Asking how ubiquitous Dal Bhat is in Nepal is like questioning how many peaks the Himalayas have. In Nepal, when people say “dal bhat,” they are talking about more than just rice and lentils. In fact, “dal bhat” refers to the entire meal, not just the rice and lentils. It is a simple but hearty dish that’s a staple in Nepalese cuisine. So, when you hear “dal bhat,” know that it is more than just a bowl of rice and lentils. It is a wholesome meal that satisfies and nourishes.
Dal Bhat is a beloved dish among Nepalese, which raises feelings of warmth and satisfaction. earning its title as “comfort food.” It’s a staple that finds its way to the table for lunch or dinner, regardless of the hour.
With the main dish of dal bhat, there is a side friend called Tarkari, which brings lots of different flavors. Tarkari can be colorful veggie curries or tasty meat curries. If you are in the mood for something crispy, there’s fried chicken; for a fresh bite, there are cucumbers and onions. Creamy yogurt and tangy pickles add more flavor to the meal. Tarkari also includes seasonal veggies, so you always get something fresh and different each time you eat it.
Together, Dal Bhat Nepal and Tarkari create a balanced and satisfying meal. Dal Bhat is perfect for any occasion and is guaranteed to leave diners feeling content and nourished.
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Dal Bhat Recipe
While visiting Nepal, you can find a variety of Dal-bhat recipes. The recipe and the cooking style are different from one restaurant to another. Even though the recipe may change, some elements remain the same: the pleasant smell of spices, the healthy goodness of lentils and grains, and the tasty feeling.
Let’s look at a few types of Dhal-bhat recipes.
- Basic Dal Bhat
- Tarkari (Vegetable) Dhal Bhat
- Masoor Dal Bhat
- Chana Dal Bhat
- Spicy Dal Bhat
- Tadka Dal Bhat
- Mung Bean Dal Bhat
- Coconut Dal Bhat
- Paneer Dal Bhat
- Spinach Dhal Bhat
How to Make Dal Bhat
Here’s a simple recipe to make Nepali-style steamed rice:
- 1 cups Basmati rice/Jetho Budo Rice or any long-grain rice
- 2 cups water
- Rinse 120g (1 cup) of Jetho Budo Rice under cold water or tap water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and enhances the rice’s flavor.
- Put the washed rice in a pan and add 240ml (1 cup) of water. Keeping a 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice is important for perfect cooking.
- Cover the pan after you stir the rice and water mixture, and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is up, remove the pan from the heat, but make sure to keep it covered. Let it sit for 7 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, use a fork to fluff up the rice, and then it’s ready to serve.
How to make Nepali-style lentils
- 1 cup lentils (any variety such as red lentils, yellow lentils, or split peas)
- 3 cups water
- One medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- Two cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- Two medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- One green chili, finely chopped (optional; adjust according to your spice preference)
- One teaspoon of turmeric powder
- One teaspoon of cumin powder
- One teaspoon of coriander powder
- One or half teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Two tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- Rinse the lentils well under cold water or tap water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are soft and fully cooked. This typically takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on the type of lentils you’re using. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed to achieve your desired consistency.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the tempering (Tadka). In another small pan, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions to the hot oil and sauté until they turn golden brown.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, and green chili (if using) to the pan. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- After that, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they become soft and mushy, stirring occasionally.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked down, add the spices – turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Stir well and cook for another 2-5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Carefully pour the tempering mixture into the pot of cooked lentils. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Season with salt to taste and let the lentils simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Once done, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti (flatbread). Then you can enjoy your traditional dal-bhat recipe.
What is Dal Bhat Tarkari?
Dal Bhat Tarkari is a traditional Nepali dish that consists of three parts:
Dal: This refers to lentil soup or stew, typically made with various types of lentils (such as red lentils or yellow split peas), flavored with spices like turmeric, cumin, and garlic. It’s a staple dish in Nepali cuisine, rich in protein and nutrients.
Bhat: This means rice in Nepali. Rice can be of different types; Long grain, Jeera Masino, and Basmati. Bhat/rice is a staple in Nepal and is typically served alongside dal and other dishes.
Tarkari: Tarkari refers to any vegetable curry or stew. It can vary in ingredients and flavors but often includes seasonal vegetables cooked with spices and sometimes a gravy base.
Overall, Dal Bhat Tarkari is a wholesome and nutritious meal that provides a balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
Nutritional Facts of Dal Bhat
Dhal-bhat is a traditional Nepali dish with a nutritious balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Let us know why it is good for you.
Carbohydrates: Rice provides the primary source of carbohydrates in Dal-Bhat, which gives you lasting energy for daily tasks.
Proteins: Lentils provide the main source of proteins, also known as plant proteins. It will help you fix and grow muscle, which helps maintain your body’s well-being.
Fiber: Both lentils and rice are the main sources of fiber, which helps in digestion, promotes satiety, and regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Vitamins: Dhal-Bhat is a good source of various vitamins, including vitamin B-complex. Different varieties of lentils are good sources of vitamins A and B.
Minerals: Dhal-bhat contains several minerals that are required to maintain good health, like iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Additionally, Dhal-Bhat is generally low in fat, which is good for maintaining heart health when prepared without added fats or oil.
Dal Bhat For Trekkers
For people who come to visit Nepal to trek or climb in the mountains, Dal Bhat is the best meal that makes their journey come alive. This meal gives them the energy they need as it contains a lot of carbs, protein, and other nutrients. It is perfect for long days of trekking and exploring the beautiful scenery. And the fantastic thing about it is it can be adjusted to suit different tastes. Any trekker with different tastes will enjoy it. It is a trendy choice for trekkers who want something filling and nutritious during their adventures.
Dal Bhat holds significant cultural significance in Nepal. It symbolizes hospitality, community, and the unifying power of food. Whether you are enjoying a bustling teahouse of the famous Everest base camp or Annapurna Circuit or in the intimate setting of a Nepali home, Dal creates lasting memories for both locals and visitors. That’s why it is famous as the slogan of Dal bhat power 24 hours.
Popular Restaurant Inside Kathmandu for Dhal Bhat
- Bhojan Griha
- Thakali Kitchen
- Mustang Thakali Kitchen
- Krishnarpan Restaurant (Dwarika’s Hotel)
- Nepali Chulo
- Thamel House Restaurant
- Cafe Mitra
- Swayambhu Kitchen
- Jimbu Thalkali
You can find dal bhat everywhere in Nepal, from the flat lands to the high mountains. This simple yet popular dish is loved everywhere, no matter where you go. Along with the dal bhat, there are several traditional foods in Nepal, like Momo, Dhido, Gundruk, and various Newari dishes.
Nepal is a fantastic place not only for the mountains but also for cultural and religious sites. The warm hospitality of local people and traditional local food make this place a must-visit destination. Lastly, if you would like to visit here for sightseeing, tour, trekking, climbing, or expeditions, please remember or contact us. We are here to help you plan your adventure and make it a memorable experience.