Nepali Dal Bhaat (Red Lentils and Rice)

Dal bhaat or lentils with rice is a staple in the Nepali diet. In fact dal and rice is included in every meal just as it is in neighboring India. Dal can be made with yellow or red lentils, with water or buttermilk, soured with tomato or kokum, spiced or cooked plain. As with anything that is prepared in every home there are as many variations as there are homes. This is one such variation of the Nepali dal.

Bhaat is usually made with white rice. As I no longer cook with white rice I used what I had on hand, brown basmati rice. Rice is usually made fluffy with every grain visible. In my house the only person who likes rice is my daughter and she likes it soft and a little wet. That is the way I make it.

For the Dal

You will need
Recipe adapted from here
For the dal
1 onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp. coriander cumin powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

For the bhaat
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water

To make the dal
Dice the onion. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Saute until tender and turns color slightly. Add the ginger garlic paste, coriander cumin powder, turmeric powder and paprika. Saute until well combined and fragrant. Add the lentils and roast together with the spices for a few minutes. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Season with salt and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium to low heat. When the lentils are cooked but are not mushy turn off heat.

Garnish with cilantro. Tastes best when hot.

To make the rice
Soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Drain and discard water. Keep aside for another 10 minutes. Put the rice and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook and about 20-25 minutes. Brown rice takes longer to cook. When all the water is gone and rice is tender it is done.


  1. No matter how it is made, dal is always a comfort food. Yummy

  2. These simple daals are always welcome, they are divine food. Ah the brown rice's a job cooking them, my hubby wants that everyday, unlike me.

  3. I think my Nepali dal is slightly different from yours.


Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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