One of my best friends, Rosy, and I made the decision in January of this year to be outdoor girls. To give Rosy some credit, she had spent lots of time in Africa hiking etc.. I was the weakest link by a mile and a half. In order to prove our skills, we settled on training for a couple of months and booked a hike through the Himalayas.
The training never happened unless hand to mouth is considered a bicep curl but the tickets were confirmed and we had enough enthusiasm to scale Everest. We flew from Kathmandu to Pokhara on Yeti airlines (don't get me started) and began our ascent... five hours a day, steps all the way. We stopped for lunch and rest at little tea houses, vowing to eat what the Nepali people eat. Well its seems they only eat one thing: dal bhat. Yes, the sides vary (curry potatoes, greens, chutneys) and the quality varies greatly but in the end, a lentil is a lentil... and I love them. Lentils, along with multiple bags of Jolly Ranchers, gave us the energy to reach the summit.
So hearty, this dish is perfect for a cold night and, unlike the versions we had in Nepal, can be eaten without a side of Pepto. Perfect.
*Travel note: If you are in the market for a Himalayan guide, Binod is the best! If he can deal with us, he can deal with anyone.. check out his packages at hikenepal.com*
RECIPE: (2 large servings)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful cilantro, roughly chopped
- small knob fresh ginger, grated
- 1 fresh red chili, to taste
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 cup yellow lentils (presoak as intructed)
- 3 cups low sodium veggie stock
- 1 glug veg oil
- salt, to taste
-heat oil, add onion, ginger, and garlic. sweat on low until glassy.
-add spices (garam masala, cumin, and tumeric. stir. add soaked lentils. stir to combine.
-add broth and cook on low until tender.. should be around 30 min.
-while it is cooking, cook rice as instructed.
-plate and top with chopped cilantro and chilis (to taste). Serve with chutney.