Bisi Bele Baath - The Authentic Way

Monday, March 30, 2009

I am doing so much better with my finger injury. It has now completely healed & Iam back to my old routine now. Thanks so much for your concern people, I really did mean a lot to me. I am going to be a million times more careful next time I grate something :D

Just the other day, one of my readers, Hema asked me for the authentic Bisi Bele Baath (BBB) recipe. It then struck me that I still hadn't posted the recipe for BBB. I googled a bit to check out other versions of BBB, but I was taken by surprise to find out that there are very few versions out there that are authentic. That's when I decided to post my very own family recipe for Bisi Bele Baath - The Authentic Way.

Bisi Bele Baath is a signature dish of the Kannadigas, BBB is undoubtedly my favorite amongst all karnataka dishes. For, its quite simple to make, it has a rich flavour to tickle your taste buds & is very very healthy.

The recipe out here is more common in the Bangalore-Mysore regions of Karnataka. You will probably find most households around this region, preparing BBB in this way more or less.

I learnt this from my Grand Mom who in turn learnt it from her Grand Mom, so this one is a family recipe & a very authentic one at that.

Here it is,

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/2 cup Rice ( I used Sona Masuri )
  • 2 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 cup french beans - chopped
  • 1 potato - cubed
  • 1 carrot - cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper - cubed
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • A handful of double beans ( optional)
  • A handful of green peas - fresh/frozen
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida/Hing
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3 tsp desi ghee
  • Salt as per taste
  • 5-6 cashewnuts

To grind:

  • 2 tbsp grated coconut - fresh/frozen
  • 10 - 12 dry red chillies ( I used Byadagi )
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp dagad phool/rock flower/Kallu Hoovu
  • A small lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in water


  • Pressure cook toor dal until completely cooked & set aside
  • Meanwhile, roast all the ingredients mentioned in the 'to-grind' list except coconut & tamarind, with a tsp of oil until fragrant. Grind along with grated coconut & tamarind into a smooth paste.
  • Take a pressure cooker, Add cooked toor dal. Along with it, add carrots, beans & potatoes & double beans. bring it to a boil.
  • To this mixture, add the ground paste & bring it to a boil again. Add a tsp of ghee at this point to avoid the bottom of the cooker from getting burnt. Keep stirring at regular intervals. Boil this mixture on low flame for about 5 minutes.
  • Wash rice in several changes of water & add it to the boiling mixture, give it a gentle stir.
  • Add the remaining vegetables & add about 3 cups of water. Adjust salt as per taste. Add 2 tsp of ghee/oil & close the lid & let it cook completely.
  • Once the cooker releases pressure, open the lid. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, cashewnuts, turmeric & asafoetida.

Mix well & serve HOT with a dollop of ghee on top & Raita . . . Enjoi !!!

  • The consistency of BBB should be rather watery. Once complelely cooked, if you find the dish slightly thick, add some water & boil the mixture. This dish is very forgiving that way.
  • The whole idea of cooking toor dal twice is to prevent the dish from getting hard once it cools down. But if you ensure that the dal is twice cooked, the baath will retain its watery consistency
  • DO NOT add onions while making BBB. I often find a lot of people adding onions to this dish. Addition of onions gives this dish 'a sambar' like taste, since the ingredients used in sambar are more or less same. So remember, NO onions.
  • Replace Tamarind with 3 tsp of lime juice for a slightly different taste.

We had this for our Ugadi lunch along with cucumber raita & potato chips. We were really close to licking our plates.
This dish is very close to my heart. Hope you guys like this too.

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