Friday 16 April 2010

Revisiting Bissi Bele Bhaath and Karnataka Style Sambhar Masala


I visited S’s family the  first time  when we were getting engaged. My MIL had asked my father what would he like her to cook. My dad very gladly had said Bissi bele bhaath. During his short stint in Bangalore he had  developed a liking for Karnataka cusine. Bissi bele Bhaath , Pesarattu, Vaangi Bhaath are a few preparations which he is extremely fond of... So for him it was like a wish come true.  And the bhaath was superb. So when I got married, I grabbed the first opportunity that I got to learn the recipe to this simple yet very tasty bhaath.

When my MIL taught me how to cook the Bhaath in the Karnataka style, I could not believe how simple it was and yet so tasty and healthy. As explained by her Bissi means 'hot' bele means 'daal' and anna means 'Rice" so it actually means " hot rice and daal cooked together".

As the name indicates it requires very basic ingredients readily available in the kitchen and if all the chopping is done it takes no time to cook. It can be an ideal meal if you are expecting guests for lunch/dinner....keep all the veggies chopped and refrigerate. Just cook the Bhath an hour before the guests are to arrive.

The only difficulty I feel with the Bhaath is that you should have a bed ready for slumbers as the Bhaath sits tight in your stomach and makes you feel very drowsy, so as a caution I do not make it on week days.

The best way to serve the Bhaath is with a dollop of ghee on top along with plain Potato wafers (crispies) and raita.

Before I tell you how I made the Bhaath and Raita it's important to know how the Sambhar Masala is made in my kitchen ( Kannara version) as the masala gives the main flavor to the Bhaath. This Sambhar Masala again is my MIL's recipe .

Ingredients for the Sambhar Masala

2 cups red chilies ( I used bedagi and guntur)

1 cup Coriander seeds

1/4 cup Bengal Gram ( Chana Daal)

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds ( Methidana)

2 sticks cinnamon ( dalchini)

3/4 cup grated coconut(dry)

2 tsp oil

Method for Sambhar Masala

  • Heat oil and add Fenugreek and Cinnamon followed by the daal.
  • Roast on a medium flame for a few minutes till the daal turns pink then add the coriander seeds and roast.
  • Add the chilies and roast for a few minutes till they become lightly crisp.
  • Now add the coconut and roast for a minute and switch off the flame. Let the contents be there in the pan and keep stirring till the pan cools a bit.(This avoids burning)
  • Cool the ingredients and then grind it to fine powder in a coffee grinder.

The final product(Sambhar Masala) looks like this-

Ingredients For Bissi Bele Bhaath

1 1/2 cups rice

1 cup tuvar daal (yellow lentils)

4 medium size potatoes (cubed)

3 medium sized onions (sliced)

1 large carrot ( cubed )

3/4 cup peas

15- 20 spinach leaves roughly chopped(can be omitted)

10-15 french beans cut into 1inch pieces

tamarind pulp as per your taste

salt as per your taste

about 1 - 11/2 tsp cinnamon pwd

1/2 tsp clove powder (I add this my MIL does not)

1 tsp turmeric pwd

4 tbsp sambhar masala

a few sprigs curry and coriander leaves

2-3 dry red chilies

oil for cooking

mustard seeds 2 tsp

Method of making Bhaath

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds , curry leaves and red chilies.
  • Add sliced onions followed by all vegetables and saute.
  • Add tamarind pulp, turmeric, sambhar masala, cinnamon and clove pwd, and mix properly.
  • Now add the washed rice and daal and mix it properly.

  • To the mix add about 12 cups of water and chopped coriander (I added 13 cups as I like eating the Bhaath in a semi liquid state).
  • Pressure cook till 4 whistles.
  • Serve the bhaath hot with a spoon of ghee along with some raita and crispies.
  • The addition of cinnamon and clove pwd provide an exquisite flavor to the Bhaath.

Ingredients For The Vegetable Raita

1 small onion finely chopped

1 large tomato finely chopped

1 cucumber finely chopped

2 green chilies finely chopped

2-3 tsp coriander finely chopped

1 cup thick curds

1/2 tsp sugar

salt to taste

3/4 tsp roasted cumin pwd

For the Tempering

A spoon of oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

a spoon of chana and urad dal mixed

Method of Making Raita

  • Mix all the ingredients of Raita and adjust the consistency by adding water.
  • Heat oil and mustard seeds and the urad-chana daal mix. Let the daals turn
    golden brown and pour it on the Raita. Mix and chill for an hour before serving.

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Unknown said...

beautifulpost...sambhar looks really spicy and tempting...

Priya dharshini said...

Bisebelabath luks delicious..will try it sometime...The spice and msala luks fabulous...

Nandinis food said...

Wow! This is so hot and spicy with kuntur chilies added! This is my husband's favorite!

Preeti Kashyap said...

Lovely recipe...I make it in a very similar way. I add some jaggery to the masala.

Kanchan said...

I've never prepared this @ home , will love to give it a try :)

Latha said...

Love bibibelebath.....loved ur version of masala. Lovely pics pari.

Shama Nagarajan said...

too spicy and tempting

Rajee Mani said...

Lovely recipe pari.

Namitha said...

Lovely post..Interesting sambar masala...we do not add cinnamon..
bisisbelle bath is a family fav and your pics are making me drool.:-)

PJ said...

