Homemade bisi bele bath masala powder step-by-step recipe with photos.
Bisi bele bath is a dish originating from Karnataka which is made with rice, dal, vegetables, and freshly ground masala powder. The bisi bele bath masala powder is an aromatic and versatile spice mix that can be made easily at home. Goes without saying, freshly ground spice mix makes this wholesome dish even more delicious.
The spice mix is readily available in the market but making the spice mix at home makes the dish absolutely aromatic, flavourful, and delicious. It is really simple to make it too.
What is bisi bele bath
Bisi bele bath is probably the first dish that comes to anyone’s mind when they think of food from Karnataka. Bisi bele bath means ‘hot lentil rice’ in Kannada, popularly known as BBB or bisi bele hulianna. Rice, pigeon pea lentil, vegetables cooked with freshly ground spices and finished with a generous helping of ghee or clarified butter – this dish ticks all the boxes. Tasty, healthy, nutritious, and extremely flavourful, this is a wholesome dish. This dish tastes best when made with ghee.
For authentic bisi bele bath recipe, click here.
What is the masala powder made of?
Bisi bele bath masala powder is made with an array of spices. Every household has their own favourite combination of spices that they use to it. The use of spices varies amoung the south Indian states too.
My recipe for homemade bisi bele bath masala powder has coriander seeds, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds. fenugreek seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, Marathi moggu (kapok buds or Indian capers), poppy seeds, asafoetida, dried coconut, curry leaves and dry red chilli.
Coriander seeds are dried fruit of the coriander plant. While fresh coriander leaves are used as a garnish in most Indian dishes, the seeds are used as a spice.
Cumin seeds are dried seeds of the herb Cuminum cyminum, which belongs to the parsley family.
Cardamom is an exotic spice that belongs to the ginger family. There are two main varieties of cardamom – green and black. Green cardamom (also called true cardamom) is more commonly used and originates from the western ghats in southern India. Black cardamom is less commonly used and originates from the Himalayan region.
Cloves are aromatic dried flower buds of the clove tree. They have a strong aroma and are used mostly to provide warmth to the dish.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner part of the tree Cinnamomum. It has a mildly sweet taste and so is used in several desserts and also used to flavour teas too.
Marathi moggu, also known as kapok buds, is best described as an Indian caper. It is the dried buds of the kapok tree or silk cotton tree. 'Moggu' directly translates to buds in Kannada.
Fenugreek is used as both herb and spice. Fresh fenugreek leaves are used as a herb and the fenugreek seeds are used as a dried spice. Here, I use fenugreek seeds. They have a slightly bitter and pungent taste.
Poppy seeds are used as a spice and also in some desserts. They are soaked and ground into a paste and added to the masala base of several dishes to give it thickness and texture.
Asafoetida or hing is one of the lesser-known spices in Indian cooking. It is the dried gum extracted from giant fennel plants. Hing is an age-old medicine used for healing stomach problems including bloating, indigestion, and gas.
Although chana dal or split Bengal gram is a lentil, it is used in several spice mixes in south India. It is closely related to the chickpea family and is used in making tempering for various south Indian dishes.
Urad dal or black gram is also used in south Indian spice blends, despite being a lentil. It is used alongside chana dal for making temperings for various south Indian dishes.
Coconut is an integral part of any south Indian kitchen and both fresh and dried forms are used extensively. Dried coconut is added along with spice blends which adds a nice nutty flavour to the dish it is being used in.
Curry leaves are an aromatic herb that is an essential part of south Indian dishes and is added in temperings. They are dry-roasted and used in spice blends. They are also infused in coconut oil and used as a hair product.
DRIED RED CHILLI
Dried red chilli are ripe chillies that are sun-dried and stored. Usually, in my spice blends, I use two varieties of dried red chilli - one mild and adds a bright red colour (either Byadagi chilli or Kashmiri chilli) and the other hot chilli (Guntur chilli). Both these chillies are named after the places they are grown in.
Storing bisi bele bath masala powder
Bisi bele bath masala powder stays fresh when stored in an air-tight container in a refrigerator. In fact, I prefer to store all my spice blends in either the refrigerator or the freezer as they stay fresh for longer. They can be used straight from both the fridge and the freezer. This recipe here gives me 175 grams of bisi bele bath masala powder. You may choose to half or double the recipe as per your need.
Few points to remember
- Bisi bele bath masala powder stays fresh when stored in an air-tight container in a refrigerator. In fact, I prefer to store all my spice blends in either the refrigerator or the freezer as they stay fresh for longer. They can be used straight from both the fridge and the freezer
- This recipe here gives me 175 grams of bisi bele bath masala powder. You may choose to half or double the recipe as per your need.
- Do all the dry-roasting on low flame. Heat the frying pan initially and then turn the flame to low before you start dry-roasting
- Coconut tends to burn very quickly so dry-roast it with the flame turned off. It only needs to be heated up for a few seconds before grinding
For more spice blend recipes, click here.
Homemade bisi bele bath masala powder step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Dry-roast both Byadagi and Guntur chilli until they are crispy
2. Dry-roast chana dal and urad dal until they are light golden
3. Dry-roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds until they are aromatic
4. Dry-roast cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, and Marathi moggu until they are aromatic
5. Dry-roast curry leaves until they are dried and crispy
6. Dry-roast poppy seeds and hing for a few seconds
7. Dry-roast the coconut for a few seconds
8. Let all the ingredients cool down completely
9. Grind into a fine powder using a blender or mixie
This recipe gave me 175 grams of bisi bele bath masala powder
Bisi bele bath masala powder