Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Sambar Recipe

Somebody has successfully reverse-engineered the recipe for the world-reknowed sambar served at the Annapoorna Hotel in Coimbatore. Here’s the story, link to videos and recipe summary follows.

I get at least a couple of mails a month asking for Annapoorna sambar recipe as I am from Coimbatore. Everyone in Coimbatore loves the food from this iconic Annapoorna hotel. I am no different. Their Sambar is one of the best. I had tried different recipes but could not nail it. Then this happened. I was talking about my sambar quest to Prema akka (Vinodhs aunt) and she told she knows someone who can give us the recipe. She told me that one Mr. Palinisamy had worked as a cook in their house in the 80’s before moving to Annapoorna as a chef. She told me that she will definitely get hold of him for me. And she did. I met him at a function recently where he was in charge of the kitchen. Mr. Palanisamy is a dhoti clad chef with prominent brown eyes and a big mustache. His eyes are very unique. You will never forget him once you have met him. As soon as I met him, we started talking. He told that he started cooking at the age of 12. He worked at the hotel for 27 years. He now runs his own food and catering service at Coimbatore. His food rocks. If you are in Coimbatore and have a party at home, try Mr. Palanisamy’s food. You can contact Mr. Palanisamy, Sai Baba catering. His phone number 96984 88764. Another number 9344680106 . His food is as good as home cooked food. If you are having a party in Coimbatore, this is the number you need to be calling.

Pretty cool. Go here for the instructional videos, and here’s the summary.


Recipe for Coimbatore Hotel Annapoorna Sambar. Recipe as told by a cook who worked in the hotel for 27 years.
Author: Kannamma – Suguna Vinodh
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamilnadu
Serves: 4
Measurments Used – 1 Cup = 250 ml
For Dal
  • ½ cup Toor Dal
  • 2 Cups Water
For Veggies
  • 2 Drumsticks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 shallots (small onions), diced
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water
For Sambar Masala
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 black pepper corn
  • 5 fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 dry red chillies (gundu variety)
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoon coconut
  • 1½ teaspoon jaggery
  • gooseberry size tamarind
Other ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 stalks coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
For Tempering
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
For Dal

Wash and soak ½ a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.

For Veggies
In another cooker add in the drumsticks, diced onion, diced shallots (small onion) and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.

For Sambar Masala

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal. Fry for a minute. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.

For the Sambar

  1. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame.
  2. Once its boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt.
  3. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.

For Tempering

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot.
  2. Add in the curry leaves and switch off the flame.
  3. Add in ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar.
  4. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the kadai.
  5. Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.

Paper Dosa

This recipe will help you get some thin and crisp paper dosa. It’s quite amazing. The only variation on it I added was to follow the directions that came with my Futura tava about water. They recommend draining the rice/dal mix before grinding and then adding about 2 1/2 cups of water as the grind proceeds. After fermentation, I added another scant 3/4 cup.

Futura also says to raise the heat from medium to medium-high while the first dosa is cooking, but you should do this to every dosa. Be advised that the tava needs to be hot without being too hot. If the tava is too hot, the batter will tear as you try to spread it, and if it is too cold the dosa won’t get crisp.

Hotel and street cooks sprinkle the tava with water and turn the heat down between dosas, and also sprinkle and spread the dosa with oil/ghee after the batter has been spread before turning the heat way up. On an electric cooker, the reaction time is much slower than it is on a gas cooker, so it’s often necessary to flip the dosa to speed up the cooking time.

If you want a restaurant-size paper dosa, get a $200 gas-fired Blackstone griddle from Walmart or Amazon. This thing has a 28 inch front-to-back cooking area and will enable you to wow your friends.

Mane Adige: Paper Plain Dosa, modified.


