Nagpuri Gola Bhat

Nagpuri Gola Bhat | A Recipe from Vidarbha

Nagpuri Gola Bhat is a recipe that was requested by a reader of the blog. It is a rice dish from Nagpur in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, and was very new to me. So I loved learning about and making Nagpuri Gola Bhat. 🙂

Besan Bhat | Gola Bhaat
Besan Bhat | Gola Bhaat

Gola Bhaat is very simple to make and does not need too many ingredients. The dish is essentially a form of Masale Bhaat with balls of spiced besan balls. It is also a one-dish meal that needs just some yogurt or Chincheche Saar on the side to complete it!

  • While I do not as yet have a Chincheche Saar recipe on the blog, we have a very similar dish in Andhra Pradesh called Pulihora Pulusu.
  • I used this recipe for Gola Bhat as the base to try this wonderful dish.
Nagpuri Gola Bhat
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Nagpuri Gola Bhat is a specialty of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. It is essentially rice cooked with spiced besan balls and is great one-dish meal!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtrian, Marathwada
Keyword: Gola Bhath, Nagpuri Gola Bhat
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
For the Gola
  • 2/3 Cup Besan
  • 1 tsp Ajwain/Ova/Carom Seeds
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Roasted Jeera/Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Handful Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • Salt to Taste
  • Water As Needed
For the Rice
  • 1.5 Cups Rice I used Basmati
  • 2.5 Cups Water
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/3 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
  • Coriander for Garnish
Preparing the Rice
  1. Wash the rice thoroughly in running water.

  2. Soak the rice in 3 cups water for 10 minutes.

  3. Drain the water and set the rice aside in a colander for 10 minutes.

Making the Golas
  1. Dry roast the besan till it starts changing colour.

  2. Add the roasted besan to a large bowl or a plate. Let it cool.

  3. To the besan, add the chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, turmeric, chopped coriander, ajwain, and lemon juice. 

  4. Mix well.

  5. Add enough water to make a firm dough.

  6. Divide the dough into 18-20 equal portions.

  7. Roll each portion into a ball.

  8. Set aside.

Making the Nagpuri Gola Bhat
  1. In a large kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.

  2. Add the drained rice and stir-fry for 1 minute.

  3. Add the chilli and turmeric powder.

  4. Mix well.

  5. Add 2.5 cups of water and the lemon juice.

  6. Over medium flame, cook the rice till it is half-done. If you press a grain of rice, it should break but still feel a bit raw.

  7. Add the golas to the semi-cooked rice.

  8. With a gentle hand, mix well so that the golas are covered with rice.

  9. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, while mixing occasionally. 

  10. When the rice and the golas are completely cooked, turn off the heat. To check if a gola is cooked, just use a spoon to break one in half and check that it has cooked through. If you need to cook the goals just a bit longer, add a little hot water to the rice and cook covered.

The Tempering
  1. In a ladle heat 1 tsp oil.

  2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

  3. Add jeera and split red chillies, and stir-fry for a few seconds.

  4. Add the hing and mix well.

  5. Pour the tempering over the Nagpuri Gola Bhaat.

  6. Mix well.

Serving the Nagpuri Gola Bhat
  1. Serve hot with Raita, Plain Yogurt or Chincheche Saar.

Recipe Notes
  • Ensure that the dough for the golas is firm, otherwise the golas will disintegrate.
  • Add the golas when the rice is half-done. This gives them enough time to cook.
  • When the Nagpuri Gola Bhaat is fully cooked, you can break or lightly crush the golas so that they mix through the rice. 


A spoonful of Nagpuri Gola Bhat
A spoonful of Nagpuri Gola Bhat

How to Make Nagpuri Gola Bhat: A Step-by-Step Recipe with Photos

  1. Soak and Drain the Rice
    1. Wash the rice well under running water and soak it in 3 cups water for about 10 minutes.
    2. Drain the rice using a colander and leave it in the colander for all the water to drain.
  2. Making the Golas
    1. Over medium flame, dry roast the besan till it starts changing colour to light brown.
    2. Remove the roasted besan into a large bowl or plate and let it cool. Do not leave the besan in the hot pan as it will continue to roast further.
    3. When the Besan has cooled to room temperature, add all the masalas to it; red chilli powder, jeera powder, dhania powder, haldi, lemon juice, ajwain, and salt.
    4. Mix well so that all the masalas are well-incorporated into the besan.
    5. Now make a small “well” in  the middle of the spiced besan and add a little water.
    6. Mix well and start forming a dough using more water as needed.
    7. Ensure you have a firm dough.
    8. Divide the dough into 18-20 equal portions.
    9. Shape each portion into a ball (gola) by rolling it between your palms. Oil your palms a bit to ensure you have smooth golas.

    10. Set aside.
  3. Making the Nagpuri Gola Bhat
    1. In a large pan kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil. Use a large kadhai so that we have space for the golas to cook when we add them.
    2. Add the soaked and drained rice, red chilli powder, and haldi.
    3. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
    4. Add 2.5 cups water and lemon juice.
    5. Over medium flame, let the rice cook for about 5 minutes or till it is half-done.
      • Do not cover the rice.
      • To check if the rice is half-cooked, place a few grains on a plate and press with your finger. The grains should break and feel soft on the outside but remain raw in the inside.
    6. When the rice is half-done, add the golas to the rice.
    7. Using a gentle hand mix well.
    8. Cover and cook over medium flame for 5-7 minutes. Check the rice every 2-3 minutes and mix with a gentle hand so that the rice and the golas cook evenly.
      • To check if the golas have cooked, use a spoon to break one in half. Check the inside to ensure the gola has cooked through.
    9. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the Tadka to the Nagpuri Gola Bhat
    1. In a ladle, heat the oil.
    2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    3. Add jeera and split red chillies.
    4. Stir-fry till the jeera starts to change colour.
    5. Turn off the heat.
    6. Add the hing and mix well.
    7. Add the tadka to the Nagpuri Gola Bhat and mix well.
  5. Serve the Nagpuri Gola Bhat hot with Raita, Dhai, or Chincheche Saar.
Nagpuri Gola Bhat | Rice cooked with spiced besan balls
Nagpuri Gola Bhat



I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.