Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi bele bath is a spicy, tangy, rice-based dish from the state of Karnataka. The name ‘Bisi bele bath’ is in Kannada, which translates to ‘hot lentil rice.’ This wholesome dish is a popular breakfast/lunch/dinner preparation made using white rice, toor dal, a variety of vegetables, spices, and ghee. Rice, toor dal, and vegetables are pressure cooked first, and later an onion-tomato-based masala is mixed with it. Continue reading if you want to know how to prepare this delicious Karnataka-special Bisi bele bath. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


For Pressure Cooking:
100g white rice(1 cup)
50g toor dal (0.5 cup)
500ml water (5 cups or 3x times rice+dal)
1/2 cup of green beans
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
8-10 1-inch drumsticks, fresh or frozen
1 large potato, cut into cubes
1/2 cup carrot
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For bisi bele bath masala:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Asafoetida(hing) – a pinch
2 tablespoons groundnuts
2-3 dried red chilli
Curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 – 3 tablespoons Bisi bele bath powder
2 tbsp tamarind extract
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

For garnish:
2 tbsp ghee
handful of cashews

  1. Pressure cooking: Rinse rice, toor dal, and vegetables under cold running water. Drain and transfer everything into a cooker. Pour water and add a tbsp oil. Pressure cook until dal and rice is cooked completely (usually 3-4 whistles are sufficient).
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle.
  2. Add hing and then groundnuts, fry them until light brown. 
  3. Add dried red chilies, curry leaves and saute for 10 seconds.
  4. Add sliced onion and saute until transparent. Add tomatoes, sprinkle some salt over, and saute until soft and mushy.
  5. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, Bisi bele bath powder, and fry for 30 seconds on low heat. Then pour tamarind extract, and combine. Pour roughly 50ml of water, mix well and cook for a minute or two. Turn off heat.
  6. Transfer this masala into the pressure cooker containing cooked rice, dal, and vegetables. Mix well and add water if necessary to adjust consistency. Turn on the heat and cook Bisi bele bath on low for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  7. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  8. Fry a handful of cashews in a tbsp of ghee in a small pan. Pour this on top of Bisi bele bath and gently mix.
  9. Serve right after with Khara boondi, potato chips or spicy mixture as shown.
  • You can tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • You can also use other vegetables like beans, ridge gourd, etc. with the ones used in this recipe.
  • Use store-bought or homemade Bisi bele bath powder. I have made use of MTR Bisi bele bath mix.
  • Bisi bele bath could be stored in the refrigerator for a day. Mix little water and warm it before eating.

If you tried this recipe, let me know how you liked it! 🙂

Rating: 1 out of 5.

You can also tag your food recreations of this recipe on my Instagram @swaadista and using #SwaadistaRecipes

Happy cooking and happy eating ❤

5 Comments Add yours

  1. ragnarsbhut says:

    This does look tasty.


    1. Swaadista says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ragnarsbhut says:

        How easy is this dish to prepare and serve?


        1. Swaadista says:

          It is moderately easy.

          Liked by 1 person

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