  • 1 cup Urad Dal
  • 3- 4 cups rice (a combination of three cups idli rice and one cup parboiled matta rice is good)
  • 1/4 cup Chana Dal (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp Methi Seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp Poha, thick
  • 1 tsp Ghee/Butter/Oil for each dosa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (optional)


  1. Follow idli recipe for instructions on batter.
  2. Place a non stick griddle on medium heat. Test heat with a quarter cup of water, which should bounce before you wipe it off. Once hot, pour a ladle full of batter at the center. With the back of the ladle, spread the batter thinly, starting from the center and working outwards, in a fast circular motion. About 12 -15 revolutions should do it, but the batter must be spread thin to be crisp.Note: Spread the batter as soon as you pour it on the griddle – the batter will start getting cooked otherwise and stick to the ladle, if you wait too long. If it tears, go in the reverse direction to fix the tear.
  3. Pour few drops of ghee/oil all over the dosa and also at the edges, spreading with a spatula. Let cook on medium high heat until the thin parts turns dark brown.
  4. If making masala dosa, put a glob of potato curry in the center and fold the dosa over it from two sides.
  5. Remove from griddle and serve immediately with coconut chutney, sambar, kurma, saagu or any other side dish of your choice.


Futura 33 cm non-stick tava; may substitute any large frypan or griddle, but the bigger the tava/griddle, the bigger the dosa. See Blackstone note for over-achieving.

UltraGrind+ idli grinder; may substitute high-power grinder/blender of Indian origin, an American blender won’t really cut it. The batter needs to be smooth.

Blackstone 1605 28 Inch Outdoor Propane Gas Griddle or similar (for two foot dosa.)

Prep Time:

About 15-20 mins for grinding and 8 hours for fermentation. Add 2-3 mins for cooking each dosa.

Yield: about 10-12 dosas

Ambode (Indian Chana Falafel)

Chana dal is a form of chickpea that can be used as a substitute for the European chickpea know as garbanzo bean in just about any recipe. Chana has a lower glycemic index than garbanzo, has a more pleasant flavor, and is faster to cook. This recipe is for a Karnataka dish that looks for all the world like a spiced-up falafel.

2 cups chana dal
4 small green chilis
2 dried red chilis
(Optional) 1 cup grated coconut (Fresh or frozen is best. If you use dessicated, hydrate it in a mixture of coconut milk and coconut water first.)
3 tablespoons chopped green cilantro leaf (some people like dill weed instead of or in addition to cilantro.)
1 bunch curry leaves
1 inch ginger piece, grated
1 -2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 tablespoons flour
1 – 2 cups canola/peanut oil for frying
  1. Soak the chana dal overnight. Drain.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 360 F.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except for salt, shallots and flour, and blend in a food processor. The Indian style is to grind lightly, so that many of the chana beans remain intact.
  4. Mix in salt, shallots and flour.
  5. Form ping pong ball sized balls of the mixture, flattening them slightly if you’re frying in shallow oil so they can be flipped while frying. The Indian style to flatten them all the way to a sausage patty shape.
  6. Fry as many as you can at a time without crowding the fryer.
  7. When brown on the bottom (3 minutes,) flip them so they can brown on both sides. Five minutes total frying time should bring you to golden brown.
  8. After cooking, place on a pair of paper towels to soak up the oil. There won’t be much if you oil was hot enough.
  9. Serve them warm in warm pita bread stuffed with lettuce, tomato, tahini, and Mexican salsa. Indians like to eat ambodes with chutney or ketchup. I can’t comment on that.
Ambodes will keep in the fridge for a week or more.

