Masale Bhat | Maharashtrian Masala Bhat

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The Masale Bhat or a ‘spiced rice’ is a delicious one-pot rice and vegetable meal, which is a popular dish in Maharashtrian cuisine. The maximum number of times I’ve had this preparation, has been at Maharashtrian weddings, because of which I even have some fond memories associated with this spicy rice dish. Also known as Masala Bhat, this dish is simple and easy to make, yet loaded with flavors and textures that come from the different ingredients in it. It also makes for a comforting meal, when you wind up a tiring day!

masale bhat garnished with grated coconut, roasted cashews, chopped coriander leaves and served on a white plate with a spoon on the right side and a glass of juice kept in the background.

I still remember we would all be sitting in a row for the food to be served to us. It would usually begin with salt, pickle, chutney, salad first ( I would skip the poori bhaji) and then with varan, rice, ghee followed by masala bhat and mattha (spiced buttermilk or chaas).

We would wait till everything was served to us. Now here I would get confused what to have the masale bhat with…. Have it plain or with varan or mattha? silly I know, but after finishing the varan with rice, there would always be some varan left.

To be honest, I loved masale bhat both with varan and mattha. the varan as well as the buttermilk would tone down the heat & spice of the masala bhat and was good enough for a tween like me.

I still cannot forget when during a college social work visit to an NGO, we were served masale bhat by the women, who were part of the NGO, during a function. Now that masala bhaat was one of its kind. I wish I had asked the recipe then. The taste of that masale bhaat still lingers and I have not been able to make it like that one.

How is masala bhat made

  1. This one-pot rice recipe is more like a Pulao in texture but not in taste and aroma. The spices used in a masale bhat is a special blend called goda masala. now this masala gives a unique flavor and aroma to any dish that it is added in…. And so is the case with this masale bhaat.
    I will not ask you to substitute garam masala in this recipe. That would completely destroy the authenticity of this traditional recipe. I always make a batch of goda masala at home and I will be adding the recipe soon. For now, in the notes section of the recipe details below, I have mentioned a recipe to make a small batch of goda masala. Just add about 3 to 4 teaspoon of this goda masala to the rice. The rest you can keep in the fridge and use whenever required.
  2. While making masala bhat, I stick to veggies like cauliflower, brinjals, capsicum, carrots, ivy gourds and potatoes. However, you add your own choice of veggies. The recipe is easy to prepare. The same recipe can be used to make Maharashtrian vangi bhath (with brinjals) and Tondli bhat (with ivy gourds).
  3. For the rice, you can use any long grained rice like basmati rice or regular rice. I usually make this masala bhat recipe with Ambemohar rice (local and indigenous variety of short grained rice having an aroma of mango blossoms) or Sona masuri. you can also use Kolam rice. This recipe is also a no onion and no garlic recipe. This masale bhat recipe is a toned down version and not very spiCy.

Apart from mattha (spiced buttermilk), it can also be served with raita or yogurt . I just love it plain and usually accompany it with some roasted papads and khamang kakdi (a tempered and mild cucumber salad with fresh grated coconut).

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Masale Bhat

1. Heat oil in a pot. Add 1 bay leaf and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Crackle the mustard seeds.

mustard seeds for masala bhaat

2. Add the chopped or diced veggies and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Here I have used the following veggies:

  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 small brinjals (aubergines or baingan)
  • 1 small to medium capsicum (green bell pepper
  • 1 small potato (optional)

You can add your choice of veggies. Apart from the above veggies, sometimes I also add ivy gourd.

add veggies for making masala bhat

3. Add 3 to 4 teaspoon goda masala, ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Stir and saute for a minute.

add spices for making masala bhat

4. Add 1 cup rice which has been previously soaked for 30 mins and then drained. Saute for a minute.

add soaked rice for masala bhat

5. Pour hot water and stir well. Season with salt according to taste.

now add water - preparing masala bhat recipe

6. Cover the pot and simmer on a low heat till the rice grains are cooked well.

slow cook masala bhat

7. Meanwhile dry roast 15 to 20 cashews in a pan till they get golden. We will be adding these roasted cashews for the garnish.

dry roast cashews for making masala bhat recipe

8. Add about 1 teaspoon of ghee on top once the rice is done.

cooked masala bhat recipe

9. While serving, garnish masale bhat with freshly grated coconut, roasted cashews and chopped coriander leaves.

masala bhat

Few more rice recipes for you!

