Bisi bele bath or Bisi Bele huli anna is a traditional Karnataka food that is prepared in almost every kannadiga’s home. The authentic recipe is a no onion and no garlic recipe, as it is a popular and special dish among the vegetarian folks who do not eat onions and garlic. It does not call for onions, instead fresh coconut or poppy seeds or dry coconut is used. There are many modern versions of bisi bele bath. Iam sharing the recipe I got from our Hassan based chef during our stay in Bangalore. I have been cooking this for years now and has always turned out to be the best. This recipe yields bisi bele bath that tastes almost the same that is served in MTR.
Bisi meaning hot (temperature), bele meaning lentils and huli meaning sour, anna meaning rice. Bisi bele bath is dal and rice cooked together with tamarind and spice powders. As the name suggests it has to be served hot. It tastes best when seasoned in ghee and served hot.
To make bisi bele bath, you can use store bought powder, MTR works the best. Iam also sharing an easy bisi bele bath powder recipe that smells great and is aromatic to give that authentic touch.
Rice and dal can be cooked together or separately. I like to make my dal mushy but not the rice, so i cook the rice grainy but fully cooked. I also cook them separately so that the rice doesn’t get mushy but the dal is cooked to smooth which gives the creamy taste to the bisi bele bath. If you like to have both mushy, then you can cook rice and dal together.
Karnataka style bisi bele bath recipe below
- 4 byadgi red chilli / vana menasinakai
- 1 inch 1 cinnamon stick/ chekke
- 2 cloves / lavanga
- 1 tsp jeera/ cumin/ jeerige
- 1 tsp urad dal / uddina bele
- 1 tsp chana dal/ kadale bele
- 2 pinches methi seeds / 2 chitike menthe
- 1 ½ tbsp.coriander seeds / kothambari beeja
- 1 small marati moggu (optional)
- 1 tbsp. fresh or dry coconut or poppy seeds/ gasgase(optional)
- ¾ cup rice
- ½ cup toor dal (can reduce by 1 to 2 tbsps.)
- 6 to 8 shallots or 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut(use to make powder)
- Small lemon sized tamarind /
- 1 ½ tsp. jaggery / bella
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp ghee
- Fistful of green peas
- 4 to 5 beans or handful of avarekalu
- ¼ cup capsicum cubed (optional)
- ½ cup carrots diced
- 2 tsp. ghee (3 tsp suggested)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Few cashews broken
- Pinch of hing
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 broken red chili (deseeded)
- Dry roast all the ingredients one after the other mentioned for bisi bele bath powder. Cool them and set aside. Make a fine powder.
- Wash and soak rice for at least 30 mins.
- Pressure cook rice & dal separately for 3 whistle.
- Soak tamarind in half cup hot water. Squeeze it and filter to a bowl.
- Add the bisi bele bath powder, jaggery, salt to the tamarind juice. Mix well to remove lumps. Set aside.
- Mash the dal to smooth and add to rice. If desired can mash rice as well.
- Heat a pan with 1 tsp ghee, add the vegetables and sauté for 3 to 4 mins.
- Pour 1 cup of water and cook the veggies till they are ¾ done. This way they retain the crunchiness.
- Pour the tamarind mix and stir well. Allow it to boil for few minutes.
- Add the mashed rice dal and mix well. Add 1 to 1 ¼ cups water and stir well. Let the rice come to a boil on a medium flame. This takes around 4 to 6 mins.
- Cook till the rice reaches a desired consistency.
- Season with seasoning ingredients. Pour the seasoning over the bisi bele bath.
- Ready to serve.It is served with papad.
How to make bisi bele bath recipe
1. I prefer to cook rice in pressure cooker. If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook rice and dal together or separately until the dal turns completely mushy. If using pressure cooker, the first bowl is 3/4 cup rice with 1 & 3/4 cup water.
2. I cover the rice bowl with a plate, place another bowl with dal and cover. cook 1/2 cup dal with 1 cup water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on a medium flame.
3. While the rice cooks, Make the bisi bele bath powder.Skip this if using MTR powder. Dry roast the ingredients one after the other including coconut to make the spice powder. These proportions work great hence i suggest sticking on to the quantity mentioned. If you have marti moggu you can use but can be skipped as well. These should be roasted on a medium to low flame to get a deep color without burning that gives a good color to the final dish. If not using shallots you can use fresh coconut, roast it lightly and use to make powder.
4. Cool them and add to a blender jar.
5. Make a fine powder. Set this aside.
6. Add tamarind to hot water and soak.
7. Extract the tamarind water and Set aside little. In case we need more it can be used. Add salt, jaggery and stir well until the jaggery melts off. I prefer to filter it to a bowl to remove debris from tamarind or jaggery.
8. Add the ground powder and mix well. Set this aside.
9. When the rice and dal are cooked. Mash the dal well. This gives a creamy nice texture to the dish.
10. This step is optional. Mix together rice and dal. Set aside.
11. Add 1 tsp ghee to a pan, add chopped veggies and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
12. Pour 1 cup water to the pan and cook till the veggies are just done. Do not over cook, keep them slightly crunchy.
13. Pour the tamarind jaggery mixture to the pan.
14. Allow it to boil for a while to bring out the flavors from the spice powders.
15. Add the rice dal to the pan.
16. Add 1 ¼ cup water to the pan. Stir and mix all well. Check the taste and adjust salt, jaggery or sourness as needed. Simmer on a low flame.
17. This is the right consistency of bisibelebath. So We need to cook until the rice reaches this thick gooey consistency. Overcooking may make the rice dry or thick and lumpy.
18. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cashews, red chilies, mustard and red chili. When the mustards begin to splutter, add curry leaves and hing. This step can be skipped by doing the seasoning before frying the veggies and then follow the rest of the steps. But a final vagarne / seasoning adds a good touch to the dish.
19. Pour this to the cooked rice dal and stir. Karnataka style bisibelebath or huli anna is ready
Usually bisi bele bath is served hot with papads and a generous amount of ghee topped.