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Gluten Free Nepal

Namaste! I hope you have all had a lovely holiday, wherever you were!

I must apologize  for my lack of posts, but the end of 2013 was a tough one – what with work, moving and planning my holiday in Nepal!

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Hiking the Annapurna mountains

I was very lucky to have had clear (and freezing cold) weather during my trek. But I was even luckier to have escaped gluten for pretty much the whole trip! I supped on Dal Baat every day – at least once, sometimes twice!

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For a grazer like me, I loved when there were more flavours to choose from!

While in the mountains, I found that every tea house did something a little different. I particularly enjoyed when the dal, lentil soup, was slightly more salty and the thali, curried vegetables, had a little spice. It was often quite common to have some fried potatoes, sauteed spinach and some type of pickle, typically radish.

For a vegetarian, I was over the moon with this hearty and delicious staple food. By midday, I would be craving Dal Baat. My guide was somewhat skeptical, as most tourists tend to try it once and then never again. But I greedily ate my Dal Baat and proved him that I could trek like the locals (except for laughing at the silly names of towns and eating chocolate like it was going out of style).

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Taken from Poon Hill at sunrise

All in all, the two week holiday was amazing and I was so grateful not to have starved  while there.  Breakfasts were a bit tricky as I ordered eggs once or twice and received them on toast. But after a quick chat with the cook, and some dramatic miming, we understood each other. If I was feeling really hungry, I would also order some fried potatoes or rice pudding too. I did take some Eco Planet Instant Oatmeal with me, just to be safe. It was nice to have it after eating eggs and potatoes for a couple days in a row.

Now it is time for the nitty gritty. While in Kathmandu I purchased my weight in lentils and beans with one goal in mind: to recreate the satisfying Dal Baat. With a little confidence, Nepali music playing in the background and a Gordon Ramsay curry recipe, I made this:

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Brown rice, with dal soup poured on top. There is some stir fried cabbage and kale, just seasoned with salt and pepper. There is a veg curry (potatoes, carrots and beans). For the pickle I cheated and used some Chi Chi’s salsa.

To be honest, I don’t know much about Indian cooking, besides the fact that it is just amazing. So the curry wasn’t my best. But I have faith it will get better.

After some internet searching, I found this website that breaks down a Nepalese Dal Baat. I will definitely try it out next time. The recipe follows below:

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