Recipes and Restaurant Reviews

Nepalese Dal Bhat with Cauliflower Rice | दालभात | What is the National Dish of Nepal?

Nepalese Dal Bhat - lentil curry with cauliflower rice | Low carb | nationaldish.co.uk
The national dish of Nepal is Dal Bhat – a lentil curry with rice, this is a low carb version with cauliflower rice.
Photograph: Wayne Morgan – nationaldish.co.uk © 2017

Cooking Himalayan food is nowhere near as difficult as climbing Mount Everest but the result is equally enjoyable…ok, safer.

Dal Bhat (Lentil Rice) could be argued as a side dish here in the UK rather than a main and the meat eaters among you will probably want something else other than lentils and rice. To help you why not add in a Nepalese Lamb Pakku (in Nepal they would use mutton/goat) which you can prepare at the same time and uses some of the base spices from this dish – although on a much grander scale, seriously, it’s mental.

You’ll appreciate that rice forms part of the staple diet for much of the world, especially those areas that are heavily impoverished. Our western bodies aren’t geared up for such an energy rich diet, so for those of you wishing to manage that, I’ve replaced the rice with cauliflower rice – which quite frankly, adds to this dish. Don’t forget, the lentils carry a fair old whack of carb energy themselves, so this avoids doubling up.

But, if you must use rice, use white basmati rice – why not give this one a whirl first eh?

Print this bad boy out
दालभात | Nepalese Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice
If you cook the Lamb Pukka with this, then head over there and start that first, it's best to get that going whilst you prep this as it only takes about half the time.
Cuisine Nepalese
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 35 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Main stuff
  • 1 cup lentils you can use any kind, I went for red split lentils
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 2 sliced spring onions slice them at an angle
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes Italian is best, everyone know's that right?
  • 300 ml vegetable stock make 500 ml and then you have some more if you need to top up
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil you can use olive oil as you won't be blasting this with any real heat, but English rape oil or ghee would be better
Spices and stuff
Cuisine Nepalese
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 35 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Main stuff
  • 1 cup lentils you can use any kind, I went for red split lentils
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 2 sliced spring onions slice them at an angle
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes Italian is best, everyone know's that right?
  • 300 ml vegetable stock make 500 ml and then you have some more if you need to top up
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil you can use olive oil as you won't be blasting this with any real heat, but English rape oil or ghee would be better
Spices and stuff
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil or ghee in a pan over a medium high heat. Finely chop the coriander stalks and add them to the pan with the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add a little salt, just to stop them from browning.
    Onion and coriander for nepal dal bhat nationaldish
  2. If you are cooking rice, start it now - follow the instructions on the packet - ugh! If you are doing the cauliflower rice, the instructions are below - just have a quick look, really straight forward.
  3. Then add all the lentils and stir them round for a couple of minutes before adding the stock (you can use just water if you like but the vegetable stock will left it a little more) - let it simmer on a low to medium heat for 10-15 mins - don't let it dry out - low and slow.
    Red lentils added to base for nepalese cauliflower rice dal bhat nationaldish
  4. Whilst this is cooking down, slice your red chilli and spring onions, looks nicer at an angle, chop all your coriander leaves and cut the lime in to 4 wedges - set aside.
  5. You should now have a slightly gooey mixture that may have lost a bit of colour, that's about to change. Bang in all the spices, give it a good mix and add the whole tin of tomatoes, mix again and leave to simmer for another 10 mins, again if it needs more stock/water, add it.
    Reduction of nepal dal bhat nationaldish
  6. Grab a handful of coriander leaves and throw them in (keep a generous pinch back to garnish), stir and it's almost ready to serve. Hopefully you have been tasting throughout, now's the time to season, carefully.
  7. The rice should be ready, create a little pile in the middle of a plate or bowl, spoon the Dal over the top, garnish with a little pinch of coriander leaves, the sliced chilli's, spring onions and wedge of lime.
  8. If you also cooked the Lamb Pukka, serve on the side, that's right, the meat is the side.
    Nepali lamb pakku perfect with Dal Bhat nationaldish
  9. So not only do Nepali people have a brilliant mountain, they also have deeply spiced and comforting food.
    Nepali cauliflower rice dal bhat, paleo, caveman and vegetarian - nationaldish
  10. Thank you Nepal


    धन्यवाद

Recipe Notes

For the cauliflower rice

Remove the outer leaves and stalk so that you are left with the whole head. A medium sized cauliflower will feed about 4 people. Cut it in half and you can either use a food processor to bung it through and chop - go for a rough blade or get the course side of a cheese grater and run it up and down that. You want it slightly chunky, rather than like Cous Cous.

Put it in to a microwavable bowl - that's right, don't panic, used intelligently the microwaving can do clever things. Cover with cling film, don't add any water pierce it a couple of time and then microwave on full for 6 minutes for an 850w.

Best thing to do is microwave for 3 mins and then when you think you are 3 minutes from the end of the main dish, finish it off.

What you'll be left with is an al dente rice substitute that is actually better than rice. Your kitchen may smell a little like farts, but that's fine, it tastes nothing like it.



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