Lentil soup, potatoes and vegetables. That’s pretty much all there is in a typical Nepalese meal. Many tourists from Singapore are amazed at how the Nepalese people are able to have this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Below is a picture I took while having dal baat in Nepal.
There is a lot of variation and the kind of vegetables you can have in dal baat depends on availability. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for the more well-off Nepalese to add meat to their dal baat. Below are pictures of dal baat dishes made in my kitchen. The Nepalese people are thrifty and simple. Their food, likewise, are rather economical in terms of cost and effort.
For the dal, I would fry some ginger and garlic slices with tumeric powder in oil for a couple of minutes. Then, I would add this fried mixture to pre-soaked lentils (an inch of water above the lentils) with tomato slices and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 mins.
For the cauliflower and carrots, just fry some garlic in oil. Once the garlic begins to brown, add tumeric powder and put in the vegetables. Toss the vegetables around, add some water, salt and it’s done. For the potatoes, I would dice them, boil in salt water for 5-10 minutes till they are half-cooked. Drain the water and set aside. After that, I heat up some oil, throw in some mustard seeds. Once they start popping, I toss the potatoes and some peas in the fragrant oil.
It’s that simple, but don’t underestimate it. This is the food of the Sherpas.