South Indian Delight: How to Make Delicious Bisi bele bath at Home

Introduction for Sambar rice:

Sambar rice, also known as sambar sadam or bisi bele bath, is a popular South Indian dish that originated in the state of Karnataka. It is a flavorful and spicy rice dish made with a combination of rice, lentils, vegetables, and spices.

bisi bele bath (sambar rice) recipe

The history of sambar rice dates back to the 17th century when the Maratha ruler, Shivaji, had a large army that needed to be fed. His cook, a South Indian Brahmin named Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) invented the recipe of sambar rice, which was a complete meal in itself and easy to prepare in large quantities. It soon became popular among the army and the locals as well.

Over time, sambar rice became a popular dish across South India, with each state having its own variation. In Tamil Nadu, it is known as sambar sadam and is often served with potato chips or appalam (papad). In Kerala, it is known as sambar choru and is often served with mango pickle or pappadam. In Andhra Pradesh, it is known as sambar annam and is often served with a side of yogurt.

Today, sambar rice is not only a popular dish in South India but also across India and the world. It is often served in South Indian restaurants and is also a common dish in many households. With its delicious taste and nutritional value, sambar rice continues to be a favorite among many.

Bisi bele bath is a delicious and popular South Indian dish that is easy to make at home. Here’s a recipe to help you make sambar rice:


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1/4 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped (such as carrots, beans, potatoes, peas, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons sambar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Tamarind pulp, about the size of a small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery or brown sugar (optional)
  • Water as needed
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

For the spice powder:

  • 2 teaspoons chana dal
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 cloves


Rinse the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

In a pan, dry roast the ingredients for the spice powder until they turn aromatic and lightly browned. Let it cool and grind to a fine powder.

Rinse the toor dal and chana dal in cold water and add them to a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water. Cook for 4-5 whistles or until the dals are soft and mushy.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.

Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until they are cooked and soft.

Add the mixed vegetables, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, and the ground spice powder. Mix well and sauté for a few minutes.

Add the cooked dal, tamarind pulp, jaggery or brown sugar (if using), and enough water to get a Bisi bele bath-like consistency. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and add the drained rice. Sauté for a minute and add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until the rice is cooked.

Add the cooked rice to the dal mixture and mix well.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Note: You can adjust the spice level according to your taste. Bisi bele bath tastes best when served hot with a side of potato chips or papad.


Bisi bele bath is a complete meal in itself that is packed with nutrition and flavor. It can be enjoyed as is or with a side of potato chips or papad. The spice level can be adjusted according to your taste preferences, and it can be easily customized by adding or omitting vegetables. Try this delicious recipe at home and enjoy the authentic flavors of South India.

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