Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe with step by step pictures

The title should read Bisi Bele Huli Anna and the Confessions of a ‘sore thumb’..Read on and you will know why…

It was that of the time of my life when I was being pampered and cared upon.Anything I asked for would be granted.People, known or unknown, would look at me and smile knowingly.Well,that was a nice phase actually.

I am definitely not talking about my toddler-hood but a stage in adult-hood where you are made to feel special in spite of all the morning sickness,unusual cravings,persistent hunger, bloated body and the tell-tale sign-a pot belly!You caught the point rite!!

The pampering felt so good and I would ask mom each and everyday to prepare one or the other of my favorite dishes and she too would prepare it with much care and love in spite of the fact that she had to attend office everyday.

One such day,I blurted out-‘Mom I want Bisi bele hulu anna’.I think she was stunned.Bisi bele huli anna is to Karnataka as sambar sadham is to Tamil nadu.Though we are from Karnataka and people from that state love this dish ,I somehow don’t like it and try to avoid it given a chance.Even at weddings or during festive times at my grandparents home,I would blurt out ‘no thanks’ when it was being served.Even if mom prepares it at home,I would but have a bite to taste.

Right from my great grandma,[who lived to a ripe old age of 90+],my grandma and mom,all are known for their delicious bisi bele huli anna.There would be recipe requests by the guests.Such was their fame.But hailing from this family was a sore thumb-Me!!Neither did I like it nor was I inclined to learn to prepare it!Sometimes I even wondered if I had a gene or two missing!!

Now you see why mom would have been stunned by my request.This must have been the result of one of those unusual craving I was telling you earlier.

Anyways,she did prepared it for me .We had a couple of banana trees in our backyard and I love to eat on those banana leaves at each meal.She had prepared another two of my favorite along with the other dishes for lunch-Carrot raita and pappad.

So when mom started serving I suddenly remembered that I had to click a pic and dashed out to get my cam.I was in no mood to ‘arrange’ the dishes and click coz the aroma was so tempting.A quick click and I sat for lunch.

That’s when I realized how tasty her Bisi bele huli anna was and how much I had missed it all those years!I wished I had asked for this earlier.Well as they say-Better late than never!

While taking down the recipe she recollected how her grandma used to prepare it for festivals and functions and how she still remembered that taste.So this was her recipe actually.

After this incident I started savoring every bite of this tasty dish and now I am not the ‘sore thumb’ I used to be.Finally the gene that was probably in hiding has shown itself up!!!

All these days I had only asked mom to prepare it for me and never ventured to try it in my kitchen for the fact that I wasn’t sure if would taste as good as hers.

Occasionally I did make and enjoy this with the rest of the family passing on appreciations for a delicious lunch.

Last month, I made this yet again just to click some step by step pics for the blog.I would never had tried it on my own even though many times I felt the need .Some of our initial posts are precious and needless to say bring out a lot of memories.

Now to the recipe…

Bisi Bele Huli Anna

How to make Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

I used:

Rice – 1 cup
Toor dhal -3/4 cup
Tamarind – lemon size [enough to make ¾ cup extract]
Turmeric powder
Salt – to taste

For the Spice paste

Coriander seeds– 3 teaspoons
Channa Dhal – 2 teaspoons
Fenugreek seeds -1/4 teaspoon
Red chillies- 5
Asafoetida – a pinch
Fresh grated coconut – 5 teaspoons
Oil-1 teaspoon



Sesame seed oil – 3 teaspoons
Curry leaves – a few sprigs
Cloves – 4
Groundnut – 2 tablespoons
Asafoetida powder- 1/2 teaspoon

Heat oil in pan and put in all the ingredients except coconut, mentioned under the spice paste. Roast till the dal turns light brown. Add coconut and switch off the heat. Mix once and set aside to cool.
Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Once it has cooled down, transfer to a mixie jar and powder it. Add water little by little to get a smooth paste.Keep aside.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Pressure cook dal and rice [with a little more water than you usually use]. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and mash well.Add the dal to it.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Mix well and keep aside. Heat sesame oil in a pressure cooker and give it a swirl so that it coats the bottom of the cooker evenly.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder and salt.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Once the tamarind comes to a rolling boil, simmer and add teh spice paste and mix well. After a minute,add the rice and dal mixture.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Mix well.If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. The consistency should be gooey.Remove from heat after a couple of minutes.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small pan and add cloves, asafoetida powder, curry leaves and peanuts..Once the peanuts turn golden brown, remove from heat.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Pour into pressure cooker and mix well.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe

Serve with a raita [ the link has 40+ raita varieties] and crisps.

Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe


  • If you feel the mixture is too dry at any point of cooking add water and cook till you get the desired consistency.
  • It tastes best the next day. Just reheat it and enjoy!
  • Use sesame oil for the best results. If not available / you don’t like the taste, use any vegetable oil other than coconut oil and olive oil.
  • This is how we make BBHA. Some add vegetable to it. But in our family we skip the vegetable and make it the same way my great granny used to prepare this dish.

I am glad that I won’t stick out like a sore thumb after this and I will now carry with me this recipe to pass it on to Lil angel when she takes her interest in cooking.And that day she will know that this recipe goes way back in the family tree!

Bon Appetit!!!

14 thoughts on “Bisi Bele Huli Anna | Bisi Bele Bhath Recipe”

  1. it is only for that pampering that i miss that phase of life to date – no fancy ideas, but i dont mind making this bhaath myself, it looks super delicious and thank you for sharing a family recipe with all.

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