Bisi Bele Bath is a flavor and nutrition-filled recipe from Karnataka in Southern India. Cooked with lentils, rice, vegetables, and aromatic spices, this authentic one-pot meal is hearty and comforting.
This easy one-pot recipe is a family favorite and it an ultimate comfort meal after a busy day. It is also a sure way of getting all the veggies in without any fuss.
Both my kids and husband are huge fans of this instant pot bisi bele bath. They love it topped with yogurt.
What is Bisi Bele Bath?
The word Bisi means ‘hot‘, Bele means “lentil” and Bath means “rice“. It is also known as Bisi Bele Huliyanna and is a royal dish that originated from the kitchens of the Mysore palace. This recipe can use up to 30 ingredients and is a very important part of the Udupi cuisine.
This recipe is somewhat similar to the South Indian Sambhar Sadham but it stands out with its unique flavor of freshly ground aromatic spices.
This Instant pot bisi bele bath is a wholesome meal that has the richness of lentils (dal) combined with nutritious vegetables. It can be served piping hot with onion raita, kara boondi, or papad for a hearty meal.
How to make Bisi Bele Bath?
The best way to make this Instant pot bisi bele bath is by preparing the fresh ground masala powder at home. But, if you are in a bit of hurry, you can also use store bought bisi bele bath masala. I usually use MTR Bisibelebath masala, when I am not that much inclined to make the masala powder from scratch.
Soak Tamarind: Before getting started on this delicious recipe, you need to soak the required amount of tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes. Run the soaked tamarind through a sieve and keep the liquid aside. You can discard the pulp, once you have completely strained the tamarind.
Wash Rice & Dal: Add the rice and dal to a large bowl and was till the water runs clear and set aside.
Making Bisi Bele Bath Masala
- Start by gathering all the dry whole spices. Start the Instant pot in sauté mode, and let it heat for a bit.
- Then add all the ingredients to the pot and dry roast them until you get a roasted aroma. Then add dried coconut and sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Transfer the ingredients to a grinder. Once the roasted spices have cooled down to room temperature, grind them to a fine powder and set them aside
Making Bisi Bele Bath
- Set the Instant pot to sauté mode. While it heats, add ghee, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, cashews and let them splutter.
- Save half of the tempering for later use. Then add the diced onions and sauté for few minutes till they become soft and transparent.
- Add all the diced vegetables to this mix along with the freshly ground bisibelebath powder and salt. Mix them well till the vegetables are well coated with the masala.
- Then add the washed toor dal and rice that you have set aside to the Instant pot.
- Add the required amount of water, a pinch of jaggery, and stir them well.
- Close the Instant pot with the vent in a sealing position and set the pot to pressure cook. Do a natural pressure release.
- Add the tamarind water and mix well.
- Delicious Bisi Bele Bath is ready. Garnish it with the reserved tempering and enjoy.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
To make this Bisi Bele Bath as a one-pot recipe on the stovetop, follow the same steps as above. But pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles until the dal and rice are soft. Let the pressure release naturally.
Tips for Perfect Bisi Bele Bath
- Freshly ground powder: Try making freshly ground powder when making this recipe as it adds an authentic flavor. You can also prepare it a day ahead and store it in a glass bottle to retain the freshness. The glass bottle must be kept in the refrigerator to lock in the flavor.
- Store-bought: If you are short on time, use store-bought MTR Bisibelebath powder or sambhar powder. However adjust the quantity to suit your spice preference.
- Vegetables: You can use vegetables of your choice but personally, I prefer sturdy vegetables like drumsticks, potatoes, peas, squash as they hold shape and don’t mushy against the rice.
- Consistency: In case, the cooked rice gets too thick, add a cup of hot water and mix well. Heat the rice for 1-2 minutes for the water to blend in well. Always do a taste check after you have added the water.
- Storing: Usually, Bisibelebath does well for a one-time meal, but if you are storing the rice, it can clump by soaking all the liquid. To reheat, let the dish return to room temperature, then add a bit of hot water as per your preferred consistency and reheat.
- Quinoa: You can substitute quinoa for rice in this recipe and enjoy a healthier version of this recipe.
- If you don’t have tamarind, you can substitute with lemon juice.
I hope you enjoy this easy one-pot Bisi Bele Bath. I would love to hear how it turns out. Leave a review or share a picture with #pipingpotcurry
Here are more South Indian rice recipes you might enjoy:
Instant Pot Bisi Bele Bath
Powder (or 2 tablespoon powder from store )
- 4 Dried Red Chili Whole, I used Kashmiri chili, use byadki is real spicier taste.
- 1 inch Cinnamon (Dalchini)
- 3 Cloves (Laung)
- 1 teaspoon Split Chickpeas (Chana dal)
- 1 teaspoon Urad Dal
- ½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana)
- 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
- 1 small Marathi Moggu, optional
- 1 tablespoon Desiccated Coconut
For the rice
- ½ cup Carrot, diced
- ½ cup Green peas, I used frozen
- ¼ cup Green Beans, diced
- ¼ cup Bell Pepper, diced
- Soak tamarind in ⅓ cup warm water for 15 minutes. Run through a sieve, and keep the liquid aside.
- Add rice and dal to a large bowl. Add water and wash multiple times until the water runs clear. Set aside.
Make Bisi bele bath powder or use 2 tablespoon of store-bought powder
- Start the Instant Pot in sauté mode, and let it heat.
- Add the bisi bele bath powder ingredients in the order listed. Dry roast for a minute until you get the roasted aroma.
- Then add the dried coconut and
- stir. Roast for 30 seconds and press cancel.
- Transfer to a blender. Let the roasted ingredients cool, then grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
Making the Rice
- Press Saute mode on Instant Pot, and let it heat. Add ghee, then add mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, asafetida, cashews & let them splutter.
- Take out half of the tempering, and save for later.
- Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn soft.
- Add all the vegetables, then add bisi bele bath powder, salt. Mix well.
- Add the washed toor dal and rice. Then add water, jaggery and give a stir. Close the lid with vent in sealing position.
- Set the pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid.
- Add the tamarind water and mix well. Saute for couple of minutes. If needed, adjust consistency by adding hot water.
- Bisi Bele Bath is ready. Garnish with the reserved tempering and enjoy.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:
- Follow the same steps as above, but presure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.