Nimbekayyi Uppinakayyi (Lime pickles – hot) Courtesy: K.Raghunandana

This is one of the most common items, often bought from stores. It is also easy to make at
home, though a bit slow. For those who need the *homely* taste and also those who have
kids etc here is the recipe which *does not* use oil and can give the Khaara
(hot/eravu/teekha) to your taste.
Cut 25 fresh limes (must be semi-ripe at best, but preferably on the green side)and put them
in a large mouthed jar/vessel which has a cover. It is necessary to wash and dry lime and
also this jar/vessel thoroughly, before starting. While putting the cut pieces, sprinkle salt as
you put the pieces layer by layer. Also, after putting salt on each layer, cut a lemon,
squeeze its juice uniformly. For about 25 limes the juice of 5 limes must be sufficient. After
a day, turn itaround with a clean spoon (it is better this turn-around is done daily).
The next day, cut pieces of Haagalakaayi (Karela, pavakkai), to almost 1 cm squares and
put them along. You can also cut and put Maavinakai shunti (mango flavoured ginger),
green chilies cut to 1cm length, or chopped green-beans if you wish. Remember to trun it
around daily, add a small pinch of turmeric (arishina/haldi). The turmeric added must be
really minimum, but is necessary as a preservative. Remember to sprinkle a little salt after
putting vegetables. It must be mentioned that the whole of this paragraph is an option, many
do not like adding anything to the lime pickles, which in its own right, has fine taste.
After 15 days, take a handful of Menthya (methi seeds) dry fry them along with a small
teaspoon-ful of mustard and hing. After it is cooled, grind them well in a dry grinder and
add red chili powder to taste. Then mix it and add these to the well turned, salted limes
(with/without vegetables etc). Turn it around.
After another week of turning around, the pickle will be ready for use. Now take it out and
put it into bottles of convenient size. Any additional salt, hing, chili powder etc., can be
added before bottling them. After bottling, ensure that it settles, leaving the red pasty layer
on top (i.e the cut pieces should stay submerged). The juice squeezed in initially, decides
the amount of pasty layer. For those who like the uppinakaayi rasa (this pasty-tasty part) a
liberal amount of squeezed juice is advised, but it will also need a proportionally
additional amount of salt to taste. While using, ensure that you use a dry spoon, remember
to keep the mouth of the bottle clean and closed after use. It is not necessary to refrigerate
the pickles but these days most people do, more as a precautionary step.
It is important to wash and clean and dry everything thoroughly. Any trace of water reduces
the shelf life, so it better to take extra care in doing the whole process in a clean,
systematic way. Once done, the pickles easily last well over an year. For children and
those who need less of chili, the chili proportion can be reduced. A favourite with curd
rice, the lime pickle goes equally well with dose’ (dosa), idli, bread toast or for that matter
anything that needs a spicy-tasty side-dish.
P.S: For a good reddish colour the powder from Byadagi menashinakayi (red chili from
Byaadagi, North Karnataka), is used. This may not always be available. It is good to
remember that Byadagi chili gives good colour but has less khara (teekha/eravu). Any chili
powder basically does the job, colour is just a matter of aesthetics and has very little to do
with the taste of the pickle.

Kodubale Courtesy: K.Raghunandana

This is one of the widely known snacks of Karnataka, perhaps also popular in other parts
of South India. It is fairly easy to prepare, but needs some initial patience and effort. A trial
on a week-end is suggested. KODU means Horn (like that of a cow) and BALE means
Bangle, the best one is made by grand-mother.
Rice flour (slightly coarse, gives more crispy touch)
red chili powder
Jeera (cumin seeds)
Hing (asafetida)
grated coconut
dried & crushed curry leaves
white sesame seeds
salt to taste
Oil to fry
Proportion is for 500 gms of rice flour, put in a handful of each of the other ingredients
(except chili powder, ooh, just a table spoon of that would do).

Mix the rice flour, red chili powder, salt, butter (one quarter piece of the commercially
available pack), and all the above ingredients in the dry form. Knead with hand to ensure
that butter gets uniformly mixed in the dry flour. At this stage some people prefer to put 1
or 2 red chilies in hot oil, take out after 1 minute, cool, powdered by hand and mix with the
dry flour. This gives a traditional flavor to KODUBALE. Also, freshly grated coconut
gives a much better taste than the dry coconut powder available in stores. If using fresh
coconut, save the coconut water, to mix the dough. This enhances the taste.
Frying procedure : The proper method is not to mix water to the flour all at once, but to
sprinkle, enough to make a handful of wet dough at a time, finish that and proceed again.
So, mix water to a portion of the dough (preferably at the centre), mix it to a semi-wet
paste (not as wet as a chappathi/bread dough – remember – rice flour does not have the
stickiness of wheat and stays together more loosely, held by ingredients). Take a lemon
sized ball and start rolling on a cutting board. The consistency should be sufficient to roll,
but not too wet/soggy. If the water is less, the rolled rod breaks. If this happens, add a little
water (coconut water if you have). Remember, do not put too much pressure on the semi-
wet dough, but gently roll to form a smooth natural rod, rolling sideways to get an even
thickness of about the small finger on your hand. When the rolled rod becomes 4 inches
long, slowly turn around the ends, join them to form a circle (like a bangle). The correct
consistency is that at the points of bending, small cracks may appear, but the roll will not
break. Carefully hold it at the circumference and slide it along Wok-edge into hot oil. Use
medium flame to heat the Wok (BaNale or Kadayi). Sunflower oil is preferable to others
since it does not have any odour of its own. Back home, the popular medium is unrefined
groundnut oil (coconut oil is popular in S. Canara dist).
Put in 5 to 6 Kodubale at a time and deep fry slowly till brown. Use the back of stainless
steel spoon or a wooden rod to lift them thro’ the centre hole.To test consistency, break one
after cooling; it must be crispy with crumbs at the center. If the butter is too much, the
KODUBALE breaks into pieces after getting into the hot oil. If the water is too much, the
KODUBALE becomes smooth and soft. Lack of butter makes it pretty hard, which, many
people do like. Adjust your proportion, Khara (chili powder) etc by tasting one, then
proceed with the further batches. It can be kept in bottles for 15 days to a month and eaten
at tea time (all the time – for kids :-), as experienced people will tell you). The right thing
to have on a rainy day; if it is a little on the hotter side (taste-wise) it will go very well
with beer 🙂
If you have a tough time/run out on your patience, beat the lemon sized balls into flat round
pieces like mini pappadums and fry. If you have decided to do this, add roasted groundnut
seeds and Purikadale (bhoonja chana) to bring a distinct taste. This is also called Nippattu
in Kannada (I know the Telugu people have a name for this, but can’t remember).
is a song of the good-old times. May not be as cheap now, but still is sold in all the
bakeries – isn’t it 🙂

