Today I am writing a recipe for Daal Bhat-Nepali rice and lentil dish. Since dal bhat is what most Nepali housholds eat twice a day, it is very easy to make for most of us. The reason I am writing this recipe is because of Rene didi’s request. She had come to Kathmandu from Canada and I had invited her for lunch. She came to my office and had Daal Bhat with us. Dal bhat is the most common and classic Nepali recipe. It very easy to make.
Ingredients for Daal
- 500 gm mix lentils (You can find many varieties of lentils easily. I usually go with a mixture of different lentils in my daal)
- 1 liter water
- Oil or butter 100ml
- Onion 50gm
- Garlic ginger paste 50gm
- Tomato 50gm
- Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaf or (Jimbu) for garnish.
Ingredients for Rice
- 2 Cups rice (preferably Basmati)
- 4 Cups of water
- If like, you can add butter 1 tsp
Preparation for Rice
Wash rice and soak for 5 minutes. Cooking in a pot instead of rice cooker makes it taste better as well as soft and fluffy. In a stock pot, add the rice and water. Cover and bring to boil. Once the rice starts to boil, turn the heat to low and cook, covered for 5 more minutes until done. Best way to know if rice is cooked- take out a grain of cooked rice squeeze it with thumb and a finger. If you feel any hard stuff inside the rice, it is not cooked yet. But if the grain is soft and mushy, its cooked.
Preparation for Daal
Wash lentils and soak lentils for 10- 15 minute. If you are not using pressure cooker, soak the lentils over night. I am cooking in a pressure cooker here. Remove anything that floats on the surface. After that, drain extra water.Repeat the washing with fresh water until you are satisfied no husks are left.
Heat the pressure cooker. When heated, add oil or butter. Add chopped onion and fry for half a minute. Add garlic & ginger paste, and fry till they turn light brown. Now add tomato and fry for a few more minutes. Then add lentils and fry for 2 minutes.
Add 2 liters of water and salt. Now put the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the whistle dies off, open the pressure cooker and check the daal. If its too thick, add some hot water and mix thoroughly.
If you don’t have pressure cooker! You can cook in stock pot or sauce pan. If you are cooking in stock pot or sauce pan, I advise you to use only one kind of lentil instead of mixed. Red lentils are the easiest to cook. If you soak them over night, they will be cooked within 30 minutes. The steps to follow while not using a pressure cooker are:
- Chop your onion, tomato and mince the garlic and ginger.
- Heat oil on high for a minute or two in the pot.
- Add ginger, garlic and onion, and stir fry on high until the onion is a little brown on the edges, 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomato and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add lentils and fry for a few minutes
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
- Add a liter of water and cover it. Let it cook until the consistency becomes very thick.
- Add one more cup of water, stir, cover with lid and cook for 5 more minutes.
Now the daal and bhaat is ready to be served. Garnish the lentil soup with green coriander or jimbu.
Usually I serve Dal Bhat with many kind of curries, pickles, spinach and other sides. There are a few curry recipes in my blog too please have a look at my seasonal mixed vegetables fry recipe or the bottle gourd curry recipe. I also have Nepali achar (sauce recipe) like lapsi achar and tomato sauces in my momo recipe.