Daal Bhaat Tarkari (Daal= pulse soup, Bhaat=rice, Tarkari= vegetable curry) is the staple food of Nepali, by which we are recognized. Daal Bhaat Tarkari has a special place in the heart of every Nepali.
Although Daal Bhaat Tarkari literally means pulses, rice, and curry, you should expect much more than that. That is why while explaining it to other Nepali refer it as Khana or Thali. I believe the “Thali” word is inspired by Indian restaurants as this word is usually seen on the restaurant’s menu and never used in Nepali families.
But, the word expresses this well-balanced collection of food items that only Daal Bhaat Tarkari cannot convey. One of the famous thali is the Thakali Thali with origins related to the people of Thak-Khola.
What is in Daal Bhaat Tarkari?
Rice is globally most widely consumed cereal grain as a staple food with the third-highest worldwide production. It is mainly eaten in Asia and Africa. Nepalese way of consuming rice is similar to India because of the similarity of cultures.
Nepali Daal Bhaat Tarkari is traditionally served in Brass dishes and bowls (Chares ko Thaal-Kachaura) and includes boiled white rice, pulse soup, seasonal vegetable curry, some leafy greens (Saag), meat curry, savory pickles, salad, and pappad.
The ingredients of Daal Bhaat Tarkari varies with the place as well as families with some dishes missing or adding other relishes like fermented pickles or chutneys.
Daal is prepared with different split pulses like lentil, black gram, pigeon pea, moong, etc. or a mixture of them. Tarkariis made with seasonal vegetables like various types of beans, gourds, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, etc.
Meat in Nepali is usually mutton, chicken, or fish, but may include buff in some families. Beef is absolutely not used and it is even illegal to kill a cow in Nepal because of Hindus considering cow as a sacred animal.
The ingredients of Nepali Daal Bhaat Tarkari is absolutely limitless and so there may be various versions of this to be explored and tasted even for a Nepali.
Love for Daal Bhaat Tarkari
When you ask a Nepali in his/her morning lunch (or brunch), there is almost a hundred percent chance that he/she will say Daal Bhaat Tarkari. I also had rice this morning, with lentil daal and beans curry.
Other delicacies like Dhido, Aato, and Roti (Whole wheat flour chapati) are also eaten in Nepal which take place of rice in Thali. But these are not eaten so often as Daal Bhaat Tarkari.
Other famous foods like MoMo and Noodles are also eat a lot, especially in restaurants, but they cannot replace the love of people towards Daal Bhaat Tarkari.
So why is it so popular in Nepal or we can even say why can’t people live without Daal Bhaat Tarkari.
Rice is low in fibers and easy to digest. It fills up and stays up for hours. That means the appetite is actually satisfied. For most Nepali, Roti will not meet the appetite and I have to say this is true for me as well. For a typical Nepali, eating chapati will not bring satisfaction to the guts, so even if they will eat Roti, they need to have rice at least once a day.
Other reason for people preferring to make Daal Bhaat Tarkari is due to the ease and time-saving in making. Daal Bhaat Tarkarivaries in its forms so you can have it made in no time by taking its ingredients out, but it will still satisfy you.
Roti takes time in making compared to rice so people living single never make Rotis. Aato, Dhindo and Roti are most of the time eaten by people with diabetes, which is a common health problem among Nepali.
Although Daal Bhaat Tarkari is so much loved, it often has a bad reputation for being too heavy on carbohydrates. This is true but only because of the way Nepali emphasizes the portion of rice and not including enough vegetables.
If including all aspects of food nutrition, Nepali Daal Bhaat Tarkari is a wholesome meal and will help to maintain a healthy body. Whatever the case Nepali are obsessed with Daal Bhaat Tarkari and wherever Nepali go, they are found to consume Daal Bhaat Tarkari. So the love and fame of Nepali Daal Bhaat Tarkari only seem to be growing.
Tell us your view regarding Daal, Bhaat, and Tarkari In Nepal in the comment box, and let us know if something we have missed in this article.
Awesome read. When I was growing in my village, ato and bhat were respectively taken by many as morning and evening meals. But dal and tarkari followed both of them. Now,dal bhat tarkari is dominating the morning meal as well.
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