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Bisi bele bath (spicy rice and lentil dish)

Bisi bele bath (spicy rice and lentil dish)


Bisi bele bath (spicy rice and lentil dish)


  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  3. 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, beans, potatoes)
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons bisi bele bath powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 3 tablespoons oil
  10. 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  11. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  12. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  13. 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  14. 1 sprig curry leaves
  15. 2 cups water
  16. Tamarind paste (optional)
  17. Roasted cashews for garnishing
  18. Chopped cilantro leaves for garnishing


  1. Wash the rice and toor dal together and soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or a deep pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, and curry leaves. Let them splutter.
  4. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
  5. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, bisi bele bath powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  7. Drain the soaked rice and toor dal and add them to the pot. Stir to combine.
  8. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Adjust the salt if needed.
  9. If you prefer a tangy taste, add a tablespoon of tamarind paste at this stage.
  10. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles or until the rice and dal are fully cooked.
  11. Let the pressure release naturally before opening the cooker.
  12. Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well.
  13. Garnish with roasted cashews and chopped cilantro leaves.
  14. Serve hot with raita, papad, or any pickle of your choice.
  15. Note: Bisi bele bath powder is a spice blend that is readily available in most Indian grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you can make your own by dry roasting and grinding coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chili, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and fennel seeds.

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