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.

The Govinda Dasu South Indian Broccoli Koora

Govinda Dasu always liked Broccoli Koora as his third or fourth favorite dish after Potato Fry and Cauliflower. Broccoli was often tied with Beans in his Santa Clara home.


  1. 2 Broccoli flowers
  2. 3 potatoes (Aloo), which are Govinda Dasu’s favorite.
  3. 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  4. 2 teaspoons Mustard Seeds (Avalu)
  5. Pinch of Asafetida Powder (Inguva)
  6. Pinch of Turmeric (Pasupu)
  7. 1″x1″-cylinder Ginger (Allamu)
  8. 2 Green Chilis (Pachi Mirpakaya)
  9. 1 teaspoon Salt (Uppu)
  10. 2 tablespoons Peanut / Sunflower / Sesame Oil
Preparing Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe
Preparing Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe

1. Clean and peel the Broccoli, Aloo, and Ginger

  • Remove miscellaneous strands from the broccoli flower and wash it in water (1:42).
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Peel the ginger. Govinda Dasu was not always a fan of ginger but it’s growing on him.

2. Cut the Chilis and Potatoes (Govinda Dasu’s fav’s)

  • Cut the green chilis into small circles (2:09).
  • Chop the ginger into fine pieces (2:32).
  • Cut the potatoes finely as well, so the turn out crisp and like long rectangular prisms (2:55). Govinda Dasu loves the aloo part.
  • Cut off the mini broccoli flowers from the main broccoli vegetable (3:47)
  • Chop up the internal non-flower part of the broccoli, finely. Cut into the the stems as needed. (4:14)

3. Prepare the pan

  • Make sure the pan is dry, and then put 1.5 – 2 table spoons of peanut oil in the pan. (4:43)
  • Add the cumin and mustard seeds, a spoon each, to the oil that is being heated (5:07).
  • Sprinkle asafetida (inguva) over the oil mixture (5:23).
  • Govinda Dasu often prefers less ginger and more oil, but he’s learning to be healthy.

Frying the Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe
Frying the Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe

4. Fry the vegetables (Govinda Dasu loves the fry)

  • Once the mustard seeds split, then add the green chilis, potatoes, and ginger to the sizzling oil (6:55).
  • Use the spatula to distribute the vegetables within the oil mixture, using tricks like “gravity” as mentioned in the video.
  • Let the koora soften by placing a lid on the pan (7:28).
  • After 2 minutes, put the harder chopped up broccoli stem slices in the sizzling oil (7:48).
  • Add half a spoon of salt across the frying pan, and mix up the mixture (7:56). Place the pan lid on and let it soften for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the broccoli into the pan. Break up the broccoli into smaller pieces if you’d like it to be a tad softer during consumption. And, add a half spoon more of salt. (8:30)
  • Add turmeric to retain the color of the broccoli (9:48) and mix. Put the lid on and let it fry for 3 minutes.
  • After the 3 minutes, mix the koora carefully so the potatoes do not become a paste (11:22). Put the lid on and let it fry for another 2 minutes.
  • After the 2 minutes, mix the koora carefully one last time (11:57).

You can enjoy the South Indian Broccoli Koora with plain rice. Govinda Dasu likes to mash up the broccoli and rice with his hands, mix them up, and eat.

Make sure to eat with your hands!

If you need help eating with your hands, consult this Wilbur Sargunaraj video.