Hi Pari, I love the bisi bhele bhat but didn't know what it means or never even cooked it at home. I am so glad you posted this recipe and the homemade sambhar powder looks so wonderful! Thats an advantage of marrying an out-of-stater I guess, you inherit recipes from two different cuisines :)

Suji said...

That is a bowl of goodness there pari..excellent post indeed...

Kairali sisters

Swathi said...


Bisle bath and sambhar masala looks really good. I won't get two different two red chillies, i will try with one available.

Nithya said...

Looks absolutely yummy. I just love it :)

Indian Khana said...

Big fan of BBB too...will try your version ..since u r giving very gud review abt it ..dost ;)

Unknown said...

Pari, very nicely explained. Thanks, I am bookmarking it.

Madhavi said...

Just awesome post, divine and delicious!!

Kiran said...

BissibeleBhaath looks very colorful and delcious.Sambar powder looks very colorful and spicy.

Priya Suresh said...

Absolutely divine, my all time favourite...feel like grabbing..

Mangala Bhat said...

lovely clicks !!yummooo!

Deepti said...

Simple yet very tempting...sambar luks awesome.

R said...

this looks delicious. thnx for sharing the masala recipe too. it has such a bright and nice color that reflects in the bissi bele bhaat. will try to make the masala at home next time.

Uma said...

mmm. BBB looks so fabulous Pari! Perfect, I should say!! I never get that consistency. YUm!!!

Pari Vasisht said...

Hi Sowmya, that's not sambhar dear!
Gulmohar, cinnamon adds a very nice flavour to the sambhar masala, that's a very karnataka style.
PJ, yes that's surely an added advantage of marrying out of state. karoon bagh kadhi, I am sure u will love it.
Preeti, ya, some people do add jaggery, but I prefer without that.
Kanchi, karoon bagh, foodie will love it.

Thanks mangala, rajee, latha, Shama.
Uma, check out the ratio of water I have given, I am sure u will get that consistency.
R, u are welcome dear, I am glad u liked the masala.

Pari Vasisht said...

Thanks Madhavi, Priyas, Deepti, Nithya, Kairali sisters.
Yes Dost, do try this and let me know.

Fathima said...

colorful post... yummy looking dishes...

ann low said...

Looks beautiful! Hope to try some :)

Deepa said...

you wont believe when after my engagement when I first went to meet G's aatya to his cousin's place they had asked me what do I like to eat, and I said I love bissi bele bhaat, and this was made just for me..I loveeee this rice, and yours is looking amazing..slurrp..will make it soon now..I am tempted..

Sushma Mallya said...

i too love bisi bele bhaat and i usually prepare this at home as its my hubby's fav...the colour of your bhaat is so nice and beautifully garnished, looks very very tempting and delicious...and thanks for sharing the sambhar powder recipe, Home made ones are always so fresh,flavourful and the best...

M D said...

I have a weekness for Bisibelebath and as I see this I know what I would be making for my lunch! Tempts me!

Spice said...

Looks delicious...thanks for sharing the recipe.....bookmarking it...

Ms.Chitchat said...

Lovely mouth watering bisibela baath recipe. Loved the click too.

Ash said...

The first time I came, it became difficult for me to comment as my comp was just freezing on me.... So I came back now to write what I felt.... I love Bisibelebaat, even otherwise.. & this prep of yours looks perfect too..... Awesome color & texture..... Oh! how delicious & luscious is the feel....


Ann said...

I have tried diff styles of sambar, but my fav is karnataka style, it seems to have lot of flavor.. I love it. Your pics are awesome.

arthi said...

looks so spicy and tempting...

arthi said...

looks spicy and tempting..

sulagna said...

pari beleive me i have heard about this so many times :) when G was in Infy Mysore, this was apprently a popular choice with the cook they had in their flat..acha i have aheard a lot of kesari baath...ata hai kya tumhe?

and about our similarities:) believe me when you have such wonderful men living with you"feeling good" comes naturally :)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Loved the colour of the Bisi Bele Baath. Love it as a breakfast preparation.

Hamaree Rasoi

Meena said...

loved bissibele bhath...almost exactly like i make! very good presentation dear!

Valarmathi Sanjeev said...

Love this, looks yummy.

radha said...

You made it the actual homemade manner, WOW! - meaning - we all take the shortcut these days. I buy the MTR bissebelle bhat powder. Of course the tamarind, the other spice powders , ghee , vegetable etc etc is still to be added, but it makes the process simpler.

Sonia said...

I really like this simple recipe of BBB. I heard about it lot but never have had tried my hands yet. Your sambhar masala looks so hot and fiery that would make BBB spicy and tasty! :)
I've bought MTR brand BBB masala...have to try it soon. Your recipe is bookmarked! Thanks & regards to your MIL. :)

Parita said...

Bisi bele bhaath looks sooooo tasty, love the color pari! this was my fav when i was in bangalore, used to have it all the time :)

PranisKitchen said...

what a delicious bisi bele yummy..
u know last week i prepared the same, i got the recipe idea from my came out really good,but yours looks so good.
Nice presentation.
BTW first time here nice blog u have ,with good collection of variety of to come again.following you..whenever u get a chance visit my blog too..


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