Monday, November 7, 2011

Absolutely love my Daal-Bhaat-Tarkaari!

Given Nepal's vast geographic and cultural diversity,  it is difficult to generalize about what constitutes Nepali cuisine.  It is however, characterized by its simplicity, lightness, and healthfulness.  A typical meal uses only the freshest local ingredients, minimal fat, and an artful combination of herbs and spices.

Nepali cuisine varies by region, from the tropical Terai region to the arctic Himalayas, but most meals consist of some form of rice or other grain accompanied by dried beans, lentils, or peas, and fresh vegetables.  A common meal in many areas is daal-bhaat-tarkaari, (lentil-rice-vegetable) combination.  Rice is usually boiled and accompanied by a lentil soup.  The daal is prepared from a variety of dried beans, lentils and peas.  There are at least a dozen varieties of daal dishes and each has different tastes and flavor.  This also provides a liquid that go along with the rice.  Vegetables are the third component of this staple meal.  A variety of fresh vegetables and many leafy greens predominates Nepali meals, which is cooked according to regions and seasons.  Many of the vegetables are cultivated, but also gathered in the wild such as young fern tips, bamboo shoots, even nettle greens.  Nepali meals are often accompanied by a side dish of spicy pickles, which are either freshly made or preserved to enhance the flavor of the entire meal.

In this chapter I have uploaded several pictures of Nepali meals of daal-bhaat-tarkaari for you to view at this time.  I will be adding more pictures when available.

From Jyoti's kitchen -- complete Nepali evening meal served in khande-thaal

Simple everyday daal-bhaat-tarkaari served at lunch time at Pratima's farm house - Plain steamed rice, cauliflower and peas tarkaari, soupy chicken, buttered spinach and a fiery tomato chutney....and a generous serving of rice....

From Jyoti's kitchen - putting together well-balanced Nepali meal - yellow daal lentils, spinach, dry cooked vegetable dish, plain yogurt, pickles, fresh cucumber and grape tomato salad and fish curry .... served with warm melted pure gheu (clarified butter - a flavor enhancer).

 Enjoying home-cooked delicious lunch of Daal-Bhaat at the Riverside Springs Resort on the banks of Trisuli river,  Kurintar, Chitwan district of Nepal (3 hours drive from Kathmandu).  The plain boiled rice is served on a round plate and a number of side dishes are served in small bowls.  They are mixed vegetables, split black urad daal (kaalo maas ko daal), goat curry and yogurt.  A small portion of pickle (achaar) and a salad dish with lime and pure clarified butter (gheu) is also included. 

Dashain ko Bhoj 2011 - Serving Vijaya Dashami Feast. Dashain is the longest and most celebrated religious festival in Nepal

Badaam Saadheko (spiced nuts for snacks) -
A typical Nepali brass plate lined with saal ko paat - a large shiny green leaves from saal trees - found in Nepali forests. The leaves are pinned together with bamboo splinters to make disposable plates, known as Tapari or Duno. The disposable plates are commonly used in religious festivals, wedding feasts and other local functions.

Assorted authentic Nepali food served in thaal with multiple compartments
 From the kitchen of my good friend, Hema...wide range of flavors and textures.  A typical traditional vegetarian home-made dinner!

Enjoying the daal-bhaat-tarkaari lunch at the Lychee Garden Resort, Pokhara, Nepal.  The lunch was served at the roof top garden (beautiful view) under the Lychee tree.  The buttered rice with unlimited refills were served with dishes that included lentil curry, daal dish, vegetables of the season, yogurt, chutney and a sweet dish.
Another favorite daal-bhaat-tarkaari!

Absolutely love this combination!

The perfect combination of simple, light and healthy Nepali meal from Rehana's kitchen.

In this Nepali daal-bhaat-tarkaari combination, a variety of breads are served in a separate dish.
An Invitation to an authentic Nepali cuisine! – Daal-Bhaat-Tarkaari-Achaar served in khande thaal or thaal-kachaura. Enjoy your meal!

1. Khande Thaal – (divided plates with compartments) – This is metal tray that is divided into compartments. It can be round or square and the most common ones are made of stainless steel. When using a khande thaal, rice is placed in the largest compartment and the vegetables, meats, lentils, pickles, and curry dishes are placed in the surrounding compartments. This allows you to taste each dish individually and to mix the tastes and textures to see what combination and sequence you prefer.

2. Thaal-Kachaura – Traditionally Nepali meals are served on a thaal-kachaura. A number of small bowls, known as kachaura, are placed on a round tray. Meat, vegetables, and daals are placed in the bowl, while rice and bread are placed directly on the tray. This way the rice does not get mixed up with other dishes and lets you sample each individual dish separately.

A warm hearty meal!

Serving Nepali meal in a plate that is lined with Saal tree leaf (saal ko paat).  It gives a beautiful background and adds an exotic touch.

From the kitchen of Meenakshi - A well balanced combination of rice, daal, three different vegetables, salad and a delicious flaky bread.

Dining at Wunjala Moskva - traditional Newah delicacies served in a metal plate (thal-kachaura) surrounded by small bowls.  Soupy lentils, gravy based vegetables and meat are served in a small bowl.  Dry cooked dishes are placed directly on the plate.

Wunjala Moskva is one of the most exotic garden restaurant in the heart of the city, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal

Simple everyday Daal-Bhaat-Tarkaari served for lunch in the farming village  - plain steamed rice, cauliflower with potato, kukhura ko ras (chicken soupy gravy), maas ko daal (split urad lentils), buttered spinach....and a generous serving of rice.........

Energy for trekking... a popular tourist t-shirt

Meetho Daal-Bhat-Tarkaari

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  1. I really loved this post. So similar to Indian cuisine, yet so different. Keep posting!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it - a kind word is never wasted.

  3. I am hoping to visit Nepal in 2013. I collect decorative plates wherever I travel. Are the brass plates available for purchase anywhere online or easily available in Nepal ?

    1. Hi Sammi: Thank you for visiting my blog. Nepali brass plates,(copper, bronze, kaans), for daily use or more decorative antique looking ones are easily available in Nepal.

    2. hello miss joyoti jee im actually looking to buy Brass items like (jharka thal and lota) from Nepal. so, will you be able to sell me because im pretty from Nepal and need can't make it hear.
      if so, please let me know about it. so please write me an email ( can be able to buy.

  4. Just yummy... I always love daal bhaat tarkari :)

  5. Please can you post some recipes? Thank you!

    1. Thank you for stopping at my page and commenting. Some recipes are posted in the blog itself. Best place to find recipes is in my cookbook, "Taste of Nepal". Since 2008, Taste of Nepal has been ultimate resource for home cooks with more than 350 authentic, easy to follow recipes. The 470 page book also has guide to ingredients, Nepali kitchen equipment, planning traditional meals, and a Nepali-English glossary.

  6. nice...have tried one in Bhaktapur guided by the driver
    Wisata Nepal