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!
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!
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).
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:
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: