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Dal bhat

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Dal bhat is a traditional South Asian and staple dish which is essentially rice (bhat) and lentil soup (dal). This is a common dish in South Asian countries, especially Nepal.

Left: Dal bhat.

Generally eaten twice a day with another (usually spicy but sometime bitter or sour) dish called tarkari which can be either vegetarian (vegetable tarkari) or non-vegetarian, usually depending on whether the day is a celebration of some kind.

The recipes vary by locality, ethnic group, family, as well as the season. Dal generally contains lentils (different types are used according to taste), tomatoes, onion, chili and ginger along with herbs and spices such as coriander, garam masala and turmeric.

Recipe Ingredients



  • 10 tbsp mixed lentils
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • chilli, coriander, garlic, ginger garam masala to taste
Bhat (this is is simply boiled or steamed rice)
  • Rice washed and stood in cold water
  • Boil the lentils with 5 cups of hot water. Once they are soft, mash them and add the spices. In a separate pan fry the onion, garlic, and tomato and once done add to lentils.
  • Add a handful of coriander to the soup.
  • Cook rice from cold water. Pour dhal over the top of rice and serve.


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