Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bisibelle Bath | Sambar Rice | Quick-fix recipe

Bisi-belle-bath literally translates into translates to hot lentil rice in Kannada. It is a traditional dish originated in Karnataka and the authentic preparation is supposedly quite an elaborate process. The basic ingredients are rice and toor dal with a whole lot of vegetables and spices. The final product is usually semi-liquid and spicy and eaten best with pappad, roasted potatoes or onion raita.

In our canteen, back during my college days in Tamil Nadu, we used relish this delicious Sambar Rice which I later realised is very similar to Karnataka's Bisibelle Bhat. The main difference I found between the two was that Bisibelle Bath was more elaborate on the spices and was a tab more liquidy. I like mine less liquidy and as always looked for a simpler way out to make this dish! 

So, here is my take on this traditional dish with tweaks to suit my preference. A lot more spices go into the tradition dish, but here I have simplified the spices to just Sambar powder/Bisibelle Bath powder making the preparation is pretty simple.  

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 mins


Rice - 1 cups
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Water - 3.5 to 4 cups (if you like your dish to be more liquidy, add in a glass more of water and 1/2 tsp of salt)
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Peanuts - a few
Curry Leaves - a few
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Shallots (small onions) - 8-9, sliced
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Carrots - 1/4 cup, chopped
Beans - 1/4 cup, chopped
Potato - 1/4 cup, chopped
Double Beans - 10-12, soaked in water for about half hour
Sambar Powder/Bisibelle Bath Powder - 2-3 tbsp (depends on how strong your powder is)
Salt - as needed
Oil - as needed

  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and add in the peanuts. Roast for a while and then add in the mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
Note: If using a small cooker/pressure pan, you can directly fry in it and continue the cooking process in the cooker/pressure pan directly
  • Add in the chopped shallots and allow to caramelise.
  • Now add in the tomato, salt and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  • Toss in the chopped vegetables, double beans and the sambar powder. Mix well.
  • Add in the rice and toor dal. Mix well.
Note: If using small cooker/pressure pan, add in the water now and continue cooking.
  • Transfer the contents into a vessel that you would use to keep inside the cooker. Add water. Stir well.
  • Allow to pressure cook for upto 5-6 whistles.
  • Remove off the stove, allow to cool and mix well.
  • Serve warm with pappad, raita or a side of your choice.


  1. You have done it so well Nanditha, reminds me how mum used to make this dish :) love them with pappad and curd...

  2. My favorite one pot meal. Love it with vadagams

  3. this is similar with sambar saadam rite? im drooling its my favourite....

  4. My hubbys fav them with pappad..Thinking to do this.....

  5. yummy rice... comfort food at its best... :)

  6. Healthy and nutritious one pot meal.

  7. My hubby just love this...He enjoys this dish in his office canteen...Tempting looking one pot meal

  8. That bisibele bath looks soooo good!


  9. I really like this quick fix meals.. perfect when my day is loaded with other work and need something filling and homely!

  10. Looks so good. Yes. Will be very tasty with Papad..