recipe for Bisi Bele Bath




Portions serving: 7-8 pax
Preparation time: 05 min
Cooking time: 90 min
Calories: 183 cal per portion


For Bisi Bele Bhat:

  • 1 cup short-grain Rice
  • 1 cup Tur Dal (split pigeon peas)
  • Water, as required
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • 10-15 Curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp Peanuts
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • ½ tsp Hing (asafoetida)
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 cup chopped Tomato
  • 1 cup chopped French beans
  • ½ cup Matar (green peas)
  • 1 cup chopped Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Bisi Bele powdered masala
  • ½ cup Tamarind water
  • 8-10 Cashews
  • 10 Curry leaves


For Bisi Bele masala:

  • 1 tbsp Urad dal
  • 1 tbsp Chana dal
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • ½ tbsp Poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 16-17 Black peppercorns
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • ½ inch Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 Green cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Jeera (cumin seeds)
  • ½ cup Dry red chillies
  • ¼ cup Dry coconut
  • 15-20 Curry leaves





Preparing Rice and Dal:

  1. Wash the tur dal and rice thoroughly, repeating the process 2-3 times to remove impurities. Soak the washed dal and rice in water for 1-2 hours.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal and rice along with water, turmeric powder, and salt. Pressure cook for 2 whistles until cooked. Set aside.

Making Bisi Bele Masala Powder:

  1. Heat a pan over medium-low heat and dry roast all the ingredients for the Bisi Bele masala powder until golden brown and aromatic.
  2. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool. Grind into a fine powder and set aside.

Preparing Bisi Bele Bhat:

  1. In a large pan, heat ghee and oil. Add mustard seeds, dry red chilies, curry leaves, peanuts, and turmeric powder. Sauté until mustard seeds start crackling.
  2. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Then add chopped tomatoes and sauté until soft.
  3. Incorporate chopped vegetables like peas, French beans, and carrots. Mix well.
  4. Season with salt and the prepared Bisi Bele masala powder. Mix until vegetables are coated.
  5. Pour in water, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the cooked rice and dal mixture to the pan. Stir gently, adding more water if needed for consistency.
  7. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.


  1. In a separate pan, heat ghee and roast cashews until golden. Add curry leaves and let them splutter.
  2. Pour this tempering over the Bisi Bele Bhat.

Your delicious Bisi Bele Bhat is ready to be served hot. Enjoy with raita and crunchy snacks for a complete meal!




About the Recipe:


Bisi Bele Bath is a traditional South Indian rice dish that hails from the state of Karnataka. Literally translating to "hot lentil rice" in Kannada, this flavorful delicacy is a quintessential part of Kannadiga cuisine. It is a harmonious blend of rice, lentils, assorted vegetables, and a signature spice blend known as the Bisi Bele Bath masala.


The unique aspect of Bisi Bele Bath lies in its preparation method, which involves cooking rice and lentils together with tamarind, vegetables, and a special blend of spices. The result is a hearty, one-pot meal that is both nutritious and satisfying. Traditionally served hot and garnished with a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cashews, Bisi Bele Bath offers a symphony of flavors and textures in every bite.

Discover the nutritional benefits of lentils and rice in this article from Healthline.



Cooking Tips:


  1. Perfecting the Spice Blend: Pay special attention to roasting and grinding the Bisi Bele Bath masala to enhance its flavors.
  2. Consistency is Key: Achieve the ideal consistency by adjusting the water level to your preference – some prefer it thick and creamy, while others prefer it more soupy.
  3. Vegetable Selection: Experiment with a variety of vegetables like carrots, beans, peas, and potatoes to add color, texture, and nutrition to your Bisi Bele Bath.
  4. Tempering Technique: Master the art of tempering to elevate the flavor profile of your dish – ensure the mustard seeds splutter and the curry leaves release their aroma.
  5. Balancing Act: Strike the perfect balance of tanginess from tamarind, spiciness from the masala, and sweetness from the vegetables to create a harmonious flavor profile.



Pairing Guide:


Bisi Bele Bath pairs exceptionally well with a variety of accompaniments, enhancing the overall dining experience. Here are some delicious pairing options:


  • Coconut Chutney: The subtle sweetness of coconut chutney complements the spiciness of Bisi Bele Bath beautifully.
  • Papad: Crispy papads add a delightful crunch to the meal and serve as a perfect contrast to the creamy texture of the rice dish.
  • Raita: A cooling cucumber or onion raita helps balance the heat of the spices and adds a refreshing element to the meal.
  • Fried Crisps: Serve some crunchy fried crisps on the side for an additional textural contrast and indulgence.




Frequently Asked Questions about Bisi Bele Bath:


  1. What does "Bisi Bele Bath" mean?

    • "Bisi Bele Bath" translates to "hot lentil rice" in Kannada, indicating a spicy and flavorful rice dish cooked with lentils and vegetables.
  2. Can I customize the vegetables in Bisi Bele Bath?

    • Yes, you can customize the vegetables based on your preference and seasonal availability. Common choices include carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, and capsicum.
  3. Is Bisi Bele Bath spicy?

    • Bisi Bele Bath can be adjusted to suit your spice tolerance. The spice level can be moderated by controlling the amount of Bisi Bele Bath masala used in the recipe.
  4. Can I make Bisi Bele Bath in advance?

    • Yes, Bisi Bele Bath can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. Reheat it before serving and adjust the consistency by adding a little water if needed.
  5. What is the key ingredient in Bisi Bele Bath masala?

    • The key ingredient in Bisi Bele Bath masala is a blend of spices including cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and dry red chilies.
  6. Is Bisi Bele Bath a complete meal?

    • Yes, Bisi Bele Bath is a wholesome one-pot meal containing rice, lentils, vegetables, and spices, making it a nutritious and satisfying dish on its own.
  7. Can I skip tamarind in Bisi Bele Bath?

    • Tamarind adds tanginess to Bisi Bele Bath, but if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the quantity of tamarind or omit it altogether.