Bisi Bele Bath (Original Method)


Bisi Bele Bath is a traditional Kannadiga one-pot meal that combines rice, lentils, and a variety of vegetables, all cooked together with a unique spice mix made from dried red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, and coconut. With its rich and smooth texture, and slow cooked deep flavor, Bisi Bele Bath is a popular choice for festive occasions in Karnataka. It’s perfect for dinner parties as well since much of the prep work can be done in advance.

This recipe is the traditional method to prepare Bisi Bele Bath. In this recipe, you will first cook the make a huli (sambar) with the dal, and vegetables, and then cook the rice in this liquid until it is fully cooked and begins to break down. This method ensures that the rice absorbs all the flavors as it cooks. However, if you are running short on time, refer to my recipe with the quicker method that yields very similar results. Bisi Bele Bath is typically served with a tomato and onion raita, and fried Hapla (Papad) or Sandigae, making for a tasty and complete meal.

Bisi Bele Bath (Original Method)

Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


Bisi Bele Bath

  • 1 cup Green peas
  • 1 cup Green beans (diced)
  • 1 cup Carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup Rice Preferably a short grained variety like Sona Masoori or Jasmine
  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 10-15 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup Cashew pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 tbsp Ghee

Bisi Bele Bath Powder

  • 1 cup Coriander Seeds (Dhania)
  • 1 cup Red Chilis Preferably byadagi variety
  • 1 cup Dry (dessicated) grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1.5 tsp Fenugreek (Methi) seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1" piece Cinnamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 tsp Marathi moggu (Capers) Optional


Make Bisi Bele Bhath Powder

  • This recipe will yield more powder than you need for this recipe today. However, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year and used again next time you make this recipe.
  • Roast coriander seeds, red chilis, chana dal, urad dal, fenugreek, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, marathi moggu and asafoetida with 2 tablespoons of oil. Allow to cool completely and then using a spice grinder, grind to a fine powder.
  • Roast dry coconut separately until golden brown. Add this to the powder and grind once again.

Make Bisi Bele Bhath

  • Pressure cook the toor dal until it is soft.
  • Rinse the rice, drain the water and set aside.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook all the vegetables, using just enough water to submerge the vegetables, until they are just fork tender. Add the cooked toor dal to the vegetables. Add turmeric. Stir and continue to cook.
  • When vegetables are almost cooked, add salt, tamarind paste, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add 2-3 tbsp bisi bele bath powder for desired level of spiciness. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add the drained rice.
  • In a separate pot, heat 2-3 cups of water to a simmer.
  • After adding rice, stir every few seconds. Add hot water until the mixture thickens. The rice should cook in the sambar (dal). Add salt and cook until the rice is fully cooked and begins to break down and the whole mixture becomes creamy. Add 2-3 tbsp of ghee as you stir and cook the rice.
  • The bath will become very thick when it cools. So, it is better to add water and keep it reasonably thin while cooking. Set this aside. Add the rest of the ghee and give it a good stir. Adjust the salt and spice level before turning off the heat.
  • Make Vaggarnae. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds pop, add asafoetida, 2 red chilis torn into small pieces and cashews. Cook until cashews are light brown. Add this seasoning to the bath.
  • Serve hot with raita or chips.


You will have some Bisi Bele Bath powder leftover. Store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months. It can be used as a substitute for sambar powder.
Calories: 300kcal
Course: Recipe
Cook delicious - by Sandhya Jaideep © Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.