Bisi Bele Bhath/Bisi Bele Huli Anna

(Rice and Lentil medley cooked with mixed vegetables and roasted spice powder)

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6-8
Recipe Source: Amma

2 cups Rice (I prefer Sona Masuri. You can also use Basmati rice)
1 cup Toor Dal/Red Lentils
4-6 cups Mixed Vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces (I used Carrots, French Beans, Green Peas, Cauliflower, Potato and Sweet Corn)
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
1 large Lime sized Tamarind Pulp, soaked in warm water and juice extracted (Adjust acc to taste)
1-2 tbsp Jaggery
2-3 tbsp (If using store bought) or ¼ - ½ cup Bisi Bele Bhath Masala (if using home made), adjust acc to taste
½ - 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
Few Cashew Nuts, roasted in little Ghee
Salt to taste
Little Ghee for serving

For Tadka:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Lentils
1 tbsp Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas
1-2 Dry Red Chillies, halved
2 springs of Curry Leaves
¼ - ½ tsp Hing
2-3 tbsp Oil or Ghee or combination of both


Although you can cook rice, lentils and vegetables together I follow my mom’s recipe where all three are cooked separately. Traditionally, rice, lentils and vegetables are cooked separately and then mixed together. I find cooking them separately gives it more taste than putting them all in one pot and cooking. I usually cook my rice in microwave and pressure cook vegetables and dal in two separate bowls. This works well for me. You can also mix vegetables with rice and cook them together and later mix them with cooked lentils.
Wash rice and lentils separately till water turns clear. Add 4 cups of water to rice and cook it in microwave bowl for 20 minutes. If using pressure cooker, then 2 whistles is enough.
Add 2-2 ½ cups of water to dal along with few drops of water and turmeric powder. Cook this dal in a pressure cooker along with vegetables (with little salt) for 2-3 whistles till lentils are cooked well. I usually add more water when cooking the vegetables as I like the veggies to be little mushy and blend well with rice and lentils. And the excess water from cooked vegetables is used in BBB for little runny texture.
While the rice, vegetables and lentils are cooked, make tamarind puree, bisi bele bhath powder, and slice the onions.
Once the dal is cooked mash it with a potato masher. Don’t worry if it is too watery. Keep mashed dal, cooked rice and vegetables aside till needed.
Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When it starts to pop and splutter, add urad dal, channa dal, hing, broken red chillies and curry leaves. Saute till lentils turn golden brown.
Next add sliced onions and sauté till they turn light golden brown in colour. Mix in mashed dal, tamarind juice, BBB masala powder and jaggery and bring them to gentle boil, about 3 mins.
Then add cooked rice and vegetables along with excess water and mix them well. Make sure that the BBB is runny by adding little more water if needed. Adjust the salt.
Mix in fried cashews and serve piping hot with little Ghee and papad/chips and cold Raita and enjoy this heavenly bowl of goodness.

Labels: Jaggery, Karnataka food, Mixed Vegs, Rice, Sona Masuri Rice, Spice Powder, Tamarind, Toor Dal