Bisi Bele Bath| Karnataka Special Rice, Lentil & Vegetable Dish (With Sanketi Adukale Spice Mix) 

The husband loves a good plate of bisi bele bath, the hot lentil, vegetable and rice dish that is so very popular in Karnataka. This is yet another dish that I learnt to love after my wedding, after I settled down in Bangalore. I loved it so much – and the hubby adores it so much – that I learnt to make it at home. 

The name of the dish, Bisi Bele Bath, literally translates into ‘hot lentil rice’. Needless to say, this rice is served hot, hot, hot, preferably straight off the stove. At the heart of it, it is a simple, nutritious dish, which gets most of its flavour from the spice mix used in it. This rice tastes best when the spices are ground fresh, on the spot, and used immediately. I have never done that, though – I commonly use ready-made bisi bele bath powder and the rice still tastes fantabulous. Some day, I will grind my own spices… till then, I will make do with ready-made mixes. 

I digressed. Let me come back straight to the point. We picked up a new (to us) brand of bisi bele bath powder recently, called Sanketi Adukale, and I wanted to try it out. The husband had been hankering for bisi bele bath for quite some time, too, so I made it over the weekend, a sort of advance Valentine’s Day gift. 🙂 


Both of us loved, loved, loved the masala. It smells gorgeous, fresh and clean and like home-made. The rice turned out scrumptious, exactly like the famous bisi bele bath from Adiga’s. I am so sure it is Sanketi Adukale bisi bele bath powder only for us now on. 

Here is how I make bisi bele bath. 

Ingredients (for 5-6 servings):

To pressure cook:

  1. 1 small glass rice
  2. 1/2 small glass toor daal

Spices and other ingredients:

  1. Salt to taste 
  2. 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  3. Red chilli powder to taste 
  4. 2 tablespoons oil
  5. 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  6. A pinch of asafoetida
  7. 3-4 tablespoons powdered jaggery, or to taste
  8. 3-4 tablespoons bisi bele bath powder, or to taste (I used Sanketi Adukale) 

To soak and extract juice:

  1. A gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind

Vegetables and other ingredients to pressure cook:

  1. A handful of raw groundnuts 
  2. A handful of shelled green peas
  3. 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  4. About 10 large florets of cauliflower 
  5. 8-10 beans, strings removed and chopped into large pieces
  6. 1 small capsicum, core removed and chopped into large pieces

Other vegetables:

  1. 1 large onion, peeled and chopped length-wise
  2. 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped into large pieces

To garnish:

  1. 8-10 curry leaves 
  2. A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely

Method:

1. Wash the rice and toor daal together under running water a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water. Pressure cook the rice and daal with 5 small glasses of water for 4 whistles. When the pressure releases naturally, mash the cooked rice and daal well, using a masher. Keep aside. 

2. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for about 10 minutes. Extract all the juice out of the tamarind, adding a little more water if needed. Discard the tamarind residue and keep aside the juice. 

3. Pressure cook the carrot, beans, capsicum, peanuts, cauliflower and peas, using very little water. Give it two whistles. The vegetables should be cooked but not overly so. Let the pressure release naturally, and keep the boiled vegetables aside. Retain any residual water from boiling the vegetables. 

4. In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of seconds. 

5. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Saute for a couple of minutes. 

6. Add the chopped tomato and saute for a couple more minutes. 

7. Add the tamarind extract. Cook till the raw smell goes away. 

8. Add the cooked vegetables and peanuts, along with any residual water. Add the cooked rice and daal, salt and red chilli powder to taste, jaggery powder, turmeric powder, bisi bele bath powder, and curry leaves. Mix well. 

9. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the raw smell of the masala powders goes away. Stir intermittently, so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 

10. Switch off the gas. Add the chopped coriander. Mix well. 

11. Serve piping hot with savoury boondi, South Indian mixture or any raita of your choice. 

Did you like the recipe? I hope you will try it out! 

Notes:

1. We really loved the Sanketi Adukale brand of bisi bele bath powder, and that is why I am recommending it here. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own, and not influenced by anything or anyone. 

2. The Sanketi Adukale bisi bele bath powder is available on sites like Place Of Origin, for doorstep delivery. We picked it up at the New Mangalore Store on 19th Main, HSR Layout. 

3. In this post, I have mentioned the vegetables that I commonly add in bisi bele bath. You could add any other vegetables of your choice, too. 

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