Rice, Rice Entrees

Bisi Bele Bhaat

Bisi Bele Bhaat (BBB) is a traditional Karnataka dish. “Bisi” in Kannada mean Hot, “Bele” means Dal or Lentils and “Bhaat” mean rice. So this name literally translates to Hot Dal Rice ๐Ÿ™‚ And true to its name, this delicious dish is very hot, spicy and a combination of dal, rice and vegetables.
The recipe itself seems tedious, but once you have some of the basics it is a very quick recipe to put together. I love making it in a large batch because this is a crowd pleaser and you can actually not make it in small quantities. Even the smallest measure will give you a recipe that can at least feed 5 people!!

I am posting this recipe because this is the most asked for or sought after recipe from most of my friends. And also I see that people typically search for this recipe a lot online!

Spicy and Hot Bisi Bele Bhaat
Spicy and Hot Bisi Bele Bhaat

The key ingredient for this recipe is the BBB powder. I make my own at home in small batches. The store bought varieties don’t even come close. So if you are making BBB with a store bought powder then do not read any further ๐Ÿ™‚ ’cause i guarantee you, no matter what you do it will not taste authentic ๐Ÿ™‚ That said, this powder can be made ahead of time and stored to be made whenever you desire to make BBB.

For the powder you will need:
Group 1: To be roasted without oil separately
Channa Dal – 1 cup
Urad dal – 1.5 cups
Dhaniya / Coriander seeds – 1/2 cup
Dry Red Chillies – 2 cups (1 cup Byadgi Chillies, 1 cup Guntur Chillies)

Group 2: To be roasted all together with 1/2 tsp oil
Cinnamon – 2 medium pieces
Cloves – about 6
Elaichi/Cardamom – about 2 (skin removed)
Khus Khus/Poppy Seeds – 1 tsp

Group 3: To be roasted in 1/2 tsp Ghee/Butter
2 stalks Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Methi / Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Black Pepper
3 tbsp dry coconut (Copra)

Roasted ingredients for BBB powder
Roasted ingredients for BBB powder

1. When roasting ensure that you are roasting on medium heat with constant monitoring and stirring in between. All dals need to be golden brown and not burnt. Burnt dal will change the flavor of the powder.
2. Roast Group 1 without oil. Roast each ingredient separately since urad dal roasts a little faster then channa dal.
3. Roast Group 2 with a little oil. All together.
4. Roast Group 3 with a little ghee.
5. Combine all and cool.
6. In a Mixer or food processor combine all and grind to a smooth powder.

Bisi Bele Bhaat Powder
Bisi Bele Bhaat Powder

For the Bisi Bele Bhaat you will need:
Rice – 1 cup
Toor Dal – 1 cup
Mixed Vegetables – about 2 cups
I use:
1 carrot,
a handful of beans,
1/2 cup green peas,
1 chayote squash (chow chow)
1 drumstick (optional)
1/4 cup fresh peanuts (or raw peanuts)

Mixed Vegetables and Toor Dal
Mixed Vegetables and Toor Dal

To be ground into a coarse paste:
2 large Tomatoes
1 small round tamarind
2 tsp Jaggery
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
1 tsp Sambar Powder

DSC_0472For Seasoning:
5 tbsp Ghee
5 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a few curry leaves
Small pearl onions or shallots – 1 cup, peeled or 1 Medium Onion – Chopped

1. Make the Bisi Bele Bhaat powder as mentioned above.
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned in “to be ground into coarse paste” above. When you grind the paste, rinse the insides of the food processor or mixer jar and save the water.
DSC_0473DSC_04863. Boil the veggies and dal in a pressure cooker with enough water and a pinch of turmeric powder for about 3 whistles and keep aside.

Boiled Veggies
Boiled Veggies
Boiled Toor Dal
Boiled Toor Dal

4. Cook the rice in an electric cooker or pressure cooker. I use the ratio 1 cup : 2.5 cups Rice. Keep aside.
5. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and ghee. Add hing/asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter and then add the curry leaves and onions and fry well.

DSC_04786. After the onions are golden brown, add the ground tomato pasteย  and mix well. Fry until the oil leaves the sides.

DSC_0480DSC_04817. Then add 2 tsp of the Bisi Bele Bhaat powder and mix well.

DSC_04838. Then add the boiled veggies and salt and mix well. Saute for about 5 minutes until well blended.

DSC_0484DSC_04879. Add the saved water from the tomato paste. (from step 2 above)

DSC_048810. Mix well. Add the boiled dal first and then the cooked rice and mix well.

DSC_0489DSC_049011. Add about 5 tsp of Bisi Bele Bhaat powder and any additional salt if needed and mix well.


DSC_050012. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on low heat until it all comes together.

12. Serve hot topped with ghee. You may even fry some whole cashews in ghee and top on the bisi bele bhaat.

Delicious and Hot Bisi Bele Bhaat ready to be served!!
Delicious and Hot Bisi Bele Bhaat ready to be served!!

Typically Bisi Bele Bhaat is served with spicy boondi or Potato Chips. Serve hot and enjoy!!

2 thoughts on “Bisi Bele Bhaat”

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