Millet Bisibelebath

Bisibelebath is a traditional recipe from Mysore. It translates to ‘hot lentil rice’ in Kannada. “Forgotten Foods” bisibelebath can be made using any millet instead of rice. It is said that long before the advent of green revolution millets were used in most dishes where rice is used now.

Course: Breakfast, lunch


Millet (Foxtail/Proso/Barnyard/Kodo/Little) – 1 cup
Toor dal – 1/2 cup
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Carrots – 2 nos cut into small cubes
Beans – 10 nos cut into pieces
Potato – 1 piece cut into small cubes
Fresh Peas – 1/2 cup (if dried peas then soak overnight)
Onion – 1 piece chopped into small dices
Curry leaves – 12 nos
Tamarind extract – 1/2 cup or to taste
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Bisibelebath masala – 3 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Groundnut – 2 tbsp
Cashew – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Ghee – 3 tbsp (veg oil can be used for vegan option)
Salt – 1 tbsp or to taste
Water – 8 cups

Serves: 4 people

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash and soak millets for half an hour.
  2. Cook the chopped vegetables with water and a pinch of salt in an open dish. Make sure not to over cook it, they have to be firm. Take out the veggies from the water and keep aside.
  3. Mix the millets, toor dal and urad dal in 8 cups of water and a pinch of salt. The leftover water from cooking the veggies can be used too. Cook this mixture in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Leave it aside for 10 minutes after switching off the cooker.
  4. Mix tamarind extract and bisibelebath masala in a cup to get a consistent paste. Add red chilli powder if you prefer the dish to be spicy.
  5. Mix all of the above boiled vegetables, millets, dal, tamarind and masala paste together and stir well.
  6. Heat a pan with ghee or veg oil for vegan option, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to pop, add onions, groundnuts, cashews, asafoetida and fry. Just when the onions starts to change colour, take out the pan and add the mixture to the millet and lentils.
  7. Heat the mixture on low flame, stir well and make it boil. Make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom by stirring continuously.
  8. As the name suggests, savour the dish when hot along with your choice of raitha or vegetable salad and khara boondi. The bath will turn hard when it becomes cold. Hot water can be added to get the desired consistency.

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