This combination of rice, toor dal, vegetables and spices is essentially a south Indian variation of north Indian kitcheree — the classic one-pot meal — with the use of tamarind, coconut, aromatic spices and a tempering characteristic of south Indian cooking. The bisi bele spice mix is a rather unique and wonderfully aromatic blend of coriander, fenugreek, dried chiles and cinnamon that is a snap to make up. A fragrant and warming dish with a bit of heat and a delightful sweet and sour flavor, bisi bele bhath is all you need for a satisfying and nourishing meal. Throw in some crunchy vegetables and roasted cashews for a nutty taste, bisi bele bhath is a south Indian comfort food and gentle for tender tummies.
There are a few steps to this recipe but it's totally worth the effort as you get a complete meal for your effort. The bisi bele masala or spice blend is available commercially at Indian grocers, but grinding your own blend at home always give you the freshest spice blend experience. I've used carots and green beans for the vegetables in this version, but feel free to experiment with other vegetables such as okra.
Bisi bele masala (spice blend):