RCI :KA again!! Bisibelebath, Idli Sambar and Masale Idli

Do I hear a “Oh no, how many entries?” hehe...I really can’t help submitting more and more entries to Asha’s RCI :Karnataka

Bisibelebath is the most common of dishes to the Karnataka cuisine. Made with Rice, Tuar Dal and a unique blend of spices, Bisibelebath is a mouth watering dish. The only key is to get the masala right, then on its easy sailing. Nothing beats home made Bisibelebath, not even the Ready-to-Eat packets. No entry to a Karnataka event is complete without Bisibelebath :-D

First we need to make the Bisibelebath powder…a key ingredient to making good Bisibelebath. Bisibelebath tastes different in different homes not because its made differently but because the powder used contains various combinations of spices.

Bisibelebath Powder

You will need:

1 cup Chana Dal
1 cup Urad Dal
2 cups Corriander seeds
1 cup Cumin seeds
1 ½ cups Dry red chillies (Byadagi)
½ cup Curry leaves
1 ¼ cup Grated dry coconut

¼ cup Salt
100 gms Tamarind

( Cup = standard cup measure)

Roast each ingredient separately with little oil till they are brown and are fragrant (Chana dal to Dry coconut) Cut Tamarind into small bits and heat in a pan on low flame. When it becomes soft, add this to the roasted ingredients and salt and grind to a fine powder. Store in a air tight container and use as required.

Go ahead and make the whole quantity, I have many more recipes that use Bisibelebath powder other than just Bisibelebath.


You will need: (Serves 6)

50 gms Green Beans (1” pcs)
2 medium Carrots (1” pcs)
2 large onions cubed
50 gms Peas (fresh/frozen)
2 Tomatoes cubed
100 gms. Peanuts
2 small pcs Jaggery (optional)
¼ tsp Garam Masala
3 tsps Bisibelebath powder (see recipe above)
¼ kg Rice
125 gms Tuar Dal
Water ( For every cup of Rice & Tuar dal : 4 cups of water)
100 ml Tamarind juice
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsps Ghee

For seasoning:

1 tsp Ghee
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Chana dal
4 dry red chillies (broken into pcs. )
Few curry leaves

Wash the rice and Tuar dal. Add all veggies to this with measured quantity of water. Cook on high and when steam begins to rise, add weight and cook on low for 6-7 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes. Now add the Bisibelebath powder, tamarind juice, salt and the garam masala. Mix well and add 2-3 tbsps of Ghee, bring to a boil. Add more water if its too thick.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when it begins to splutter add the chana dal, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Add this to the Bisibelebath, stir and serve hot with Curd raitha and Potato chips.

Curd Raitha

1 tomato chopped
½ cucumber chopped
1 onion chopped
6 green chillies chopped
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups thick curds/unflavoured yoghurt

Mix all of the above ingredients. Add little water to make raitha consistency. Chill and serve with hot Bisibelebath.

Idli & Sambar

This again is a traditional Karnataka dish. When I was a kid, every Sunday morning was mandatory Idli & Sambar. We ate it while watching Cartoons and later while parents watched “Mahabharat” both on Doordarshan. Boy, those were the good ol' days... Almost 2 decades later, Idli and Sambar is still a hot favourite back home.


To make the batter:

2 portions Rice
2 portions Par boiled Rice (kusubalakki - also called Idli Rice)
½ portion Poha
1 ¾ portions Urad dal

Soak overnight the first three together and urad dal separately. Next day grind to a fine paste with as less water as possible. The finer the batter the better the idlis. Let ferment overnight. The batter should rise well when the temperature outside is hot, if it doesn’t rise then you can add ¼ tsp Cooking soda which helps in fermentation. Use as required and refrigerate remaining batter.

Pour batter into idli plates and place in pressure cooker. Close lid,cook on high and when steam rises, reduce heat and cook for 10 mins and then turn off heat. Let sit for a few minutes before opening the lid. With the help of a spoon, remove idlis and serve with Sambar.


