"Eating with your hand" Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal Local Custom Tip by Saagar

Nepal Local Customs: 162 reviews and 195 photos

  Daal Bhat technique
by Saagar

Nepalis no matter what ethnic group or status they might have, tend to eat with their hand. The RIGHT hand. The left hand is considered as unclean, ritually and practically. They take this very serious indeed.
You may use a fork or spoon as a support to scoop up snacks bits and pieces, but generally the hand only is used.
It takes time to learn how to eat with your hand. Try to put your (... r i g h t ...) elbow on the table while you mush up the daal bhaat ingredients. Never keep your elbow high while eating. This causes uncontrolled laughter among your Nepali table mates, unknow for what reason (just not elegant enough?).
The daal bhaat mush-up should give the rice and other ingredients a suffciently soggy consistency - the daal is vital here - to make it possible to form a neat lump or almost like a mouthful-size ball in your hand which you now twist slightly and cup. Turning your cupped hand's fingers towards your mouth you push that lump in with your thumb. Heavy suction action is a great benefit at this stage, so you go ... shclooock! ... and chewing action can commence. Don't chew too hard though, as the rice may be dehusked in the yard and small stones and grit added. It can become quite a crunchy affair unless well sifted after initial dehusking and rinsing.
Remember that when you eat with your hand, consistency is at premium when judging daal bhat, visuals make for good seconds, taste is third priority. With your hand, however, you can easily mush up that taste combination which is most agreeable to you and to the strength and heat you'd prefer.
A good and well prepared daal bhat tarkari is a complete meal that serves your body well in it's machinations in and around Nepal.
Learn to appreciate it!

othercontact: Several books on Nepali food.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 20, 2004
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