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Bisi Bele Bhath

| March 8, 2013 Comment

bisi bele bhath

Bisi Bele Bhath is a delicious and spicy dish popular in South India. Made with rice, lentils, and vegetables, this makes a perfect one-dish meal for a cold winter night, or any night you don’t feel like making an elaborate meal. Bisi Bele Bhath is the South Indian version of the Italian risotto.

Bisi Bele Bhath is a pressure cooker recipe and is not only easy to make but also very nutritious.

Servings: 2-3
Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup toor dal (split red gram)
  • 1 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 cup onions, cut lengthwise and halved
  • 1/4 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 5-6 cashew nuts, fried and cut into pieces (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For Masala

  • 8-10 red chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp dhania (coriander seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 tsp urad dal ( black gram)
  • 1 1/4 tsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated dry coconut
  • 7-8 tsp vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)

Or you can use ready-made bisi-bele-bhath masala (available in Indian grocery stores).

For Seasoning

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • Asafoetida powder (hing), a pinch
  • 6-7 curry leaves


  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the cashew nuts and keep aside.
  2. Saute the onions, beans, and carrots for a couple of minutes.
  3. Roast the dhania, methi, chana, cloves and toor dal in 1/2 tsp oil, till light brown. Then add the red chillies and dry coconut, and fry for a minute.
  4. Cool and powder these along with the cinnamon, and keep aside.
  5. Coarsely grind the rice and toor dal (pulse it for 2 seconds). You can skip this step if you like.
  6. Take a medium-sized container and add the rice and dal, and the vegetables. Add the tamarind paste and salt, and 4 cups of water.
  7. Add the ground bisi bele bhath masala. Check the taste and adjust salt and tamarind acordingly.
  8. Cook the rice, dal, and vegetables in a pressure cooker for about 5-7 whistles (until cooked).
  9. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a small pan. Add the hing and mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the cooked bisi bele bhath.
  10. Stir in the cashew nuts, and mix well.
  11. Serve hot with some ghee and pappadam.

Category: Rice Recipes, Rice Recipes - No-Onion No-Garlic, Vegan Rice Recipes

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