Koduballe II Courtesy: Pushpa Sudhakaran

Ravi, I use rice four. The secret however is to use 1/4th of the rice four (one cup of rice
flour and 1/4 the cup of) kadalepoppu roasted and ground in dry grinder. You should also
use 1-4 teaspoons of butter or oil, a pinch of baking soda, and salt. Also, red chilies
roasted in a drop of oil and powdered coarsely. Mix every thing with water and roll and
fry. I bet you know what to do after this! EAT

BaaLekaayi Bajji (unripe banana bajji) Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a very tasty, crunchy yet soft, saltish snack widely made popular by Udipi
restaurants. Unripe banana (BaaLe’ Kaayi) is widely available the world over, and this
simple, quick, dish can be prepared in minutes.
4-5 BaaLe’ Kaayi (unripe, green bananas – firm and green)
kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour)
rice flour
hasi kharada pudi (red chili powder)
1/4 litre of cooking oil (groundnut oil or sunflower oil depends on individual preference)
a small marble sized tamarind
salt to taste.

Take a bowl of water and soak the tamrind. Lightly squeeze the
tamarind to make a weak solution of tamarind water. Take the green bananas, lightly peel
the skin (optional, since many prefer to retain the skin which is very high in fibre content),
cut the end tips. Make thin slices (about the thickness of a coin) lengthwise. Put the
rectangular cut pieces in the tamarind solution (this solution prevents pieces from turning
Take 150 gms of kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour) and 50 gms of rice flour (besan
gives the colour while rice flour gives the crispness). Add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili
powder. Add a few drops of oil (to give a crunchy outer crust), add salt to taste and mix it
with hand, adding water slowly. Stop adding water when it becomes a thick paste that
drops as you take hand out of the bowl, but does not run-off the hand. Some people prefer
to add paprika powder to get some “extra-hot” colour but this is purely optional.
Take oil in a BaNale’ (kadaayi, wok), heat it on medium-low fire. After the oil is hot but
not fuming (can also be tested by putting a drop of the mixed flour and seeing that it comes
up to surface bubbling, within 1-2 seconds). Take the cut banana pieces from the tamarind
solution, dip it in the pasty dough to cover it fully and then slide them into the BaNale’. At
this stage the dough’s consistency can be checked. If it is too thick, the pieces dont get
covered well and if too thin, dough runs off leaving the pieces exposed. At least 4 or 5 of
them can be put in one round. Allow them to fry, turn around, till they are deep brown in
colour. Take them out, serve them with coconut chutney. The unique taste of BaaLe` kaayi
(raw plantain/banana) has a sweetish hint. It is an excellent vegetarian equivalent to the
fish fingers, both in consistency and taste. It is very popular in the rainy season.
Useful hints: The same procedure can be used to make bajji from a variety of other
vegetables. Some of the popular vegetables for bajji are – onion (cut in circular pieces),
potato (again cut circularly), DoNNa MeNasina Kaayi (green pepper), Heere’ Kaayi
(ripple gourd available in Indian/Chinese stores), large green chilies (MeNasina kaayi
bajji) which are very popular in rural areas, several American gourds. Even greens can be
used to make bajji, the most popular being sappaseege’ soppu (Dil – available in most
supermarkets), and menthyada soppu (Methi leaves). The greens must be washed, dried,
cut and directly mixed with the dough. One teaspoon of greem mixed dough can be slid into
oil to make a bajji. Bajjis make an excellent snack with afternoon/evening tea or coffee.

