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Sweet-and-Sour Dal Bhat

Sweet-and-Sour Dal Bhat

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“In Gujarat, India, the traditional meal is dal bhat with lentils, rice, bread, and chaat,” says chef Vivek Surti of Tailor in Nashville, No. 7 on 2019’s Hot Ten list. “If you walked into my mother’s house, this is the dal bhat you’d eat. The dal is a little sweet with jaggery, a little spicy with green chiles, and a little sour with lime juice.” Together, they make for one intense interplay of aggressive flavors. To make it your own, experiment with the balance of those three elements—you might make it more sour, or very, very spicy depending on your palate and preferences.



  • 1 plum tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup toor dal (pigeon peas), rinsed, picked over
  • 5 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 3 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 6 oz. ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) grated jaggery
  • 2 tsp. red chile powder, preferably Kashmiri

Rice and Assembly

  • 9 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 dried Kashmiri, guajillo, or New Mexico chiles, seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp. brown mustard seeds

Ingredient Info

  • Jaggery, also called gur or palm sugar, can be found at Asian or Indian markets. Asafetida can be found at Indian markets. Both can be found online at

Recipe Preparation


  • Bring tomato, toor dal, salt, and 8 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, skimming foam from surface and stirring occasionally, 8–10 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring and skimming occasionally, until dal are very soft but not disintegrated, 45–60 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, process chiles and ginger in a food processor to a coarse purée, about 1 minute. Transfer to a 2-cup measuring glass or a medium bowl; stir in jaggery, lime juice, chile powder, and turmeric. Set seasoning mixture aside.

  • Once dal is done, mix in reserved seasoning mixture and simmer until flavors are melded, about 5 minutes. Blend dal with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth; it should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

  • Do Ahead: Dal can be made 3–4 hours ahead. Cover and keep warm.

Rice and Assembly

  • While the dal is cooking, place rice in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Swish around with your fingers to remove surface starches, then drain through a sieve or colander. Repeat process until water runs clear, about 4 or 5 changes of water.

  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium pot over medium. Add rice and stir to coat grains in oil. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Just before serving, heat remaining 7 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add curry leaves, chiles, mustard seeds, asafetida, and fenugreek one at a time, pausing for a second between each addition and swirling pan. Cook until spices are toasted and curry leaves sizzle and pop, about 20 seconds. Spoon spices over dal; serve with rice.

Recipe by Tailor, Nashville, TNReviews SectionThe dal turned out to be way too thick for me. I had to slowly add boiling water (half cup) to thin it out. It was definitely salty; I used 3 tbsp kosher salt instead of 5 tbsp crystal. Also, the dal was orange and not red like the photo. The photo shows cream (or something similar) in the sauce, but I saw no mention of this in the recipe. Overall the flavors are interesting, but this was a lot of work for such a salty dish.AnonymousCincinnati 12/08/19The flavors in this dish are great, although I found they kind of mellowed out more than I was expecting in the final dish. I think next time I will try draining out some of the water before blending so the spice mix isn't so diluted.Wow! So easy yet so complex. Made the trip to a local Indian food store to make sure I had all the correct ingredients. I assume that this recipe should specify DRIED toor dal - that's what I used. If you use canned, it would be too salty and complete mush after an hour of cooking! The only change I made was to remove seeds and veins from 2 of the large serrano peppers (my 8 year old loves spicy, but I wasn't sure how hot the dried powdered pepper would be). It ended up being a touch spicy for him (he just had extra rice) and just right for my husband and I. Pretty simple to make, but tastes like you're sitting in an authentic Indian restaurant. There is a lot of ginger, but it mellows a bit with cooking. I finished this then let it sit on super low heat till serving about an hour later. Using an immersion blender didn't get it quite as smooth as I expected, but with the rice, it didn't matter. Will do again for sure!ok i don't think i can edit that review but it was supposed to say runny not funnyAnonymousOakland, CA10/13/19oh man this turned out so delicious. i think I had the heat a little high - the lentils were ready quickly and so not as much water had evaporated, leaving it pretty funny, but still absolutely delicious over rice with naan. when i make this again i'll probably do 2/3 cup jaggery and a couple more fresh chiles.AnonymousOakland, CA10/13/19Delicious! I made it as written and got the intense interplay of flavors described. The large amount of salt (a) is needed because you also put in 8 cups of water- the result is a velvety broth and the whole broth needs to be seasoned; and (b) balances the chiles and jaggery. Will make again.This is intense! It actually needs all that salt to balance out the sour and sweet. I was nervous when the dish tasted like bean-ey limeade, but once I added a little more salt and served it with the spiced oil assembly it was great. My family enjoyed it very much but I think I would tone down the sugar if I made it again.Sarah KrikorianOakland,CA10/01/19I clicked the link because the mix of flavors (lime, ginger, salt, sugar) sounds very compelling, but one cup of sugar and FIVE TABLESPOONS SALT for one cup of lentils? This recipe is absolutely bonkers. I make dal and other lentil dishes fairly regularly and I find that 1 tsp fine sea salt per cup of lentils is usually just about perfect.Has anyone actually tried to make this as written?AnonymousMontreal09/20/19

Watch the video: #VLOG दल भत तरकर MUKBANG. आफल फलएक लकल फरस क मनट, आल.. ETC. NEPALI FOOD


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