Bisi Bele Bath in Instant Pot

Bisi Bele Bath in Instant Pot

Bisi Bele Bath is a wholesome meal made from Karnataka Cuisine also known as Sambar Sadam. This Bisi bele bath is made in several ways, each household has their own favorite ingredients to add in to the dish. I try my best to get the authentic flavors but like I said, there is no right or wrong way to do it like most of the recipes 🙂 . 


You can use store bought bisi bele bath masala powder mix or make at home, choice is entirely yours but homemade masala powder gives more flavor. You can make at home in bulk and store in airtight container for up to 3 months or more if stored in fridge. 

Bisi means hot, Bele means lentil and Bath means rice dish .. so together it means Hot Lentil Rice.  Some cook like me as a one pot meal but some like to cook lentils and Rice separately. It takes more time to cook the lentils and rice separately and follow the process. You can choose however you like to cook. 



I remember having Bisi bele bath in restaurants when I went to Bangalore for a mini project trip. I also loved their vegetable rice, mysore masala dosa. 

Bisi bele bath is a wholesome meal as it is made of rice, dal and lots of vegetables of choice. Always serve Bisi bele bath hot with drizzles of ghee on top along with crunchy boondi or potato chips. It makes a great easy busy weekend lunch or weeknight dinner. 

You can also make simple sambar rice with my sambar recipe. Make the sambar and mix it with rice, mash it up a little and sambar rice is ready. But the spice powders used in bisi bele bath and sambar vary a little. 



For Stovetop : 

Follow the same process as described below in a pressure cooker and give upto 4 to 5 whistles. 

For Instant Pot : 


Bisi Bele Bath

For Bisi bele bath masala powder. (Dry Roast the following spices and make into fine powder)

  • Coriander seeds – 2 tbsps
  • Chana dal – 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tbsp
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon – 2 small pcs
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Methi seeds – 2 tsps
  • Poppy seeds/khuskhus – 1.5 tbsp
  • Bydagi variety red chilies – 5 (these will be less spicy, so adjust to taste)
  • Hing – few pinches (optional)
  • Dry coconut – 2 tbsps (optional.)

For tempering ( In hot pan add ghee, let it get hot and add the ingredients mentioned, fry well)

  • Ghee – 4 to 5 tbsps
  • Cumin seeds – 1tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Hing/Asafoetida – few pinches
  • Turmeric – 3 tsps
  • Cashews – 1/4th cup
  • Peanuts – 1/4th cup
  • Red chili – 2 broken

Oil – 1 to 2 tbsp

  • Cumin seeds – 1tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1tbsp
  • Onion – one half sliced (optional)
  • Tamarind extract – from one lime sized ball of dry tamarind.
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red chili powder – to taste
  • Bisi bele bath powder – 3 tbsps or to taste.
  • Sugar or Jaggery – 1.5 tbsps
  • Vegetables of choice – 4 cups (potatoes, green peas, beans, carrots, capsicum etc)
  • Rice – 3 cups
  • Toor dal/ Pigeon peas – 2+1/4th cup
  • Water – 11 cups
  • Cilantro – to garnish
  1. Put instant pot on saute mode high
  2. Add oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, fry well.
  3. Add onions and saute well till edges brown.
  4. Now add tamarind extract and boil till raw smell goes away.
  5. Add bisi bele bath powder, red chili powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
  6. Add veggies of choice and well washed rice and dal.
  7. Add water and mix well.
  8. Turn off saute mode and put the lid. Vent to sealing position.
  9. Now do manual high 12 mins.
  10. Do Natural release or Quick release after 15 mins in warm mode.
  11. Rice and dal should be well cooked and slightly mushy.
  12. Now add hot water as needed to get loose consistency, because as the rice cools it will get hard.
  13. Put instant pot on saute mode normal for 5 mins.
  14. Meanwhile on stove do the tempering ( add all the ingredients listed under tempering)
  15. Add the tempering to the bisi bele bath and garnish with cilantro.
  16. Serve hot with Boondi or potato chips.

I am making this recipe in bulk so cut down the quantities as needed. I used a 160 ml rice cup for measuring.


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Watch the full Bisi bele bath video here 



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