Majjige Huli Courtesy: K.RAGHUNANDANA

This is one of the traditional dishes of Karnataka, which is also popular in parts of Tamil
Nadu (in a slightly varied version though, and is called Mor KoLambu). It is a simple,
tasty, low fat, semi liquid, commonly mixed and eaten with rice. In its simplest form it has
no vegetables at all, but there are a select variety of vegetables, each of which add a
distinct taste to this exquisite dish. Only a single vegetable is used in this unique dish.
HuLi Majjige with a little of HuLi Mosaru (sour curds or yogurt kept out of fridge for 1 day
or so, with butter milk)
green chilies 5/6 (hasi meNasina kayi)
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeerige’)
2 spoons of Dhaniya (Kothumbari beeja) or a few cut pieces of Dhaniya leaves
(kothumbari soppu)
half a spoon of mustard (Saasuve’)
two spoons of Kadale beLe” (Chana dal/ bengal gram) soaked in water for half-an-hour
a pinch of turmeric powder (AriSinada pudi)
a pinch of hing (asafetida)
one half of a coconut (grated fresh) or one handful of the dry variety can be soaked in water
for half-an-hour and used
small piece (strawberry sized) of ginger
two seeds of whole black pepper.

Grind the ingredients in a pestle (or dry grinder). Add half a litre of Majjige (buttermilk +
sour yogurt) to it and allow it to warm up. Add salt to taste, and water to make the mixture
fairly thick but semi-liquid. Just as it starts to boil, switch off the heat, add a few curry
leaves (Kari-bevina soppu). For oggarane (phodni/tarka) first heat a spoon of oil, add
mustard seeds, after they split take off the heat, add one-half broken red chili. After it
cools, add it to the boiling hot Majjige HuLi.
Adding vegetables
Only one vegetable gets into the Majjige HuLi. This is necessary to maintain the unique
flavour combination of that vegetable and Majjge’ HuLi.
1. BENDE KAAYI (Bhindi/Okhra): Wipe each okhra with a semi-wet cloth. Allow it to
dry. Cut them into really small pieces of not over half an inch. In a separate BaNale’ (Wok
or fry pan) keep a few spoons of oil, heat it and then put the okhra (Bende’ kaayi) and
continue frying on low fire. In about 5/10 minutes they will fry fairly well changing colour,
to avoid the ends getting burnt, low fire and continuous stirring is needed. Add little
amounts of oil, if needed. After frying, transfer them into the Majjige’ Huli, and start the
heating process.
2. BADANE’ KAAYI (Baingon/egg plant): The thin, longer variety is preferable, but the
fat version can be used if cut properly. Cut them first into half (circumference-cut), then
each cylidrical piece into further half, another half will make each quarter of the
cylindrical piece (the ideal size), the length being no more than 1and1/2 to 2 inches
maximum. Keep a bowl of water and put the cut pieces into this water.This prevents
browning of the cut edges and keeps the edges clean and whitish. Then use a BaNale’ (Wok
or fry pan) to fry them with 2 spoons of oil. If eggplant is the longer variety, closing the lid
will allow easier cooking and needs less oil. But the fat variety of egg plant has more
moisture, so will become soggy and watery if lid is closed. It therefore needs an open pan
frying and more oil.
3. Soppu (Spinach): This is the simplest of all since it has be just cut into small pieces and
put into the Majjige HuLi.
4. BOODA KUMBALA KAAYI (Ash-gourd): One of the classic vegetables that blends
ideally with Majjige HuLi. The Ash gourd is usually cut into large pieces of 2 inch square.
These pieces come out naturally as one cuts the gourd, takes away the seeds and starts
cutting them into rectangular pieces after removing the thick, hard skin. The pieces are
direclty put into the Majjige HuLi and as heated the watery pieces absorb the soury/salty
juices making it a wonderful experience when you eat them. This is also the most common
vegetable used in ceremonial occassions (marriages etc.,).
5. Cucumber: Somewhat like the Ashgourd but not quite as good is the cucumber. All
water-based vegetles need to be cut into larger pieces, else they melt away as they are
boiled. Even here just remove the skin and cut the cucumber into large pieces of 2 inches,
cut cylindrically first and then just split into half once. Add the pieces directly to the
Majjige’ HuLi.
6. DoNNe MeNasina Kaayi (green pepper): One of the good vegetables that adds its
distinct flavour to the Majjige HuLi. Cut it into larger pieces and put it directly, before
starting the heating process. Alternately, the pieces can be boiled/cooked in plain water
and then added to the Majjige HuLi at the boiling point.

