i went to the store to collect the ingredients for the dish on new year's day. there are a surprising number, really, most of which are spices. i decided to go "all authentic" but found that was a bit optimistic. i tried my best to find asafetida and jimbu, but with no luck. when i did the research and found that asafetida's other name is "devil's dung" because it smells so awful, i lowered the intensity of my search. it is said to taste like garlic and onions, so i decided to use garlic and onions instead.
here is a list of ingredients for the dal-bhat-tarkari "diet":
ghee and/'or oil
veggies- seems like they use whatever's on hand, but the recipes i could find had things like potatoes, cauliflower, peas, tomatoes, and carrots
onions and garlic- lots of each (see above note on "asafetida") :)
spices- curry powder, turmeric, cumin (powder and/or seed), salt
|today's tarkari ingredients- onion, garlic, carrots, green pepper, and sweet potato|
one thing that all the nepali dal-bhat-tarkari recipes have in common is that the list of ingredients in no way matches the instructions given on how to prepare. you'll see potatoes and carrots listed, but no mention of them in the actual recipe, or you'll see "add tomatoes" in the instructions but no tomatoes in the ingredient list. i will attempt to give a basic recipe below that matches ingredients with the recipe. maybe that's very american of me? oh well- old habits are hard to break. here goes...
in one pot, put rice and twice as much water (ie: one cup rice, two cups water...or two cups rice, four cups water). bring to boil. turn to low and cover, simmering for 15 minutes. "fluff". take off head and cover again for another 5 minutes. DONE!
in another pot,rinse your lentils and drain. then bring lentils and water to a boil. i use the double rule again, but it depends on how brothy you want them. as they come to a boil, saute chopped onions and garlic in a teaspoon or two of ghee and/or oil until translucent. add them to the lentils, along with a teaspoon each of curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and fresh minced ginger. turn to low and cook for 30ish minutes. at that point, see if lentils are soft enough. if needed, add more water and more spices and salt to taste. continue cooking for up to 45 minutes depending on desired consistency.
while lentils are cooking, melt ghee/oil in pan and add cut vegetables and spices (again use curry, cumin, turmeric, salt, etc...). fry in pan for a few minutes until beginning to soften and brown. add water and simmer, covered, until veggies soften. add less water for a thicker and drier dish- more for more of a stew.
put blob of rice on plate. add lentils and veggies. mix together and enjoy! i haven't tried eating with my fingers, yet, like they do in nepal. that seems more like a "day 3" activity.
the cravings have already begun. it is going to be a long 2 weeks.