Rice items

Bisi beLe bhath (with poha/avalakki)

Bisi bele bhath
Bisi Bele Bhath

Bangalore, the IT capital of India, is a place where you can find all types of food from all over India. It may be because people from all over India come to Bangalore in search of jobs. So along with all other types of food, the Bangaloreans have their set of dishes which are very very famous. The most famous dishes being ‘Chitranna‘ and ‘Bisi bele bhath‘ (‘Bisi‘-hot, ‘beLe‘-lentil, ‘bhath‘-rice item. Bangalorians call it ‘bath’ instead of ‘bhath‘). One other thing I have observed about food in Bangalore is all their dishes are very easy and fast to prepare.

Though I was not a big fan of bisi beLe bhath available in hotels, I liked to try them always. The one which I loved the most was with poha. My friend Poornima used to bring this in her lunch box. This version of bhath is softer than the version with rice.

Bisi beLe bhath (with poha/avalakki)

A popular one pot dish from Karnataka loaded with vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 1 cup poha/avalakki
  • 3/4 cup toor daal
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
  • 2 tea spns Bisi bele bhath masala
  • 1 tea spn jaggery optional
  • 1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
  • 2 tea spns oil/ghee
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup onion pieces
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 3/4 cup vegetables carrot, potato, beans
  • 2 strands coriander leaves
  • Salt


  • Heat approximately 8 cups of water.
  • When it starts boiling, add toor daal and a pinch of turmeric.
  • When daal is cooked, add vegetables (except onion and tomato).
  • Cook till vegetables are done.
  • Add washed poha.
  • Cook for 2-3mins.
  • Add bisi beLe bhath powder, tamarind (mixed with remaining two cups of water), jaggery and salt. Cook till almost all water is absorbed (the bhath should not become too dry, so stop when it is in semi solid state).
  • In a separate pan, heat ghee/oil (ghee tastes better), add mustard.
  • When they start popping, add curry leaves and asafoetida.
  • Add onions and fry till they turn slightly brownish.
  • Now add tomato and fry till they become slightly soft.
  • Add this mixture to bhath and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot.


I haven't used pressure cooker for cooking this as mentioned by my friend.
If using cooker, make sure not to cook the daal too much. It should not be mashed.Cook daal and vegetables in the cooker and then repeat the procedure in microwave or stove top, since the poha might get completely mashed if cooked in cooker.



Chinese vegetable fried rice

Few days back, Shilpa Sane had asked for this recipe.

A few points to be noted while preparing fried rice :
– The vegetables should not become very soft. They should be crunchy.
– The rice should not become too soft, the grains should be seperate, so while cooking rice add a drop of oil. Preferably, do not cook rice in cooker/microwave. Cook with around 1(rice) : 4(water). When rice is cooked, drain off the extra water.

Basmati rice 1 cup
Vegetables (green beans, carrot, capsicum etc cut into small pieces) 3/4 cup
Green chillies (optional) 2-3
Soya sauce 1 tbl spn
Vinegar 1 tbl spn
Pepper powder 1/2 tea spn
Oil 1 tea spn

Cook rice and keep aside.
Heat oil and fry the vegetables for around 10min. They should be just cooked. Add the soya sauce and vinegar and mix for a minute. Add rice, pepper and salt.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 20min

Lemon Rice (Chitranna)

I learnt the lemon rice from my friend from Andhra, Swati, when I was in college. The best part in her lemon rice was the crispy urad daal. It tasted great. When I went to Bangalore after my college, I found Chitranna was a very famous dish there. My friend Poornima prepared different kinds of chitranna, with beet root, with capsicum etc. But my favorite was her simple lemon rice. Unlike Swati, she used ground nuts and onion in her lemon rice.

3/4 cup rice
1/2 cup onion(optional)
3-4 green chillies
1 and 1/2 tbl spns lemon juice
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn urad daal
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbl spn ground nuts(optional)
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn oil

Lemon juice quantity can be increased or decreased according to individual taste.

