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Monday, 1 February 2016

Bisi Bele Bath (Rice-Lentil Porridge - Karnataka Special)

          This is a traditional rice lentil dish / porridge from the state of Karnataka. It is very nutritious as it has the goodness of mixed veggies. The taste and the flavour comes from the special homemade Bisi Bele Bath masala and the tempering that is poured on the end product. 

          It is a one-pot meal which is relished with papad or chips. I like mine with some pickles as an accompaniment. So check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil)
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped veggies (capsicum, beans, carrots, peas, eggplants, etc)
  • 3-4 tbsp. bisi bele bath masala (Recipe given below)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp. jaggery / sugar (I used brown sugar)

Tempering - 

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 10-15 roasted cashews
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tsp. extra ghee to garnish 

           Soak the rice and tuvar dal for an hour. Pressure cook in 3 1/2 cups water for 10 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry the onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies till light brown. Add the chopped veggies and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes.

          Add 1/2 cup to the veggies and pressure cook for one whistle. Transfer the boiled rice-dal mix and the boiled veggies to a pan / karahi and simmer for 5-10 minutes along with the jaggery, spice powder, salt and tamarind pulp. 

          Adjust the water. The consistency should be that of khichdi / porridge. When done, transfer to a serving dish.

          For the tempering - Heat oil and ghee in a pan and temper with the mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering add the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds. (If using raw cashews, add them now and fry till light brown. Keep some for garnishing).

          Pour this tempering on the prepared Bisi Bele bath and garnish with roasted cashews, coriander leaves and ghee. Serve hot with papad or chips. I like mine with some pickles.

                              Take 1 cup rice and 1/2 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil).

                               Soak for an hour.

                   Pressure cook in 4 cups water for 10 min. on low flame after the first whistle.

                                Chop all the veggies.

                               Pressure cook in 1 cup water for one whistle.

                               Heat oil and ghee in a pan.

                                Add onion, ginger and green chilies. Saute till light brown.


                            Add the boiled rice-dal, boiled veggies, salt and sugar. Mix well.

                   Add the bisi bele bath masala and 1 - 1 & 1/2 cups hot water. Simmer for 
                   4-5 minutes on a low flame.

                   For the tempering - Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After 
                    it stops spluttering add the curry leaves. Stir for a while and pour this on 
                    the prepared Bisi Bele Bath.

                    Garnish with cashews, ghee & coriander leaves. Serve with papad or chips. 

Bisi Bele Bath Masala (Spice Mix)

  • 6-7 dry red chilies
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. desicated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 tbsp. chana dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 green cardamoms
  • 8-10 cloves
  • pinch of salt

          In a pan dry roast all the above mentioned ingredients (except coconut) for 1-2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma coming through.

          Now add the desicated coconut and salt. Switch off the flame and keep stirring for another minute.

          Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool. Then grind to a fine powder and store in an air tight container.

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