BISI BELE BHAATH (Rice Variety with Lentil and Veggies)

Spicy, traditional, authentic delicious dish from Karnataka, India. A typical rice and lentil combination dish with a generous mix of veggies, giving you lot of flexibility to choose from among a variety of vegetables. While rice, lentil and vegetables contribute the most to the nutrition factor; curry leaves, asafoetida and tamarind play dual roles to give not just nutrition but also that unique flavour. However, the secret behind the awesome taste of this dish lies in the spice powder.Scroll down and get started….to discover more about this dish, also known as “Bisi Bele Huliyanna” or “Hot Lentil Sour Rice”.

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Rice Variety Bisi Bele Bhaath

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  40 min

Serves:  4 persons


For cooking:

Rice                 100 gms

Toor Dal          100 gms

Water              500 ml

Oil                   1 tbsp

Turmeric pwd A pinch

Beans              50 gms  (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Potato              1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Double Beans  30 gms

Carrot              1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Knol khol         1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

For preparing masala:

Tamarind paste           1 tbsp (or soak 1 lime size ball of tamarind and extract the juice)

Salt to taste                 1 tsp

Spice powder              2 tbsp approx. (refer “Bisi Bele Bhaath powder” recipe in this website)

Water                          50 ml

For seasoning:

Oil                               2 tbsps

Mustard seeds                        1 tsp

Bengal gram dal         1 tsp

Black gram dal                        1 tsp

Asafoetida                   A pinch

Curry leaves                1 sprig

Onion                          1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Capsicum                    1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Tomatoes                    2 nos. (chopped to ½” cubes)

For garnishing:

Ghee                            1 tbsp

Coriander leaves         2 tbsps


Wash rice and toor dal separately and thoroughly in water. Drain out the water.

Put 300 ml of water, washed toor dal, few drops of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder into a pressure cooker and keep it for boiling. When the dal is half cooked (this can be known by pressing the dal with your fingers. The dal just splits without getting mashed) add all vegetables, salt (listed above under “for cooking”) and washed rice. Mix them well; add another 200 ml of water. Now close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook upto 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool.

Put tamarind paste in a bowl. Dilute it to juice consistency by adding 50 ml of water.  To this add salt and bisi bele bath powder. Mix them well. Boil this mixture in a small thick vessel or skillet on low flame for 5 to 10 min. If the mixture becomes too thick, add some more water, mix well and again keep for boiling till it reaches “gojju” consistency.

By now, the pressure in the cooker would have subsided. Remove the lid. Add this boiled mixture into the cooker, stir the contents well and again boil it for another 10 min. Switch off the flame. While this is boiling, prepare the seasoning. For this,

Heat oil in to a kadai. Put mustard seeds. When they crackle, add bengal gram dal followed by black gram dal. When they turn golden brown in colour, add asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped onions, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté till onions turn transparent and golden brown. Now add chopped capsicum. Continue sautéing till capsicum is just cooked and feels crisp and crunchy. Don’t overcook capsicum. Now add chopped tomatoes. Stir for 2 or 3 min. till the tomatoes are slightly cooked and the rawness disappears. Do not overcook tomatoes either. Switch off the flame. Pour this seasoning on to the boiling bisi bele bhaath in the pressure cooker to form a top layer. Do not mix this till you start serving.

Garnish with ghee and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Bisi Bele Bhaath is now ready.

Serve it steaming hot topped with a spoonful of ghee with fried papad, potato chips, fresh khara boondi, raitha or salad giving the bhaath cool company.

Also view other rice varieties in our blog “Vegetable Biryani“, “Greens Pulao“, “Ellina Chitranna” and “Raw Mango Rice


Broken wheat may also be used in place of white rice. Similarly rice can be substituted by Poha or Avalakki. Poha needs to be soaked for about 30 min. before mixing and boiling with cooked lentil and veggies.

Ensure Toor dal retains its shape even after it is cooked.

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