Bisi Bele Bhaat

One of my favorite delicacies from Karnataka is bisi bele bhaat which translates to hot dal and rice. It is a one pot meal served with boondi and curd or raita as accompaniments.


  • Rice – 2 parts
  • Toor/Arhar dal – 1 part

Vegetables: Any vegetables of your choice. I usually add these:

  • Drumsticks
  • Pumpkin
  • Beans
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower

For Khaara Boondi:

  • Besan flour
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilly powder

For tempering:

  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chillies – 4
  • Curry Leaves – a few
  • Cooking Oil
  • Capsicum 1
  • Onion 1
  • Tomato 2
  • Tamarind paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder – 2 teaspoon


The main ingredient that goes into this dish is the spice powder. You may prefer to use the “Bisi Bele bhat powder” readily available in the market. Here is how to prepare it at home:

Spice powder:

Roast the following ingredients one by one, on medium flame and grind into a fine powder.

  • Channa dal
  • Urad dal
  • red chilly (whole)
  • dhaniya
  • jeera
  • methi
  • hing/Asafetida
  • poppy seed
  • cinnamon
  • cardomom
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • pepper
  • mustard seeds and
  • turmeric

Khaara Boondi:

  • To 5 tablespoons of Besan, add turmeric, red chilly powder and salt as per taste. Heat some oil. Trickle the besan through a sieve into the oil. Fry until golden brown.

The actual preparation:

  1. Soak two parts of Rice and 1 part of Toor Dal for 20 min.
  2. Add all the chopped vegetables (except capsicum), soaked Rice and Dal. Add some salt and a teaspoon of oil to cooker. Add 3 cups of water. Pressure cook on medium flame until one whistle. The Rice should not be too soft.
  3. For the tempering: Add oil, mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, onion. Cook until onion turns translucent. Now add Capsicum, tomato, turmeric, chilly powder, and 3 teaspoon full of the bisi bele bhat powder we now prepared. Add salt, tamarind paste and cook for about 2 minutes until tomatoes turn soft. Add 1 cup of water.
  4. Once the cooker is off the flame and cools down, mix the above tempering. Adjust salt and water. The mixture should not be too thick. It should be a bit runny. Finish with a tablespoon of Ghee.
  5. Serve hot with curd and Khaara Boondi!!

Author: Reverie

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