Bisisbele Bhath


I love Bisibele Bhath and eat it very often when we eat out. But somehow, for a very long time I thought it was insanely difficult to make it at home. I wanted to check out the recipe but kept postponing it till finally it was made by my food hero – Venkatesh Bhat. When I saw his recipe and realized how easy it was to make it, I have been making it regularly for the past couple of months much to my husband’s dismay.

Apparently, Bisibele Bhath has been frequently confused with the Tamil dish of Sambhar Sadam (Sambhar Rice) and hence the feeling of complication. While the latter has lots of veggies in it, Bisibele Bhath is the celebration of rice, dal and spices. The real deal would of course be to make the spice mix at home too but as a first step, I decided to make the dish and then go for some backward integration.

Serves 3-4

Source – Samayal Samayal TV show by Venkatesh Bhat


Rice                                        1 cup

Tour Dal                                3/4 cup

Ghee                                       3 tbsp 

Mustard seeds                      1/2 tsp

Urad dal                                 1/2 tsp

Cloves                                    3-4

Cinnamon                            1″

Curry leaves                        10

Tamarind water                 100 ml

Jaggery                                  1-2 tbsp

Bisibele Bhat powder       1 tbsp

Cashewnuts, broken         8-10

Coriander leaves                 8-10


  • Rinse the rice and dal thoroughly and cook in a pressure cooker with 3 times water
  • Switch off the pressure cooker after 6 whistles and set it aside for at least 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan
  • Once it is hot, add mustard seeds.
  • When te mustard seeds splutter, simmer the gas and add urad dal, cloves, cinnamon and curry leaves
  • Add the tamarind water and let it come to a boil. To make tamarind water, put a gooseberry sized piece of tamarind in 100ml of hot water and set aside for 30-40 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind thoroughly and discard. Use the water. If you are using tamarind paste, mix 1 tsp of the paste with lukewarm water and use immediately.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the jaggery and cook for a minute
  • Add the Bisibele Bhath powder and cook for a minute
  • Add the cooked rice and dal and salt and mix well.
  • If it is too dry, add some water and mix well.
  • Simmer for 5-7 minutes
  • In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and fry the cashewnuts in it till golden brown
  • Add the cashewnuts to the rice and mix.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves
  • Serve with papad or onion raita or chips or all of them
  • Enjoy!


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.


This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

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