Bisi bela bath is a hot spicy lentil rice from Karnataka, India. It is one of the famous south Indian dishes made from cooked rice and lentils, mashed and added to spicy tamarind mixture. It is served with raita, mixed vegetable curry, aviyal, papad for lunch or dinner. The authentic recipe does not contain any onions or veggies in fact, it is simply done by grinding those masalas, adding them into the tamarind water and mix it will rice lentil mixture. But these days everybody loves to add vegetables to it. I like it simple with just shallots. The shallots/pearl onions added with curry leaves gives great flavor. Feel free to add any veggie of your choice. If you think, this involves a lot of process, you can always buy the store-bough MTR Bisi Bela Baath powder. It tastes good for sure. I love my mom’s recipe. She is just a pro in bisi bela bath. When she tempers the ingredients in ghee, I go crazy. I just love it when she makes the bisi bela bath. She prepares it with aviyal, raita and papad. She used to make it often just for me. After I came here, whenever I go to meet her in India, she makes it for me without fail. 🙂 I really miss her and her cooking 😉 . This time when she made it in India, I couldn’t have it ;( Bad me!
The tempering of ingredients in ghee and topping it on bisibelabath makes anyone in the house hungry. It gives great flavor. Even the blended masala powder, I would say you could always make the bisi belath bath powder and store it. But if you are planning to do so, store it in air tight container without adding coconut. Many like to avoid ghee/clarified butter because of the fat. But once in a while, I am sure its ok. You can cut down in something else. This is worth it.
Vegan note: If you vegan, please avoid ghee or you can use vegan butter and melt and top it.
- For rice lentils:
- Rice – 1 cup
- Toor dal – 1 cup
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt – as needed.
- Water – 5 cups.
Bisi bela bath spice powder:
- Chana dal/ bengal gram spilt and skinned – 1 tbsp
- Urad dal/split black gram – 1 tbsp
- Cloves – 3
- Cardamom pods – 2
- Cinnamom stick – 1 inch
- Red chillies – 4
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
- Grated coconut – ¼ cup
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Asafortida powder – ½ tsp
For bisi belabath:
- Tamarind lemon size in 4.5 cups water
- Shallots//Pearl onions – 15, peeled
- Jaggery – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Curry leaves – 6
- Tomato – 1, chopped finely
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Dry red chilli – 2
- Curry leaves - 8
- Peanuts – 7-8
- For Bisi Bele Bath Powder:
- Heat a small pan on medium heat, add in the channa dal, urad dal, and stir continuously till they lightly brown. Then add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods, dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds and coriander seeds. Roast until the chilies begin to brown.
- Next add the poppy seeds and coconut. And roast for 30 seconds until coconut loses its moisture. Add turmeric powder and asafetida powder finally. Stir and switch off the heat.
- When cooled, blend them into a fine powder. Keep it aside. You can store in an air tight container and use for a while.
For Bisi Bela Bath:
- In a pressure cook, add the washed rice, washed lentils, turmeric powder, salt and water. Keep it in medium to high heat and whistle for 5 whistles. Mash it and keep it aside.
- Soak tamarind in warm water and keep it aside.
- Take a big wide pan, add oil, add the curry leaves and pearl onions, sauté well in medium to low flame.
- Then add the tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt and sauté till the raw smell leaves. Add the tamarind water and blended bisi bela bhaat spice powder. Added little extra water as we are going to add rice to it. Add the jaggery and mix well.
- Let them boil for 5-7 minutes, then add the cooked rice dal to it slowly and mix well as you add it. Switch off.
- Now to temper, heat a small pan on medium heat, add in tbsp. of ghee and allow it to melt, add in the mustard seeds, the cumin seeds. Allow it to crackle. Then add in the red chilli, peanuts, curry leaves, asafetida and roast them. Once roasted, top it on the bibebelabath seasoning with two more tbsp. of ghee. Serve it hot.
2. If you vegan, please avoid ghee or you can use vegan butter and melt and top it.