What is Daal Bhat?

by Suraj KC | Aug 24, 2018
What is Daal Bhat?

Dal bhat is a traditional meal from the Indian subcontinent, popular in many areas of Nepal, Bangladesh and India. It consists of steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup called dal. It is a staple food in these countries. Dal may be cooked with onion, garlic, ginger, chili, tomatoes, or tamarind, in addition to lentils or beans. It always contains herbs and spices such as coriander, garam masala, cumin, and turmeric. Recipes vary by season, locality, ethnic group and family. Dal bhat is often served with vegetable tarkari or torkari– a mix of available seasonal vegetables. It is also called Dal Bhat Tarkari in Nepali. There may also be dahi (yogurt) or curry made of chicken, goat meat or fish. A small portion of pickle (called achar) is sometimes included.

In Nepal Daal is often thin, more of a soupy consistency than a curry. Bhat refers to a type of starch, which normally means rice, but can mean another form of starch if no rice happens to be available.Together the combination of dal and bhat forms the most basic and widely eaten staple meal in Nepal. Locals will often eat two or even three meals of dal bhat per day. DalBhat is a traditional meal, which you can also find in countries such as India and Bangladesh. This is a staple meal that Nepali people eat at least once a day, if not three. The expression you might hear or see on tee-shirts is Dal BhatPower 24 Hour. And does it give you power, or just leaves you feeling like you might explode. With these Nepalis running up and down mountains in sandals, they sure do need power!

Dal Bhat is traditionally served with a curried seasonal vegetable (Tarkariin Nepali- DalBhat Tarkari), sauteed spinach (Saag), and if you so choose, a curried meat. Meat offered is usually chicken, buffalo, goat (mutton), or fish, and the gravy is absolutely delicious. Along with this, comes Achar, or spicy pickle, and a spicy tomato-based sauce. Often curd/yogurt is served with the meal as well. Those with some Ayurveda knowledge, try some ghee over your meal for a buttery deliciousness… If you want to be a true Nepali, you might also want to try with raw chilies! So mix it all together with the mountain of rice and enjoy!

It is considered to be the national dish of Nepal. One can see how this comforting combination of flavors and heat, would be perfect on a cold day.The rice or bhat is either boiled or steamed. It is often served in the middle of the dish and surrounded by the dal/lentils and perhaps some other curries, achar’s or chutney’s.Nepalese eat this dish at least once a day. It is considered to be a well balanced meal. Lentils come in different colors and have good health benefits. This one was made with red lentils. This is easy to make and the dal has all the flavors of Nepalese cuisine. In every restaurants and hotels we can get Daal Bhat. The plain plate of Daal Bhat costs only 2.5$ and around that.

Enjoy this meal when You visit Nepal.


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