National Dish of Nepal Dal Bhat
|saffron powder||½ tsp.|
|Ghee / oil||2 tbsp.|
|onion (peeled and diced)||1|
|cloves garlic (minced)||2|
|(2 inch) piece of ginger (grated)||1|
|coriander seeds (crushed)||1 tsp.|
|red chili powder||½ tsp.|
|chopped cilantro leaves / sliced green onion||2 tbsp.|
|cups cooked white rice (for serving)||2|
Dal Bhat is the national dish of Nepal. It is a vegetarian lentil curry that is eaten with boiled or steamed rice. In Nepal, Dal Bhat is eaten once every day. Silverware is not used; the dish is eaten with the hands instead.
Directions for Preparing Dal Bhat
- Rinse the dried lentils, then transfer them to a bowl and pour in enough water to cover the lentils.
- Soak the lentils overnight, then drain and set aside until ready to cook.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large skillet.
- Add the diced onions to the skillet and sauté in the oil until translucent and tender.
- Reduce the heat and add the red chili powder together with the garlic, ginger, crushed coriander seeds, and saffron powder.
- Cook for three (0:03) minutes, stirring the onion and spices frequently.
- Add the lentils to the skillet and stir well.
- Pour in the three cups of water, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
- Add the salt.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about fifteen (0:15) minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Sprinkle in the chopped cilantro leaves or sliced green onion and turn off the heat.
- Separate the cooked white rice into four equal portions and place them on serving plates.
- Use a ladle to put the Dal Bhat onto the plates of rice.
- Serve with fruit chutney
Meals are traditionally eaten seated or squatting on the floor although urban restaurants have tables and chairs. A large mound of bhat (boiled rice or other grains such as cornmeal or barley) or a pile of roti (rounds of thin unleavened bread) is served on a Jharke thal—a rimmed brass or stainless steel plate about 12″/30 cm. diameter. The rice is surrounded by smaller mounds of prepared vegetables, fresh chutney or preserved pickles, and sometimes curd/yogurt, fish, or meat.