Bisibelabath with deep fried appadam or potato chips is a filling meal Govinda Dasu appreciates. It is a sumptuous meal, especially on weekends. Couple of helpings followed by creamy perugannam (dadhojanam – yogurt rice) in the afternoon gives you enough energy for the day.

(todo: video and backstory this weekend!)



  1. In a pan, add 1 tablespoon oil, after 1 min, add  methi seeds – ¼ spoon, chane ka dal – 2 teaspoons, dhania seeds – 2 teaspoons, red chillies 4, cloves 3, cinnamon sticks 4 – add the ingredients in this order. 
  2. Roast them until chane ka dal is golden in color. Make sure dal or red chillies do not get burnt.
  3. Leave it aside to cool. When it is cooled, add 2 tablespoons of grated fresh coconut. Grind it smoothly and set aside.
  4. Soak a medium lemon sized ball of tamarind in 1 cup of warm water. After 10 minutes, squeeze tamarind nicely. Filter the tamarind juice with hand or chai filter. After extracting 1 cup of tamarind juice, add 1 more cup of warm water in the bowl with the same tamarind pulp. Squeeze and extract again to get 2 cups of tamarind juice.
  5. 2 medium sized potatoes, 3-4 carrots, 10-15 green beans, 2 tablespoons of peas. Cut up potatoes into medium sized square pieces and carrots, beans into medium pieces. 
  6. In a large vessel, wash and add 1 cup of arhar ka dal (kaddi pappu or toor dal). Add 2 cups of water. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until dal is 60 % cooked. 
  7. Add 2 cups of washed rice. Add 4-5 cups of water. 
  8. Add all the vegetables. If using frozen partially cooked peas which will cook faster, add them after 10 minutes.
  9. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Add 1-2 cups of water.
  10. Stir well and keep stirring until all the content looks 90% cooked.
  11. Add tamarind juice.
  12. Stir well.
  13. Add ground bisibela masala.
  14. Stir and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
  15. By this time, all dal, rice and vegetables will be cooked nicely.
  16. Taste and ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt if needed.
  17. Set it aside.
  18. In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil. After 1 minute, add 3 teaspoons of mustard seeds, sprinkle of hing and 6-8 curry patha leaves after mustard splutters, add this thadka (thirapatha) to cooked bisibela. Mix nicely. Add 2-3 slices of butter if desired.

Alternate easier method is :

  1. Cook dal, rice and vegetables with salt together in a pressure cooker.
  2. Boil tamarind essence with masala in a separate pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix boiled essence with cooked dal,rice, and veggies and add ¼ cup water if needed and cook together for 2 mins.
  4. Now add thadka.

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