Cook rice in pressure cooker. Rice should not become too soft, the rice grains should be seperate after cooking, otherwise it becomes paste when mixed, So use a bit less water compared to normal, instead the rice from previous day can also be used.
Heat oil and add ground nuts, mustard seeds and urad daal. When they start popping, add green chillies, curry leaves. Fry for a minute. Add onion, turmeric, fry till the onions turn slightly brownish.
Add the rice, salt and mix well. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Mix well.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15min

Palak-Coriander Pulav

Its been a long time I blogged about any rice items. So here is a simple and helthy recipe.I saw this in kannada programme “Aduge Aramane” on ‘Udaya news’ channel few months back (Before coming to US). I was a regular viewer of that program. Everyone at home cursed me for that, especially my cousin who did not understand Kannada!!. At some point I was so addicted to these programs that on sundays, morning 11 to 1.30, I would watch one after the other recipe programs on different channels!!!. I am missing them now :).

Basmati rice 1 cup
Palak(Spinach) 1/2 cup
Corinder leaves 1/2 cup
Green chillies 4
Ginger 1″ piece
Garlic 4-5
Lemon juice 2 tbl spns
Sugar 1 tea spn
Coconut 2 tbl spns
Garam masala 1/2 tea spn
Bay leaves 2
Cloves 3
Cinnamon 1″ stick
Cardamom 2
Ghee/oil 1 tbl spn
Onion 1 big
Vegetables(Green beans, carrot, peas, cauliflower) 1 cup

Grind together palak, coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, coconut, sugar and garam masala without adding much water(If required, only a little water can be added).
Heat ghee, add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic(2). Fry for a minute. Add onion and fry till they turn slightly brown in color.
Add vegetables and the paste, fry for 5min. Add rice and fry for some more time. Add 2 cups of water,salt and close the lid. Check after 10min, if required, add some more water and cook till completely done.
Serve hot with raita.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 40min

Methi Rice

First time I ate this when I was in Sydney. We were invited to Ganesh Chaturthi by one of our friend. All of us took some or the other dish. One lady, I forgot her name, had brought this. I asked her the recipe, as I always do. But had forgotten the masala she had put. So I used to make it with any masala I had at home. Recently I saw this recipe again on TV. Now I know about the masala also!!!.

Rice 1 cup
Methi leaves 1 cup
Potato 1
Lemon juice 1 tbl spn
Ghee 1 tea spn
Cumin seeds ½ tea spn
Coriander seeds 1 tea spn
Toor daal 1 tea spn
Cloves (Lavang) 4-5
Red chillies 2-3

Cook rice such that grainis should be separate.
Dry roast coriander seeds, Toor daal, cloves and red chillies. Make powder.
Heat ghee and add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add methi leaves and salt. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add boiled potatoes(roughly mash potatoes with hand while adding). Add ground masala, rice, lemon juice and salt. Mix well and serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15min

Biryani (chicken or veg) – Belgaum style

I donno the origin of this biryani. I learnt it from the cook(aapa) of my pachi’s house in Belgaum. I guess this is a traditional muslim dish. But for vegetarians my pachi uses vegetables(mainly potatoes) instead of chicken.

Basmathi rice 2 cups
Chicken 1/2 kg
or Potatoes(you can even add cauliflower,carrot, beans along with potato) 3-4 Onions 2
Coriander leaves 15-20 strands
Mint(pudina) leaves 10
Green chillis 5-6
Ginger-garlic paste 2 tea spn
Curd 2 tbl spns
Food color(orange or yellow) a pinch
Biryani masala 1 tea spn
Oil 2 tbl spns
Ghee 2 tbl spns

If Biryani masala is not available or if you wish to use fresh masala, then dry roast the following and make powder.
Cloves 6-7
Cinnamon 2″ piece
Cardamom 2
Poppy seeds 2 tea spns
Nut meg(Jayphal) 1 small piece

