Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BisiBela Bath (Sambar Rice)

Bisi Bela Bath (Sambar Rice)
This was the first recipe I posted on my blog. This is my best friend G's mom's recipe...and since aunty is a super duper cook, I thought it is an auspicious sign to start off with her recipe... Even if I become half as good as her, I would be satisfied.


  • Rice – 1 cup (small cup)
  • Tuvar Dal – 1/2 cup (same measure of rice)
  • Water – 6 cups 3 ½ cups for the rice and 2 ½ cups for the dal – total 6 cups (same measuring cup)
  • Shallots (Sambar Onions) - 1/4 kgs
  • Tomato - 2
  • Carrot - 1 (diced)
  • Potato - 1 big (cut into square pieces)
  • Beans - 5-10 (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • Double Beans - 15-20
  • Any other Vegetables that you want to use (If you are using Brinjal, do not pressure cook it along with rice and other veggies)
  • Sambar Powder - 2 tblsp
  • Tamarind - The size of a big lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee – 6 tbsp
  • Gingelly Oil (Nalla ennai) – 4 tblsp
  • Turmeric – 1 pinch
  • Mustard and curry leaves for seasoning.

For the masala:

  • Corriander seed - 5-6 tblsp
  • Red chilly - 10-15 (adjust as per your spice requirements)
  • Channa Dal (Kadala Paripu) - 2 tblsp
  • Asafoetida (Perungayam) 1/2 inch piece
  • Fenugreek (vendhiyam/uluva) 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Cloves - 2
  • Pepper - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2
  • grated coconut 1/2 coconut shell

  • Sauté the onions and the vegetables in ghee.
  • Wash the rice and dal and soak for 15 minutes in water.
  • Add the required amount of water, the sautéed onions and vegetables, a pinch of turmeric, tomatoes and pressure cook for 5 whistles. (Do not pressure cook the brinjals)
  • Fry the masala ingredients in a little ghee but make sure they do not get blackened as it will change the taste of the rice, dry grind them first, then add adequate water and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Boil the tamarind water (add lots of water as it is bound to eventually become dry) and salt.
  • Then add the ground masala and bring to boil again.
  • Add the cooked rice, dal and vegetables and mix well adding ghee when required and a little bit of gingelly oil.

Season with mustard and curry leaves and ur bisi bela bath is ready!!!!!!!!!! Serve with Potato Fry!

Note: Use the same measuring cup for Rice, Dal and Water. Adjust the masala quantity according to the amount of rice, dal and vegetables you have. I used a small measuring cup. Since you add so many vegetables and water, this dish usually trebles in quantity. So use a small measuring cup and retain the masala quantity according to your taste buds.


  1. Bisi bella bath is my all time fav. Yummy. love to eat it with fried appalams/papads.

  2. Thank you. It is one of my favourites too:-)


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