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masale bhaat recipe

Masale Bhat Recipe | Maharashtrian Masala Bhat

Masala bhat is a tasty, spicy and aromatic one-pot traditional rice recipe made with various mix vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts and coconut from the Maharashtrian cuisine.
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3 to 4


main ingredients

  • 1 cup regular rice or long grained rice
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 small brinjals (aubergines or baingan)
  • 1 small to medium capsicum (green bell pepper
  • 1 small potato (optional)
  • 1 small to medium tomato or 2 tablespoon yogurt (curd)
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf) or 7 to 8 curry leaves
  • 3 to 4 teaspoon Goda Masala (kala masala) – (recipe for a small batch given in the notes section)
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 2.5 cups water or as required
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • salt as required

for garnishing

  • 1 tablespoon grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • 15-20 cashews
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee


  • Rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes in enough water.
  • Rinse and chop all the veggies.

making masale bhat

  • Heat oil in pan. add the mustard seeds and bay leaf or curry leaves.
  • Let the mustard seeds crackle.
  • Then add the all the chopped veggies – carrots, cauliflower, capsicum, aubergines and tomatoes or yogurt.
  • Saute the veggies for 3 to 4 minutes stirring often.
  • Meanwhile heat 2.5 cups water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the red chili powder, goda masala, asafoetida to the sauteed veggies. Stir and saute for a minute.
  • Then add the rice and saute for a minute.
  • Add the hot water and stir well.
  • Season with salt. check the taste of the water. If required add more salt.
  • Cover the pan and simmer the rice on a low flame till the grains are softened and cooked well.
  • Do check once or twice when the rice is cooking, by opening the lid.
  • If the water looks less and the rice uncooked, add some more hot water and continue cooking the rice. Stir gently with a fork.
  • While the rice is cooking, roast the cashews till golden in a pan.
  • Once the rice is cooked, let the rice stand for 5 minutes in the pan.
  • Then sprinkle ghee on top of the masale bhat.

serving masala bhat

  • When serving garnish with coconut, cashews and chopped coriander leaves.
  • You can also sprinkle a few dots of ghee on the served rice instead of adding it in the pan.
  • Serve the masala bhat hot accompanied with yogurt, buttermilk, raita or a side maharashtrian vegetable dish or khamang kakdi.


  • You can use your choice of veggies.
  • The choice of rice for this dish is your regular rice or any long-grained variety like basmati. However, it tastes fantastic with short or medium-grained varieties like Ambemohar, Sona Masuri or Kolam too.
  • You can make this rice dish with onion and garlic too.
  • If you wish, you can cook the bhat in ghee, instead of oil.
  • The spice level in this Masale Bhat is moderately hot. Tone down or increase the spiciness of the dish by decreasing or increasing the quantity of red chili powder and garam masala powder as per your palate.
For the goda masala
– 1.5 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
– 1.5 tbsp white sesame seeds
– 1 or 2 dry red chilies or byadagi red chilies
– 1 small piece of stone flower/dagad phool (skip if you don’t have)
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– 2 tsp coriander seeds
– 2 to 3 cloves
– 1 inch cinnamon
– 1 small indian bay leaf/tej patta
– 1/2 tsp caraway seeds/shah jeera
– 3 to 4 black peppercorns
– a pinch of asafoetida
1. First dry roast all the spices except sesame seeds and desiccated coconut in a pan till they become aromatic.
2. Push them towards the sides of the pan. Then add the sesame seeds and coconut. Mix everything together and roast till the coconut becomes golden.
Let this mixture cool and then grind everything in a dry grinder or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
3. Store in a small jar and keep in the refrigerator.

This Masale Bhat post from the blog archives first published in May 2014 has been updated and republished on December 2022.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Awesome recipe. Being Gujju and married to a Marathi, love trying different marathi dishes. Everybody at home just loved it…
    Thank you.5 stars

    1. Thanks for the feedback and the rating too. Glad to know that everyone at your home liked the recipe. Most welcome.

  2. Fabulous recipe, love the fragrant and spicy taste. My daughter loves the masala bhat. Your recipes are amazing.5 stars

    1. thanks sudha and glad to know that your daughter loved the masala bhat. happy cooking.

  3. Hi Dassana,
    I’ve tried many of your recipes, they are simple to follow yet so delicious! Thank you so much for creating this blog.
    Best,5 stars

  4. Awesome aroma, awesome food. Thanx for the recipe!! I used Basmati rice, everyone in my loved it.5 stars

  5. Hello sir i learned how to prepare tasty masala bhaat. Its easily learn by everyone. Even i learned many more recipes from you thank you so much. Actually i want to learn how to prepare puliogare even searched in this site but i didnt find. Could you please share puliogare recipes so that i can learn and prepare.4 stars

    1. thanks for the positive review ramya. we have not yet posted the recipe of puliogare. will definitely add.