Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bisibele Bath with Leftover Sambar

We have been extremely busy the past few weeks.  My brother and my sister-in-law visited us for the first time!  School has stated in full swing.  Soccer is going on.  My classes for getting my Teaching License are also going on.  On top of that, I have additional meetings and seminars to attend because I am a first-year teacher.

Sometimes, it feels like I am just letting a lot of things slip through my fingers, because I am not keeping track of them!  We forgot our son’s back-to-school night last night,  and I am not responding to e-mails and stuff because I don’t respond right away and then forget that I am supposed to.  With Navarathri also around the corner, I have to find a way of being better organized! 

Anyway, coming to today’s recipe – I make this occasionally when I have a lot of left over sambar. Sometimes I make sambar to go with idli and dosa and then have around half of it left.  Or, I may make it for a party and realize that I have made too much.  This is a great way to elevate the status of you regular, everyday sambar to an awesome Bisibele Bath.

You can make fresh rice or use left over rice.  If you make rice like I do, I like my grains to be separate and not mushy.  For bisibele bath though, it is nice to have mushy rice.  So if I am using left over rice, I add a little water to it and microwave it for five minutes to make it mushy.

Here is what you need:

(To feed 3 – 4 people)

  • 2 tsp. ghee (or oil)
  • 2 – 3 red chilies
  • 1 Tbsp. cashews
  • few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 10 – 12 pearl onions, their tops and roots cut off and peeled
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • ½ cup veggies of your choice - you can add some carrots, potatoes, beans or peas (depending on what vegetable you have already used in your sambar)
  • 2 – 3 cups leftover sambar
  • 1 ½ cups rice, cooked (you can make it a little mushy)
  • salt to taste
For the Masala Powder:
  • 3 red chilies
  • 1 Tbsp. channa dal
  •    Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 small piece of flat cinnamon
  • ¼  cup grated coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. cup fried gram dal


Here is how I made it:

  1. Dry roast all the masala powder ingredients (except coconut) till the dal turns golden brown.  Add the coconut to the pan and sauté for a few minutes till the moisture is absorbed and it looks dry.
  2. Grind this to make a coarse powder.  Set aside.
  3. Heat ghee/oil in a pot.  Add red chilies, cashews, curry leaves and hing.  Mix well.
  4. When the cashews start turning golden, add the green chilies and pearl onions (if your sambar already has pearl onions, you can skip this)
  5. Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the peppers and any other veggies that you are using.  Let this cook till the veggies are almost done.
  6. Now add the leftover sambar and bring it to a boil.
  7. Add the masala powder.  Mix well.
  8. Gently fold in the cooked rice.  Check for salt.
  9. Cover and let this simmer for 5 – 10 minutes on low heat.

Serve hot with papadums and raita


  1. Hi, I enjoyed your recipe. You doing teaching license is noteworthy. If you could share your experience it would be really helpful!

    1. Hi Jancy,

      I have a Masters degree in Engineering and did not want to do a whole other teaching degree. Colorado has an Alternate Teaching License program which allowed me to work and get my teaching license at the same time. Good luck!

  2. Had leftover from yesterday night, wanted to use it& searched for some good receipes. Tried urs one & got a big thumbs up from everyone. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sanchita! Glad your family liked it!

  3. Thank you for posting this recipe...very helpful..

  4. Thank you for posting this recipe...very helpful..


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