Bisi Bele Bhath

Bisi Bele Bhath is a dish that Satya and I have enjoyed at South Indian restaurants.  It is very hearty and vegetarian. 

Below, is a recipe with my own notes in parentheses that Satya found online at  


Our biggest challenge is to get the consistency right.  When we’ve had it at restaurants, it has been much thinner.  When we make it at home, it is very thick and you can eat it with a fork.  To make it thinner, add water. 

***Spoons=tea spoons


Rice 1 cup
Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Boiled Potatoes -2 (optional)
1/4 cup cooked Peas (optional)
Ghee 3 spoons
Grated Coconut 2 spoons
Tamarind Powder 1 1/2 spoons
Small Onions – 10 (rather vague.  I use one large red onion)

Brinjul (Small eggplants.  Use 2)

Masala to grind

Dry Red Chillies 8
Dhania 1 1/2 spoons (Coriander seeds)
Fenugreek 1/4 spoon
Urad Dal 1/2 spoon
Bengal Gram 1 spoon (Dry Chickpea)
KusKus – 1 spoon (Cous Cous)
Patta (Curry leaves.  We use about 6)

Method :


  1. Fry the above masalas in a dry pan and powder them. (We use a little mortar and pestle for this, although Satya’s mom says a coffee grinder works even better and faster.)
  2. Mix Rice and Dal and cook in cooker.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, fry onions till brown, add cut boiled potatoes and peas, can also add brinjal.
  4. Add tamarind powder and 1/2 cup water and salt and the ground masala powder. Let it boil.
  5. Now add cooked rice and dal and mix well. Remove from flame.
  6. Fry the coconutes till brown and powder them.
  7. Garnish with chopped coriander, fried cashews and powdered cocounts.

Serve hot with Onion Raita and Pappads.

Serves : 3


This can be spicy, so make sure you have your lassi or raita nearby!  It is delicious, but it does take a lot of time to chop everything.  Cook it when you have at least an hour or so. 



Food is central to culture and relationships.  This blog will occassionally discuss food and recipes.  In my opinion, it is a lot more fun to cook food for others than to just cook for myself.  Cooking with someone else is even better!!  I cooked some for my family in Minnesota, but living on my own I subsisted on mostly on Cliff bars, veggie burgers, and cheese sandwiches. 

Since I’ve met Satya I’ve enjoyed exploring South Indian cuisine.  Before I met him, my experience of Indian food was limited to palak paneer, chicken tikka masala, and mango lassi.  South Indian cooking is a lot different, at least how we eat it.  Satya grew up in a Lingayat household so his family were (and are) strict vegetarians.   This means along with no meat, no eggs as well.  In fact, his mother is extremely allergic to eggs and eggs cause him to break out with acne.

 When Satya and I eat together, we eat vegetarian which is quite a change for someone who grew up eating meals of meat, potatoes, and mushy vegetables.  Our compromise is that we can eat whatever we want when we are apart.

So far I’ve found South Indian cooking to be delicious and fairly easy to prepare.  As long as I have a recipe, I’m ok.  Satya does not believe much in recipes and loves to experiment which can drive me nuts when we cook together (what comes next? is my constant question).  South Indian food can be spicy at times, but we try to make sure we always include something with yogurt (or curds, as he calls them).  Raita and pachadi are delicious and mango lassi also cools the spice.  I’m getting much better at chopping vegetables!