BisiBelabath – Karnataka Rice Dish


Bisibelabath is a very popular dish in Karnataka. The first time i ate this was in a family friend’s place and it was very tasty. My motherloved the dish so she made it a few days later and we were hooked. It’s a complete dish in the sense that you have vegetables, lentils and rice all cooked in wonderful spices. Though it sounds very elaborate it is actually a very simple dish to make. It’s a one pot dish too and it can be served hot with papad and raita. My mother-in -law makes it very tasty and this is her recipe.

The unique flavor to this dish comes from a flavorful dry masala that is made from different spices that are usually available at home. You can make it fresh or you can make it before hand too. You can prepare this even a few days before if you are using dry coconut as it will not get spoiled and store it in an airtight container. Now-a-days Bisibelabath masala is available in grocery stores also. So if you do not have much time on hand, you can use the masala available, as that is also equally good.


Piegon pea (Toor dal) is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and protein along with other nutrients like thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium Copper, Folate and Manganese. Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, especially to those living in southern and eastern Asia. Rice is composed mainly of carbs, with a little amount of protein and virtually no fats. Along with the a variety of vegetables , this dish is a very nutritious and filling recipe.

So let’s get started.


1 Cup Raw rice

½ cup Pigeon pea (Toor DAl)

Tamarind – small lemon sized ball

15 Baby Onions (or else 2 medium sized onions roughly chopped)

A handful beans, cut lengthwise

2 Carrots, cut lengthwise

1 Medium sized potato chopped into cubes

 ½ cup Peas (fresh or frozen)

1 tomato chopped

1 capsicum chopped into fine pieces


  ½ cup dry coconut powder

1 teaspoon Coriander seeds (dhania)

6-7 red chilies

2 tablespoon Bengal gram (Channa Dal)

1 tablespoon Urad dal

½ tablespoon Fenugreek seeds

1 small piece of Cinnamon

2 Cloves

1 green Cardamom

1 teaspoon Khus khus


1 teaspoon Mustard

½ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds

Curry leaves

¼ teaspoon Asafoetida/hing

Salt to taste


3-4 tablespoons of Ghee


  1. Heat a tsp of oil, roast the ingredients for BisiBelaBath masala, adding coconut at the end. Roast everything until it becomes slightly brown in color and dry grind it.
  2. Soak tamarind in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Extract its juice and discard the pulp. Soak dal for 15 -20 minutes in hot water as it takes less time for cooking.
  3. In a kadai, heat a tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and fry it till it splutters. Then add fenugreek seeds, hing and curry leaves. Saute for a seconds and add chopped onions.
  4. Sauté onions until it becomes transparent. Then add all the vegetables (except capsicum) and sauté for a about 2 minutes.
  5. Now add tamarind extract, needed salt and the bisibelabath masala powder. Fry it well until the raw flavor goes.
  6. Now add rice, dal and pressure cook it for 4 whistles. Switch off the flame.
  7. Once the pressure is released, open the lid and add ghee and mix well.
  8. In a another pan , heat a tsp of oil and sauté capsicum until slightly cooked
  9. Garnish Bisibelabath with capsicums, coriander leaves and serve hot.



  1. If you are short of time, you can cook raw dal and rice while the vegetables and masala are being cooked and then mix everything together too .
  2. You can add any vegetables you have on hand. Best thing about this recipe is, it doesn’t matter what vegetables you add it will taste very yummy.

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