Bisi Bele Bhath

Hope Holi was fun, colorful and full of good food for everyone. Our Holi lunch this time was Bisi Bele Bhath (BBB).
Although I am a big, Big, BIG fan of BBB,I never thought it was possible to make a decent one at home from scratch. I have made it a couple of times using the MTR mix, but it could hardly compare with some of the better reneditions of this fabulous dish I have had.
Finally, I came across a recipe that works well, and brings out the fresh, vibrant flavours that I associate with this dish.
Yesterday after enjoying it for the second time, I know this one is a winner.This is a recipe by Lali who has some neat cookery videos on youtube, and this is her mom's favourite dish. I also referred to this video on youtube, which uses the speedier way of cooking rice, veggies & dal together.
Based on the two videos, I came up with the following method, although I stayed true to Lali's BBB masala paste . You can add onions which I didn't use this time, as I avoid it on festivals. It still tasted wonderful, though, so it's really up to you.
Serves 4
1 cup thai rice
3/4 cup dal (80% arhar/toor+ 10% dhuli moong+ 10% red masoor)
2 cups of mixed veggie ( carrots, French beans, potato, peas)
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 small capsicum, cubed
a handful of soaked, cooked chickpeas (optional, don't fret over it if it's not handy)
fresh green chillies, optional
BBB masala,as below
1/2 glass tamarind juice( 1 lime sized lump of tamarind), soaked and strained
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
A handful of peanuts
A handful of curry leaves ( 15 or so)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of red chili powder, if desired

BBB Masala

5 cloves , 1 inch cinnamon stick , 5 dried red chillies, 1 tsp chana dal, 2 tsp coriander seeds


Step 1:
Soak the dal in warm water and rice in room temperature water for half an hour, while you prep the veggies (I used carrots, french beans, potato and peas). Also chop the tomatoes, capsicum and chillies as below.

Step 2:
Cook the dal, rice and veggies together in a pressure cooker for around 20 minutes (3 to 4whistles).
Get the masala ingredients together. The peanuts are not part of the masala, they go in later.

Step 4:
Roast cloves, cinnamon, chana dal and coriander one at a time in a few drops of oil and keep aside.

Grind together with the grated coconut into a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a wok,fry the peanuts and then curry leaves.Once they start to crackle,then tip in the tomatoes, capsicum & green chillies and cook for a bit.
Now add the masala dissolved in tamarind juice and more boiling water as needed to get a loose mix. Add salt,turmeric and chilli powder,if using, mix well and cook on low heat till it reaches a slightly runnier consistency than you want as it will thicken considerably on cooling.
Drizzle some ghee if you like and serve with fresh curd,your choice of vadam and salad.


  1. bookmarked! I love bisi bele bath!!

  2. that looks delicious! made kadamba sadam recently which was so similar to BBB. Love the comfort of this dish!

  3. Hi DB, how are you? Long time no see! :)
    Beautiful! I always love BBB, whatever the recipe is. Looks fab, will check out links.

  4. BBB from scratch! Wow .. thanks buddy ... especially for the masala recipe. Now I can make it myself. :-)
    Looks like you have worked hard on the details ... the arrows look cute on the snaps. :-)

  5. Happy Holi to you too...but the sad part is I didn't even know it was Holi until last night:( oh well it's not like I was going to play or drink bhang here anyway:(
    This looks phenomenal! I've never made bisibela from scratch because it just looked like waay tooo much work (yeah I'm l-a-a-a-z-y!!) but you make it sound easier and fun! Love all the pics, particularly of the ingredients..they are so bright and pretty!! (sorry for leaving such a long comment!!)

  6. Wow wo wow they look so so DELICIUS. I am drooling here. I can smell all the aromas from the dish.

  7. You and Simran both have elaborately yummy south indian fare out today and I so badly want to eat some but I'm lazy! Thanks for breaking it down, I have always wanted to try making bbb.One of the days when I'm not my lazy self.

  8. wow.. looks yummy & delicious.. nice entry..

  9. I'm a BIG fan of BBB too.. absolutely cannot get enough of it and your version sounds yummy.

  10. Loved those pics and the one with the spices is a killer

  11. wow, the paste looks so great and those chilies... yums :-) I bet it was delish ...

  12. mmm yummy,,,,lovely clicks, was holi,..u played?/

  13. what a beautiful meal on this colorful day. I made BBB but always with this readymade masala.Ur platter of masalas was equally awasome. Thanks for the recipe. Very cool pics.
    Hey plz try to be regular, I was waiting for the post :-)

  14. Like Nags, I have bookmarked this. Thank you!

  15. Looks soooo delicious. This is exactly how my mom makes (minus cinnamon and cloves).

  16. Wow this looks like MY TYPE OF FOOD....flavorful,spicy,it has rice ,lentils and veggies ,all in one
    Looks super delicious !

  17. Am making this for dinner today ... just wanted to ask where do the peanuts go ... into the rice or the masala?
    I can see them in your plate though.
    Am already dizzy moving up and down the screen ;-)
    Haaaaalp dearie. :-)

  18. :)sharmila..i felt that pic could be confusing but still put it. Actually the peanuts not part of the masala, it is added before frying the tomatoes etc.
    Infact, you can also try adding shallots/onion if u like, the original recipe uses them.Check Lali's video too, its quite good.

  19. The spices look sooo rich !! I can imagine how wonderful the taste is going to be!!

    holi mein kuch nehi kiya yaar:-(

  20. I too love BBB. I recently tried it with brown rice and that's very good too. Very good pictures. The one with the ingredients listed is cool!

  21. Hi Rashmi..Wonderful blog here..Loved all that I saw here n feel like trying everything..:P
    I have seen the name in menu's,but being the non veg lover that I am,never felt like trying it..Looks so good n yummy with all the colors..n the detailed pics are so good n convenient :)..

  22. excellent explanation, i saved it

  23. Looks great..I surely want to try..

  24. I'm a big fan of BBB too! Loved the look of yours and the kurkure accompaniments :)

  25. Wow....this looks so good! A truly comfort food!

  26. Your pics with labels are a delight!Even a novice to Indian cooking can prepare the dishes without any problems!

  27. Awesome pics, looks delicious!

  28. i cannot wait to try this! i m in love with bisi belle bath. i have bookmarked ur recipe thanks!