The daal-bhaat factor

I haven’t had rice for two days.

Only two days without rice, and it seems I am missing an integral part of my daily diet.

“Oh, you’re such an Asian,” said a friend when I publicly admitted that I haven’t had rice for two days, and I need it badly tonight.

Well, that’s how Asian I am, or to be more precise that’s how Nepali I am–a complete sucker for rice, and more than just rice, daal-bhaat-tarkari.

For me, and presumably all of my fellow Nepalis, it might be the same: daal-bhaat, wherever you are.

It’s amazing, and every time I have daal-bhaat (sorry, it’s rice and lentils and vegetables–but doesn;t sound as cool as daal-bhaat-tarkari), I question myself: How in the world can I (we) eat the same food twice a day, probably 365 days a year. That’s like 730 meals of daal-bhaat in a year. And still we all eat it every single day.

I eat it too every day (sometimes I skip though), and have never grown tired of it or never will.

So what is it apart from the daily diet that we literally die if we don’t get daal-bhaat?

I’d like to think that it’s part of my culture, my upbringing and something that I’ve grown with–yes, eating daal-bhaat twice a day (and yet with all those carb intakes, I am still skinny!)

For me, daal-bhaat is just not food. It’s something I relate with Nepal and being a Nepali. My “white” friends love daal-bhaat too, but they tend to get bored with it at some point.

“I don’t get you guys,” joked a friend once. But we can’t help it I suppose.

I’m so glad that even after spending years and years abroad, my love for daal-bhaat is untainted. I feel happy that in some I’m still so attached to my Nepaliness.

And oh, when I’m mentioning my love for daal-bhaat, I can’t forget the best way to eat daal-bhaat: use your hands.

Take this Nepali’s words.


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