Bisibelabath / Sambar Rice

Bisibelabath is a very popular dish in Karnataka. The name Bisi bele bhaath is a phrase, which literally means “Hot Lentil Rice”, as in Kannada, Bisi means hot, bele means Lentils and bhaath means a dish made of rice (Def-wiki. Since it is cooked with lentils, vegetables and rice and it can be called a one pot meal. Many think it is a very elaborate process but actually it is very simple to make. I learnt this from my Kannada neighbour long time back. We used to go for walk together and the only thing that was common between both of us was cooking. So our conversation was usually about food and recipes. Once I asked her about this bisibela bath and she told me how to prepare it. The very next day I prepared it and liked it so much that I used to make this often. I am a great fan of this rice dish. It tastes great when served hot with papads and onion raita. This is her recipe and the only change I made was, to omit adding a little jaggery at the end. Bisi bele bath 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. Today let us learn how to make bisi bela bath following this easy recipe.



  • Rice- 2 cup
  • Water – 10 cups’
  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Carrot, Potato, Drumstick, Brinjal – 1
  • Beans – 10
  • Peas – 2 handful
  • Tomatoes – 2
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Small Onion/Shallots – 10
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Tamarind juice – 1/4 cup
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish
  • Oil/Ghee – 3 tsp
  • Salt – to taste.

For Seasoning:

  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Mustard, urad – 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds – 1/4 tsp

Bisibelabath Spice powder:

  • Channa dal – 2 tsp
  • Toor dal, urad dal, cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
  • Pepper, Fenugreek, Saunf – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Cinnamon – 2 sticks
  • Cloves – 5
  • Red chillies – 3
  • Coconut scrap – 3 tbsp


1. Cook toor dal with turmeric and asafoetida powder.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and roast the spices mentioned. Grind the powder.
3. Chop vegeatables.
4. Boil 10 cups of water in a large vessel, add rice and all vegetables mentioned in the ingredient list.
5. When it is 3/4th cooked, add tamarind juice, spice powder, salt, cooked dal, sambar powder and ghee. Mix well.    Cook in low heat for few minutes till you get a semi-solid consistency.
6. Heat oil in a separate pan and do seasoning with ingredients mentioned under ‘Seasoning’.
7..Add this to the rice and Bisibelabath(Bliss-ibelabath :)) is ready!
8. Eat it hot!

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