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Bisi Bele Huli Anna, a Brownish yellow hued rice and lentils mix with mustard seeds and green curry leaves tempering, in a white bowl on a yellow background. Black page of a newspaper to the left and a napkin with black squares to the right.
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Bisi Bele Huli Anna/ Spiced Rice and Lentils

From Karnataka Cuisine, Bisi bele huli anna, a delicious dish of rice and lentils, cooked with a spice paste and tamarind extract. Vegetables may be added. Best with curd pachadi/ raita and appalam/ pappad or chips.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Lunchbox, Main Course, Tiffinbox
Cuisine: Indian, Karnataka, south indian
Keyword: bisi bele bath, bisi bele huli anna
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Sujata Shukla


Rice and Lentils

  • ½ cup Rice of the type known as Raw rice/ pachhai arisi
  • ½ cup Pigeon pea lentils/thowar dal                          
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder/ haldi
  • 2 cups Water for cooking

For Coconut Spice

  • 1 teaspoon Til/ sesame oil Or ghee /other vegetable oil such as sunflower oil
  • 2 cm Cinnamon
  • 2 Cardamoms
  • 2 Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Poppy seeds/ khus khus
  • ½ cup Desiccated coconut Or fresh grated coconut dry roasted

For Spice Paste

  • 2 teaspoons til/sesame oil Or ghee/ other vegetable oil such as sunflower oil
  • teaspoon fenugreek/methi seeds about 5-6 seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds/ jeera
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds / dhania
  • 1 tablespoon Bengal gram lentils/channa dal skinned, split
  • 1 tablespoon Black gram lentils/urad dal skinned, whole
  • 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns whole
  • 4-6 Dry red chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida/hing

Vegetables (2 cups) from the following:

  • 7-8 Shallots/ sambar onion/ Madras onion
  • 1 Capsicum
  • 6-7 florets Cauliflower
  • ¼ cup Green peas Fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup Green beans
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Potato
  • 1 Carrot

For Bisi Bele Bath/ Bisi Bele Huli Anna

  • 1 tablespoon Til/sesame oil Or ghee/ other vegetable oil such as sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 Tamarind pulp 1 small Indian lemon sized
  • 1 cup Water For soaking the tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon Jaggery powdered
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Salt or to your taste

For Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon Mustard seeds/rai
  • 10-12 Curry leaves

For Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons Peanuts/ Ground nuts/ Boondi or Cashew nuts fried in ghee or fried boondi
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander leaves/dhania leaves Minced



  • Soak a small ball of tamarind pulp for about 20 minutes (or time required for the tamarind to become very soft).
    Extract the juice and set aside till required.
  •  Peel the small onions.
    Slice all the vegetables into small even-sized pieces for uniform cooking. If potato or carrot are used, please factor-in sufficient time for their cooking, as this recipe is timed based on cauliflower, capsicum and such other quick-cooking vegetables. You will need about 2 cups of all the sliced vegetables (except for onions.)
    Roast the peanuts in a dry, hot pan, or fry cashew nuts in ghee, depending on which garnish you are planning to use.

For Cooking Rice and Lentils/ dal

  • Wash, drain and soak rice and dal together for 20 minutes, in water sufficient to cover the surface.
    Drain, add turmeric powder and water.
    Pressure cook for 3 whistles (or the time required for the rice and dal to be cooked soft). Let the steam be released from the cooker naturally, and when cool, open it and mash the rice and dal.

Prepare Spice Paste

  • Heat oil and roast all the ingredients listed under the heading 'Coconut Spice' in the ingredients list. Stir well after each item has been added and follow the order of the listing. Finally add poppy seeds to the other ingredients, roast for a few seconds and add desiccated coconut. Stir well and remove from the heat and transfer the mix to a heat-proof bowl.
    As noted in the write up above, if using fresh coconut, roast it dry (without oil) until most of the moisture has evaporated and the coconut just begins to turn brown.
  • Similarly, heat oil and roast the spices listed under Spice paste. Stir as each item is added. Transfer to the heat-proof bowl in which the spices from the earlier step have been placed. Allow the mixture to cool.
    Grind the roasted spices to a fine powder. Add 1 -2 tablespoons of water to the spice powder and grind to a paste.

To Make Bisi Bele Huli Anna/ Bisi Bele Bath

  • Heat Oil. Add onions, saute for 2 minutes.
    Add sliced vegetables and turmeric powder. Stir. If you are not including vegetables, add just the turmeric.
    Add the spice paste. Keeping the heat on low, saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bay leaf.
    Add ½ cup water, bring to a boil and then reduce the flame. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or till the vegetables are tender.
    Add tamarind extract and jaggery, stir. Jaggery helps balance the flavours.
    Add salt, stir.
    Bring to a boil and then reduce the flame. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    Add cooked rice and dal (remember to mash it well). The mixture should be thick but fluid. If it is not fluid, add up to ½ cup of hot water.
    Check adequacy of salt and add a little more if required.
    Mix thoroughly and cook for 5 minutes till all ingredients are nicely mixed. Remove from the heat.
    Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves in ghee. Garnish with roasted peanuts/ fried cashew nuts and minced coriander leaves. Besan/ chickpea flour boondi may be fried and added as garnish.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2204IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg