Bisi (Hot) Bele (Lentil) Hulianna (Tamarind Rice)

Bisi Bele Huli Anna also known as Bisi Bele Bath  is a popular dish in Karnataka, South of India.
As its name suggests the important ingredients are Rice, Lentils, Tamarind pulp enhanced with aromatic spices is distinctive to this dish
Although this spice powder is available in ready made packs, my preference is to prepare this powder at home to  make this more luscious, scrumptious and flavoursome dish!!!

Although the ingredients seem to be long, this dish like many other South Indian dishes can be multi tasked and so is easy and quick to prepare!!!
The  spice powder can be prepared in advance and refrigerated if cooking this dish for a party or a family get together, thus saving a lot of time!!!

If you have planned to prepare this dish and assuming that you have made the spice powder in advance, the time taken for the dish  to be served takes under 20 minutes!!
While the rice and dal mix is being cooked, the vegetables can be cooked separately but simultaneously.

Ingredients to serve 8 people

¾ Cup Toor Dal
¾  Cup Rice
¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder
4 Cups Water
Handful of Small onions (shallots) OR
1 Large Spanish Onion (chopped into small quarters)
1 Large Carrot
20 Green Beans
Handful Green Peas (optional)
1 Long Drumstick
Small lime size Tamarind
2 Tsp Salt

Masala Powder

1-2 Tbs Oil
2 Tbs Coriander seeds
2 Tsp Channa Dal
1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
4-6 Red Chillies
½ Tsp Poppy seeds
½ inch piece Asafoetida or
½ Tsp Asafoetida Powder
3-4 Cloves
1 Cardamom
1-2 *Black Stone Flower (optional only if available)
(not necessary to use the above spice )

2 small ½ inch piece Cinnamon
6 Tbs Grated Coconut

Seasoning Mix

2 Tbs Oil
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
2 Green Chillies
2 Red chillies
6 Tbs Chopped Cashew Nuts
Few sprigs Curry leaves

Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Huli Anna

*Black Stone Flower is optional to use – It is an added spice to further enhance the flavour of the dish! It is a dried flower which is used mostly in the South of India in some cuisines!
Pictured above on the left next to the dish


Soak the tamarind in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes
Extract the tamarind juice and set aside.
Peel the small onions
Chop the carrots, beans and drumstick into one-inch pieces.
Microwave the beans and carrots on high for about 5 minutes.

Wash rice and Dal thoroughly
Add the turmeric powder and pressure cook with 4 cups of water.
Mash it when it the rice dal mix is still hot till it softens.

In the meantime, heat the two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan
Fry all the masala powder ingredients till the channa dal and fenugreek turn slightly golden brown.
Add the grated coconut and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium flame. Grind into a fine powder

In a large pot, add the two teaspoons of oil and fry the onions till they turn golden brown. Add the extracted tamarind juice, salt, cooked vegetables, chopped drumsticks and bring it to the boil and on a medium flame for about 5 minutes. Stir through the mashed rice dal, masala powder and mix it thoroughly

Heat the remainder of the oil and add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cashew nuts, chillies and curry leaves. When the cashew nuts turn golden brown, pour it into the rice dal vegetable tamarind juice mixture.

The Bisi Bele Huli is ready to be served

Note: As Bisi means Hot in Kannada, this dish is served and tastes best when it is piping hot!! It can be had with fried papads!!
As the spices used in the dish have their individual powerful flavours, my preference is to use the spices according to the individual’s taste buds!