Maavinakaayi Anna Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a traditional dish usually prepared during the beginning of the mango season (early
spring) when sour, unripe mango (kuchcha) becomes available. They are used when the
mango is big but pulp has not yet started turning yellow.
2-3 green unripe mangoes
Handful of peanuts (kadalekaayi beeja)
7-8 cashewnuts (godambi)
2-3 teaspoonful of bengal gram (Kadale’ beLe’ or Chana daal)
4-5 green chilies
a handful of chopped kothumbari soppu (dhaniya leaves, coriander leaves)
8-10 curry leaves (karibevina soppu, karivapalai)
a pinch of arishina (haldi, Manjal, turmeric)
a pinch of hing (asafetida)
a teaspoon of Saasuve’ (mustard)
A handful of grated coconut (preferably freshly grated, but the dry variety from stores may
be used if it is the unsweetened variety).
1 lb or 1/2 Kg of plain rice (long grain, not basmati or jasmine).

Keep the rice in a rice cooker, with a little short on water, so that when cooked, the rice
will be non-sticky and separate.
Cut the mangoes, remove the seed. Grate the green mango pieces. It is essential that the
mangoes are not ripe and are sour to taste. If they are not sour, use half a piece of lime’s
juice to make up for the sour taste. After grating the mangoes, keep the pulp aside. Take the
grated coconut and a teaspoon of mustard, 3-4 green chilies, in a dry grinder, grind them
well. This should provide a fine, freshly ground mustard flavour. Add the mango pulp,
grind for a short period, take the paste out and keep it aside.
In a separate banale” (wok) or non-stick vessel, take 2-3 table spoons of oil, warm it up on
a low fire. Add the Kadale’ beLe’, groundnut seeds, fry them well, add godambi (optional),
after the whole thing starts to turn golden brown, add the chopped coriander leaves and
curry leaves. Add a pinch of turmeric (arishina) and a pinch of hing (asafetida). For hot
flavour half a piece of red chili can be added. Move all the things to the edge
(circumference) and keep the middle part clear. Add just one teaspoon of oil, add the
ground paste (coconut,green chili, mustard and mango pulp) to this centre part and slowly
turn around for a minute or two till the musky green colour of mango pulp changes to a
milder green. The key is to mellow the fresh sour taste but “not to overcook” which can
completely change the sour taste to a bitter taste. Switch off the fire mix all the things
(centre and circumference) and allow it to cool. Spread the cooked rice evenly on top of it,
allow all of it to cool. Add salt to taste, and turn around the whole thing by hand (softly) so
that the rice mixes well and evenly with the paste and the fried ingredients. Add 1 spoon of
ghee while turning around, to give a fine flavour. Allow it to sit for an hour or two before
serving. This rice can be reheated in a microwave before serving.
Useful hints: The same procedure can be followed to make nimbehannina chitranna (lemon
rice). Instead of the mango, the juice of one/two lime can be squeezed in to provide the
sour taste. He’raLe’ kaayi (jumbo lime) or cranburry or cooking apple can be used instead
of mango, to provide different flavours of sour taste, depending on the season. All of them
make equally fine rice dish.
Usually prepared on festivals, special holidays, or at times at a special request by the
pregnant women ..(Bayake) 🙂
Enjoy this fine saltish sour delicacy from Karnataka. It makes a great change from the bland
bread/cornflakes routine for many.