Method: Cook the rice with 2 drops of oil and salt(Oil doesn’t allow the grains to stick together) in around 1:3 water for 10min. (Rice should be only half cooked). Drain the water. Grind coriander leaves, green chilies, mint leaves, ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 onion to a fine paste. Add this paste, salt and curd to chicken or vegetables and keep it aside to marinade. (chicken should marinade for about half an hour to one hour. Vegetables need not be marinated).
Cut the onions into thin long pieces. Heat oil & fry them till they turn brownish. Separate out the oil from onions.
Heat the oil(left out from frying the onions) in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the marinated mixture along with chicken, salt(add less salt because it is already added to rice), 1/4th of the biryani masala. Spread a thick layer of rice. Then spread a layer of onions, biryani masala, color(mixed in water). Again add a layer of rice & repeat the procedure given in this paragraph till all rice, onions, biryani masala, color is added. From above add ghee. Add 1/2 cup water. Close the lid & cook on low flame for about 10-15minutes. Then remove the flame & let it cook on the heated stove(without flame). Serve hot.

Updated on Sep 15: Today I tried the biryani with Shaan Biryani masala instead of home mase masala. It came out very well.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 45min – 1hr

For step by step instructions, click here. This tastes great with chicken gravy.

Cumin rice(Jeera rice)

Basmati rice 2 cups
Onions 2
Cumin seeds 2 tea spns
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tea spn
Coriander leaves 4-5
Green chillies 4-5
Ghee 2 tbl spns
Water 5 cups

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and onions. Fry till onions turn slightly brown. Add rice and fry for 2mins. Add water and salt. Cover and cook. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 30min

Green peas pulav (Matar pulav)

Peas pulav is one of the quick fix pulavs that I love very much. Its very easy to make and tastes amazing. This is one of the dishes I make to carry in our after lunch boxes. At my native, we don’t get peas all the time. Whenever we get, mom used to make this dish and we love it. Now that I have frozen peas all the time in freezer, I prepare this very often.

This tastes great when served with daal fry.

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup onions
4-5 cloves
1″ stick cinnamon
4-5 green chillies
1 tea spn garam masala powder
2 tbl spns ghee or oil
5 cups water
3-4 strands coriander leaves

Heat oil in a pan and add cloves and cinnamon. Then add chillies, onions and fry till onions turn brown. Add rice and fry for 2 min. Add peas, salt. Fry for 2-3 mins. Add water,cover with lid and cook. When half cooked, add garam masala (If added before, the smell goes off by the time pulav is cooked). When cooked, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 30min

Curd Rice

Different people have different ways of preparing curd rice. I like this one the most. This is my aayi’s version. I used to run away from it when I was growing up. Now it is one of my comfort foods.

2 cups cooked rice
5 tbl spns curd(yogurt)
4-5 green chilies
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal
2 tea spns oil or ghee
A pinch asafoetida
1/2 tea spn pepper
5-6 coriander leaves

Add green chilli pieces, coriander leaves, pepper powder and salt over the cooked rice. Heat ghee and add mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves to the heated ghee and add them to the rice. Add yogurt to the rice just before serving.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 10min

Green Pulav

This is a pulav I grew up eating. These pulavs were considered as some fancy dishes at home. So aayi would prepare them once in a while and we would go crazy over them. It is very simple to make, healthy and very delicious.

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup chopped vegetables(Green beans,Cauli flower,Carrot,potatoes etc)
1/2 cup onion
7-8 strands coriander leaves
2 tea spns ginger-garlic paste
3-4 cloves
2 cardamom
2″ cinnamon
4-5 green chillies

Soak rice for 10min in water then let it dry by spreading on a cloth.
Make a paste of coriander leaves and green chillies. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fry them for few minutes. Add onions, ginger-garlic paste, coriander paste and fry till onions turn slightly brownish. Add rice and fry for sometime. Add all vegetables. Fry for 5mins. Add about 4 cups of water and salt. Cover the lid and let it cook. After about 10mins of cooking, open the lid and check. If all water is evaporated and rice is not yet done, add more water. For better results, cook on medium heat. (Avoid mixing the pulav when it is cooking, the rice gets mashed if mixed again and again. It can be gently stirred once in a while). Serve hot with raita(carrot, tomato, onion, coriander leaves, green chilies, salt mixed in yogurt).

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 40 min

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