Nov 15, 2009


Hridya -my friend and a follower of this blog had requested a recipe for Bisibelabath. Hridya -  this one's for you.

This is traditionally a Karnataka dish and there are a different methods to make this. Some people primarily use a lot of country vegetables. Some use a lot of coconut and garam masala in here. I've just explained my method that I always make this in - and we do love it at home. 

Prep Work 1: I cook the rice and daal using a regular rice cooker. But the method is a little different. Soak both the daal and rice separately first for about an hour. The proportion is 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of Toor Daal.

In the rice cooker, first cook the daal with 3 cups of water for about 10 mins - this will soften the daal well but not cook it completely. Then, add the rice to this and add another 3 cups of water and cook them together till done.

Here's the rice and daal cooked together.


Prep Work2: Making the bisibelebath powder.

Take all of these things below -

2 tbsp Channa Daal
1 tbsp Urad Daal
2 tsp Jeera
1 tsp Whole Black Pepper
Cloves - 3 or 4
Cinnamon sticks - 1 small stick broken into 2
Bay Leaf - about 2-3
Red Chilli Dried - about 8-10
Fenugreek seeds - vendiyam - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tablespoon


In a pan, add about 1 tsp of ghee and roast all of the spices above.Make sure not to burn anything while roasting. You should look for a nice golden roast and a nice aroma. Remove from pan immediately.


Here's how they look after roasting.


Cool down and then grind to a very fine powder. Do not remove it from the mixie yet.


Add a little water and give it a couple of more whirrs in the mixie. This will ensure that there are no lumps in the powder or rather paste now. This mixes in smoothly when added to the rice later.


Prep Work 3: Cut and chop veggies. I'm making a big mistake here - I'm used a big red onion and chopped up that into small pieces - this is not authentic. The authentic version would be to use small pearl onions - I was all out and even though I really really wanted it - I was lazy to go to the store. I asked my husband first nicely..then not so nicely - he basically told me in words I can't type here - that he did not care what onions I used - he just wanted food to eat! So, avoid all the drama and make sure you have pearl onions before you start - that just adds a ton of flavor to the rice. Please - trust me on this one.

I then had green bell peppers and drum sticks (murungakkai).


Then - more veggies! Carrots, green beans, cauliflower, chayote squash (chow chow), peas and potatoes. You can add whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Eggplants go well in this - but the small indian ones - not the chinese eggplants.


In a pan, add about 1 tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add Curry leaves and fry for a min. Add hing to the oil. Then, add the onions. Fry till translucent. Add the bell peppers and drumsticks. Fry for a couple of mins. Then add chopped tomatoes to this. Fry for a min.


Now, add all the other veggies. Add turmeric powder, salt and mix well.


Add about 2 cups of diluted tamarind juice to this. Cover and cook well till veggies are soft.


When the veggies are done, add the cooked rice to this and mix well with the veggies. Now, slowly add the ground paste and keep mixing well with the rice.


There - that's all mixed up - now, turn the stove to simmer and close this pan with a lid. Let this cook slowly. In fact, if you have a slow cooker at home - you should move this there and cook it for sometime.


After a few mins, open the lid to give the rice a stir. Add about 2 dollops of ghee to this - don't ask me how much that is - just 2 dollops! This is what brings out all the various flavors of the spices out. This is what makes bisibelebath famous - the ghee!


Serve hot with raitha and vadaam or chips.


As usual - can't stop with just one picture.


Enjoy. Peace Out!


  1. This can't be happening!! I thought I had you on reader and all this while kept thinking you haven't been updating. But Nov 15th is yesterday no?

    Btw, I LOVE flowy bbb. My version is a bit thicker since that's the way the husband likes it. *grumble*

  2. Hey Nags - its still November 15th on my side of the world - I just updated this like a few mins ago and you were perfectly on time to leave me a comment! Thanks!

  3. Hey!!The last but one photo is too good. Pass on that plate to me if possible. Perfect texture.

  4. Yummy! As usual it appears so delicious. Looks like I should plan my next visit to US very soon. :)

  5. Wow, like ur step by step bisebela bhath...looks totally droolworthy, makes one hungry already...

  6. looks so yummm, mrigs!!! This BBB sounds easy and doable with the help of rice cooker. Will try it soon.

  7. Good one.. feel like having some now.. Thanks for sharing.

  8. One of my favorite dish, looks absolutely delicious girl. Re the weight gain during festivals, follow a trick. I also love sweets both making and eating but i restrain a lot from refined sugars nowadays. If i make them using refined sugars i keep very few pieces at home and distribute the rest so that it equally spreads around every body's waist.

  9. One of my fav dish... can have it anytime... looks delicious :)

  10. COmforting food for me...looks tooooo yummy!!

  11. BBB as we fondly call it is what i make whenever I want to clear my refridgerator's veggie tray:) loved your step by step pictorial.

  12. Rice looks delicious. ultimate comfort food!

  13. You have such a great blog, I love your recipes! I know I will be trying many of them :)

  14. hey made bisibelebath today...but dint arachify any of the masala... :) being my lazy self...put arusi,paruppu,all veggies,jeera,turmeric powder in cooker.... then kalarified in vaana with basic tadka,onions,tomato,uppu...amma's sambar podi :) tasted yumm with pop chips


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