Bisi BeLe HuLiyanna Courtesy: K. raghunandana

i) To make powder
ii) To make Bhaath using the powder
Powder : The powder can be made and kept for use upto 8 weeks (after that the flavor goes
down). Take equal quantities of Dhaniya seeds and red chilies (one handful of each, for a
small bottle-full of powder). For one tumbler of dhaniya about 15 red chilies would do the
job. Fry them “together” with a “few drops” of oil-just enough to keep the
“Baanale”(WOK) oily. (You will find that using 2 spoons at diagonals makes it easy to
fry). Fry on low fire till you get that “nice-smell” with very little fumes, take out before
dhaniya starts changing colour (the other indicator is the red chilies become shiny with
oil). Put them on a plate to cool.
Put one handful of chana daal (kadale bele) and half of udad daal (uddina bele) and fry
slowly using 1 teaspoon of oil.Fry till both start to turn brown,remove. Then take 1 spoon
each of pepper (meNasu) lavanga (cloves) and gasagase’ (poopy seeds or khuskhus), 1/2
spoon each of jeera (cummin seeds) and menthya (methi seeds) , fry them till it smells good
(menthya should only turn deep brown but without blackening). In the end add two table
spoons of dry coconut (grated coconut normally available in all supermarkets will do well
– but not the sweetened variety). Also add a pinch or two of HING powder. Just “one-full-
piece” of daalchini chekke (pattai) must be added now. Some dried curry leaves and a
pinch of turmeric are also be added at this stage (if you have them). After adding these do
not continue frying for long, not more than a few seconds. Allow these to cool in the
Baanale (WOK), by switching off gas and keeping the Banale on another (cold) stove, for
Powdering with dry grinder: Firstly, powder the dhaniya and chilies. After finely done,
take out and then grind the cooled ingredients of daals etc. Grind the jeera and others
separately till the poppy seeds also powder well. Grind them well, then add the powdered
chili, run the dry grinder once more to mix. Take out, mix with a spoon and store in a
cleaned bottle, close it tight. Some people add turmeric only at the stage of mixing, this is
to avoid the grinder for getting the “yellow” tinge of turmeric. But turmeric is essential for
the “keeping quality (storage)” of the powder.
Making Bhaath :
Soak a large lemon sized tamarind in water.Cook equal amounts of Toor Dal and rice
alongwith a pinch of turmeric and two spoons of oil,in the pressure cooker. After it is well
cooked (15 minutes in low flame after the steam hissing starts) allow it to cool. Take it out,
add the tamarind (squeeze tamarind well and put only the thick tamarind solution), one
small lemon sized bella (gur) or two large spoons of brown sugar. Add a few spoons of
oil, cook slowly turning it around. Then add the powder, cook for a short period, turning it
around well. Add fresh curry leaves (if you have) and finally put “Oggarane”
(Tarka/Bhagaar/Phodni in Hindi or Urdu) with mustard seeds , Godambi (cashew nuts) and
a pinch of Hing added to it.
Note: Traditionally Bisi Bele HuLiyanna contains only the daal, rice, and tamarind as
given above. The HOTEL version of this bhaath contains vegetables of sorts,which is not
the traditional style,but is only the version popularised by hoteliers. It is upto individuals
to put sweetish vegetables such as peas, carrots etc,but onion is generally never used since
it takes the flavour in an entirely different direction (inion dominates).
Useful Hints: The same powder can be used to make the vegetable Bhaath, Vaangi Bhaath
etc. Here, cook the rice with a little short of water (to keep it from becoming soggy).
Spread the cooked rice to cool. In a separate pan with 2 spoons of oil heated, put in
mustard, after they split/splash (putr … putr…..putr), add a pinch of turmuric and then put a
piece or two of broken red chili (depending on how hot you want,add more) put 1 handful
of groundnuts (cashews if you prefer)fry them for a few seconds,add curry leaves. Now put
the cut vegetables or Badane Kaayi (baingon or egg plant) if it is vaangi-bhaath. Turn
around, cover the lid and cook or low fire. After the vegetables are done, put salt to taste.
Allow cooling time. Put the cooled rice, put 2-3 table of the sambar powder, little salt
(only to make-up for the rice now added). Add freshly grated coconut (fresh coconut pieces
put in dry grinder and done), Mix with hand well using 1-2 table spoon of oil and also at
this time squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Keep it away for an hour or so. Reheat (in
oven/microwave) before serving.