Bisi bele bath is a traditional South Indian dish from Karnataka cuisine. Bisi Bele Bath(BBB) translates to Bisi = hot, Bele = lentils/dal, Bath = rice mixed with veggies.BBB is very popular in South India, Karnataka. It’s a healthy rice recipe with goodness of lentils and vegetables in it.
Lunch like this makes me nostalgic. During the college days mom used to pack my lunch box and one of the most loved dish by my friends was this bisi bele bath.
The last class before lunch used to feel the longest hour of the day. The grumbling stomach can be a bit embarrassing in some situations! And sometimes it’s so loud that the entire class hears it and breaks out in laughter. How embarrassing can that be! Very I would say, from my personal experience!
The sound of the loud irritating bell indicating the end of class somehow suddenly starts to feel very soothing, just for that moment. Lunch Time! YAY!
Friends would generously hand their box to me and take away my box and then each one used to pounce into the box every time my box was packed with BBB There were fights among we friends as to who get to taste first and who is the smart one to take as many spoons soon possible so she gets to eat it all! Moms special sambar rice with potato fry and BBB was world famous among my friends group.
Trust me on this one, you cook rice, dal and vegetables separately, instead of cooking them to-gether dumped in a pressure, cooking them separately gives more taste to the bath. I prefer to cook vegetables in open pot, which retains the color of the veggies.
Ingredients for bisi bele bath
2 cups Rice (I prefer Sona Masuri)
1 cup Toor Dal/Red Lentils
4-6 cups Mixed Vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces (I used Carrots, French Beans, Cauliflower, and green bell peppers)
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 large Lime sized Tamarind Pulp, soaked in warm water and juice extracted (adjust according to taste)
1/2 tablespoon jaggery(optional)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
½ – 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon sambar powder
1/2 cup bisi bele bath masala powder
Salt to taste
Oil – 3 tbspns
Little Ghee for serving
Method of preparation:-
I like to cook rice, dal and vegetables separately, though you can cook them to-gather at a time, cooking them separately gives more taste to the bath. I prefer to cook vegetables in open pot, which retains the color of the veggies.
1. Wash rice and lentils separately till water turns clear. Add 4 cups of water to rice and 2 1/2 cups of water to dal and cook it in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles.
2. Cook vegetables in open pot, first add the vegetables that needs longer time to cook, until half cooked. Next add other vegetables depending on the time it would need to cook. I first cooked carrots and beans until half done, then added cauliflower and after 8-10 mins I added capsicum.
3. Once rice, dal and vegetables are all cooked you are ready to mix them together to make BBB. Keep onions and tomatoes chopped and ready.
4. In a large pan(I used pressure cooker) add oil, to hot oil add mustard seeds and wait until they crackle. Next add asafoetida.
5. Add chopped onions and saute until translucent, now add tomatoes and saute until they turn soft and mushy.
6. Next add turmeric powder, sambar powder and bisi bele bath powder and mix well. Next add the cooked vegetables and mix.
7. It’s time to add dal now, add cooked and mashed dal to cooker and mix well. Once every thing blends add cooked and mashed rice and mix again.
8. Finally add tamarind juice, mix well and allow it to cook for 5 mins. Season with salt.
9. Hot, flavorful and heavenly bisi bele bath is ready. Serve them piping hot with little ghee on top along with kara boondi or chips along with raita.
1. To the BBB masala powder, you can add desiccated coconut which grinding the roasted spices. If adding coconut store the masala powder in air tight container and refrigerate it .
2. Though you can cook everything(rice, dal, veggies) together in a pressure cooker (one pat meal), Cooking veggies, rice and dal separately gives a wonderful and unique taste to this bath.
3. You can choose any vegetable to add to the dish, peas, potato, drum sticks, radish, broad beans, all go well with this dish.