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Bisi Bele Bath

Published under: Rice
‘Bisi’ means hot and ‘bele’ means pulses which are the main ingredients of a typical South Indian sambhar.

Bisi Bele Bath (Bisibelebath) is a traditional recipe from Karnataka which is also popular in other South Indian states like Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. ‘Bisi’ means hot and ‘bele’ means pulses which are the main ingredients of a typical South Indian sambhar.

Typically, Bisibelebath is made without onion and garlic which makes it a good option for those who do not eat onion and garlic. However, you can use sambhar onions which are much smaller and milder as compared to the regular onions.

Bisibelebath (Sambar Rice)

Dry coconut powder is a special ingredient in this recipe which blends all the ingredients and spices together to give you a lip-smacking bowl of delicious rice-daal preparation. Tomato can be added to this preparation if you prefer the sweet sour taste of tomatoes.

You can have it for breakfast, for a quick lunch and it proves to be a satiating evening snack as well. The combination of rice, pulses, and sambhar makes it an endearing dish in a typical South Indian household.

Also, it can be quickly made without extra efforts and is loved equally by both adults and kids. You need to control the use of chilies and spices in this recipe as extra spiciness will spoil the taste of this smooth and flavourful dish.

Variations of this recipe such as Tomato Bhat and Brinjal Bhat are also popular in the southern parts of India.

Bisi Bele Bath is a healthy option since it contains pulses, chopped veggies, drumstick and other ingredients that make it rich in proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. You will also find this recipe in numerous hotels and tiffin providing centers of Karnataka since it is both nutritious and easy to cook.


Bisibelebath (Sambar Rice)
5 from 2 votes

Bisi Bele Bath

‘Bisi’ means hot and ‘bele’ means pulses which are the main ingredients of a typical South Indian sambhar.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: rice, sambar


  • 2 1/2 cups Rice
  • 1 cup Toor Dal boiled with a pinch of turmeric and asafoetida and mashed well
  • 1 cup Sambar onions
  • 4 nos Tomato chopped
  • 2 nos Carrots chopped
  • 1 no Chow Chow chopped
  • 4 nos Brinjals chopped
  • handful Beans chopped
  • 2 nos Drumstick boiled and the pulp extracted
  • 6 to 7 nos Green Chilies slit lengthwise
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required

To Temper

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3 nos Red Chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 sprigs Curry Leaves

For Masala

  • 2 tsp Channa Dal
  • 10 nos Red Chillies
  • 3 tbsp Dry Coconut
  • 2 tsp Dhania (Coriander Seeds)


  • Fry the above masala ingredients in little oil and grind to a coarse powder
  • Take a heavy bottom vessel or a pressure cooker and heat oil. add the items to temper.
  • Now add the sambar onions, green chillies and tomato. Fry till tomato is soft.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and fry for a while till the raw smell goes followed by the drumstick pulp.
  • Finally add in the soaked rice, boiled and mashed toor dal and the masala powder and mix well. Check for salt.
  • Add in enough water (1 : 4 ratio is also ok as we need it real mushy) and close the cooker lid and wait for 3 whistles.
  • Garnish with cashews fried in ghee and chopped coriander.
  • Serve hot with appalam, chips or tomato thokku


Avatar of Lakshmi
Lakshmi August 23, 2010 - 7:34 pm

Ani I liked your version of Bisibelebath… Happy to have found u r recipe on the net

Avatar of anandanatarajan
anandanatarajan March 4, 2010 - 1:06 am

good presentation

Mrs. GEETHA RAMANARAYANAN February 9, 2010 - 6:25 am

yeah, the recipe is useful to me. tan q.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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