Desifying Italian: Arborio rice bisibele bath

The Italian Arborio rice is fast catching up in many major cities in India. But why have it only the Italian way? Time to try Arborio rice in a popular South Indian recipe:


1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup peanuts

1/4 teaspoon rock salt

6.5 cups water

3/4 cup arhar/tuvar lentil/dal

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

2-3 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon bisi beli masala- blend coriander seeds, cumin, black pepper, mace, cardamom, chana dal, cinnamon, curry leaves, red chilies, poppy seeds, urad dal, fenugreek and cloves.

2 carrots chopped finely

15-20 beans chopped finely

2-3 small brinjals diced

1 medium onion diced

1 medium tomato diced

1 tablespoon seedless tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoon unsweetened desiccated coconut

3 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

15-20 curry leaves

2-3 dry red chilies

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida

10-15 cashews

bisibele bhathImage Courtesy: tastyappetite


  1. Soak rice and peanuts together for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cook rice and peanuts together with 2 cups water and set it aside.
  3. In a pressure cooker, add arhar dal with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric. Cook till the dal softens (7-8 whistles). Mash the dal.
  4. In a wok, heat canola oil and add all the vegetables with 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup water and cook for 4-5 minutes (till the vegetables are done but retain the shape)
  5. In the pressure cooker, add cooked rice and peanuts and all the vegetables.
  6. Add tamarind pulp and 1 cup water and stir well.
  7. Now add bisi beli masala and again mix well. Add coconut powder now.
  8. Keep the cooker lid lightly and cook for 20-25 minutes on low flame.
  9. In a tempering pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dry red chilies with asafoetida. Add cashews also to the tempering.
  10. Once mustard seeds crackle and cashews become golden brown pour the tempering over bisi beli bath and cover it with lid till the flavors infuse into it.
  11. Serve hot with banana chips.


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