There are many ways to make Sambar for idlis. In most restaurants, they use the regular Sambar powder. My mom makes it using Bisibelebath powder, it tastes very different and goes great with Idlis.

You will need:

100 gms Tuar Dal
2 medium sized Potatoes cubed
2 Onions cubed
2 Tomatoes cubed
1 ½ tsps Bisibelebath powder (recipe above)
Few curry leaves
50 ml Tamarind juice
1 ½ litres Water
Chopped Corriander for Garnish
Salt to taste
Mustard seasoning ( Mustard seeds fried in oil with little hing)

Pressure cook Tuar dal with potatoes, onions and tomatoes. When steam begins to rise, place weight and cook on low for 10 mins. After its done, add Bisibelebath powder, salt, tamarind juice and curry leaves. Bring to a boil. Add the mustard seasoning . Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with Idlis.

When the idli batter turns sour plain idlis aren’t tasty…so my mom used to spice it up a bit and make Masale Idlis.

Masale Idli

Idli batter as required (recipe for batter above)
1 red onion chopped
1 Carrot grated
1 tsp Green chilli paste (Green chillies finely ground with little salt)
Chopped Corriander

For this dish the idli batter should be sour. Usually the batter becomes sour after several weeks (atleast here in the US..hehe..back home its sooner!)To make the batter sour place batter outside the refrigerator for couple of hours or overnight, that should do the trick.

Mix all the above ingredients and pour into idli plates. Place in a pressure cooker,close lid,cook on high and when steam rises, reduce heat and cook for 10 mins and then turn off heat. Serve with chutney.


  1. Wow...very yummy! I love all of these...great pics!


    I am loving spice powder entries,you are the second one who sent masala powder.I am categorizing the pds , chutneys and raitas separately!!
    Thank you very much for all three and more!! Looks like your hubby enjoying all the goodies you are cooking up!:)
    Masale Idli looks yum.

  3. Thanks Meeso:)

    Hahaha...thanks Asha, I'm glad you aren't complaining..tee hee! :D That will be a lovley categorization, good going! oh ya hubby is only too happy...hehe!

  4. Splendid!!! This is so delicious...i wish I could have some idli sambhar right now :)

  5. Thanks Tee...will send some your way ;)

  6. Idlies are looking awesome!! I particularly liked the masale idlies namratha!

  7. I'm ready to have breakfast again!! Lovely entries!

  8. wow yummy! all entries are looking fabulous!great entries!

  9. Idli and sambhar looks delicious. Here in my home i am the only idli lover so i never make them. I tend to do dosa.
    Well i can drool on your picture.
    You made so many dishes for the event.
    The raita looks good too.

  10. thanks Latha, do try the Masale idlis :)

    Thanks Jyothsna for stopping by:)

    Raaga, be my guest dear!

    Thanks Roopa :)I'm glad you stopped by..

  11. Thanks Happy Cook:) All plates are for you ..hehe

  12. Hey Namratha, first of all thanks for visitng my blog and leaving a comment.
    You have a fantastic blog.Your recipes look simple and delicious too. I love pineapples, will try your "pineapple gojju" :).

  13. Wow! Very cool recipes!

    What else do you use BBB powder for? I'd like to see a post on that! I always have a little left over....


  14. namratha..i have not had breakfast yet...and i want to eat all the yummy food you have made :(...now why are u not my neighbour :(

  15. can you please pass those idlis , sambar and chutney??/ yummy looking entries. I am nuts about idlis!

  16. Thanks Vini:) I'm glad you came by..

    Hey anchana, I'm glad you came by, the Sambar for idlis is made from BBB, try it! :)

    HeHe..Rajitha I sure wish I was your neighbour too..would love to cook for ya! ;)

    Idlis on their way Sharmi..;-D

  17. Hi namaratha,

    Ur idli n sambar receipe was very gud, i tried ur measurings...:)
    u r from bangalore....


  18. hey namratha, made bisibelebath and curd raitha for the first time yesterday..turned out really good:)...

  19. Like the Indian bisibelebath recipe that has been one of the most searched because of its taste and its healthy benefits .


Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin