Bisibele Bhath- Hot Lentil Rice with vegetables

Is your child troubling you to eat dhal with rice? Or is your child reluctant to each some veggies by simply just saying “Mom it is so boring. I just don’t like them”? Here is a dish that is a combination of rice, dhal and vegetable which is absolutely delightful. I just go crazy on this dish and would never miss an opportunity to prepare this at home or picking it up from a fast food hotel nearby. I just love the soft texture and the spices that go into this. A few spoonfuls of this rice topped with ghee make my day. Recently I prepared this rice for lunch box. But I had it right away for my breakfast and then stood in my office canteen queue for a plate of curd rice for my lunch ;). The method I have described below is the very simple method to prepare this recipe and it can be easily prepared for the lunch box. And what about the side dish for this recipe then? Well we will talk about it later because I am going to give you a lot of options for this. I have explained the step by step procedure for preparing bisibele bhath with some pictures below.

Bisibele Bhath

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • Chopped Vegetables: ½ Cup each

I used Cluster Beans, Capsicum, Carrots, Potatoes, Onions. Actually speaking I added the vegetables that were available at home. You can also add Cauliflower, beans, tomatoes, knoll khol, Ridge Gourd(Without peeling the outer skin) etc. Avoid Lady Fingers, Raw Banana, Brinjal, Elephant foot Yam, Bitter gourd or any other such vegetables which will impact the taste, texture and aroma of this dish. Care should be taken that vegetable pieces would not dominate the rice

  • Toor dhal : 1 Cup
  • Rice : 1 Cup
  • Tamarind : Lemon Sized
  • Bisibele Bhath Powder : 4-5 Table spoons

You can use any of the branded bisibele bhath powder which is easily available in super markets. Alternatively we can easily prepare the powder at home. I have shared the powder recipe at the end. Here is the recipe for Bisibelebath Powder 

  • Chilly Powder : 1-2 Table spoons (As per taste)
  • Grated Jaggery : 1 Table Spoon (You can add more if you prefer more sweetness)
  • Turmeric :1/4 th Table spoon
  • Salt : As per taste

For Seasoning:

  • Shahi Jeera(Usually called as Black Jeera or Black Cumin Seeds) : 1 tea spoon
  • Curry Leaves : A few
  • Red Chillies : 3-4
  • Hing (Asafetida) : ¼ Tea spoon
  • Oil : 1 Tea Spoon


  • Chop all the vegetable 2 inch in length
  • Slice the onions into thin and long strips
  • In a pressure cooker add toor dhal and rice and wash them together thoroughly
  • Now add water into the pressure cooker sufficient enough to cook rice. Mean to say that add the same quantity of water which would be enough to cook one cup of rice. There is no need to add extra water to cook dhal
  • Now in goes the chopped vegetables into the dhal-rice mixture
  • Add turmeric and close the lid
  • Pressure cook on medium flame for three whistles.
  • Switch off the stove and allow the mixture to cool down
  • Open the lid and gently mix the vegetable, dhal and rice. You can apply little more pressure while mixing to make the rice mushy. Again your choice;)
  • Now add the tamarind pulp, Bisibele bhath powder, salt jiggery, chilly powder and mix well
  • Add two cups of water into this mixture and then simmer it until it boils
  • Keep stirring occasionally
  • Boil it until the required consistency is attained
  • Prepare the seasoning by heating oil in a small kadai and add shahi jeera to splutter (You can also add normal jeera if you don’t get shahi jeera). Add Red chillies, curry leaves and hing
  • Add the seasoning to the prepared rice and mix well.
  • Finally add a spoon of ghee and mix well.
  • Our tasty lip smacking bisibele bhath is ready to serve.

Bisibele Bhath

The best way is to boil the mixture and cool it for some time. Just 10-15 minutes before having food the mixture can be boiled as mentioned above to serve it fresh and hot.

Side Dishes : Now when you think of side dishes for bisibele bhath, there are varieties of options which are yet simple. So here are the options

  • Potato/Raw Banana Chips ( This time I opted for potato chips that too made by myself for a change)
  • Raw Onion Raitha- Chopped onions mixed with think curd and salt.
  • Tomato Raitha (Sauté chopped Tomatoes and green chillies in little oil, cool the mixture, add salt, mustard powder curd and mix well. The same procedure can be followed for Capsicum Raitha)
  • Fried or Roasted Papad
  • Vadiums and Curd Chillies
  • Boondi
  • Poha Mixture mixed with fried corn flakes
  • The normal chutney which is prepared for idly and dosa with coconut and roasted Bengal Gram and green chillies.
  • Last but not the least my favourite either Mango Pickle (Avakai) or Tomato pickle

And please do not forget to drop a spoon full of ghee on the rice before serving. It tastes awesome. Coming to the variations in preparation of bisibele bhath, some people dry roast both dhal and rice for the extra aroma and flavor before boiling them in pressure cooker. Some people prepare sambhar/Huli separately using a strong falvoured sambhar/Huli powder (Cinnamon is the main ingredient in this powder) and then add rice while the sambhar is boiling. For this we need a big and long vessel to prepare the sambhar so that it doesn’t over flow when rice is added You can also add Sambhar onions for the extra sweetness In villages people add ground nuts, Black Eyed Peas in this rice. They are boiled along with other vegetables. Sometimes it is prepared by adding just peanuts, chickpeas, Black eyed peas. In the absence of vegetables we prepared this rice just with some potatoes once and sometimes just with cluster beans. Some people boil all the ingredients mentioned above in a wide aluminum vessel instead of using a pressure cooker. By this method and dhal and rice remain grainier. Some people like it that way 😉


  • You can also mix little bit of your regular sambhar powder for a different taste
  • Apart from home made powder, I prefer MTR bisibele bhath powder among the branded ones
  • In Karnataka there are wide variety of spices shops where you can get the local made powder. The taste depends on the place from where we buy it.
  • This is dish is very healthy as it is a combination of variety of vegetables and lentils
  • It is easy to digest as it does not contain any heavy masalas.
  • It is also prepared on special occasions and festivals
  • If prepared for lunch or dinner an addition of curd rice with seasoning added would contribute to a sumptuous meal.

Now don’t frown at me for what I am going to tell. If bisibelebhath is left out elders like eating it by adding additional seasoning  with lots of oil. Otherwise they would eat it mixing raw oil straight out of the can. This is usually at the dinner time.Yeah I know it’s a bad habit but some people like it that way. Better to stay away from this and also not let others in the family to eat it that way. Okay I think I have written complete history about Bisibele Bhath. Now its your turn to rush to your kitchen and put your hands on to this dish.


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