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Dhal Bhath (Dhal and Rice)

Dhal bhath is a staple Gujarati dish that we often make at the weekend. Many other families make this almost every day to accompany whichever other shak (curry) they are having.


  • 1 cup tuver dhal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 tsp nimak (salt)
  • 1 ½ tbsp thel (sunflower oil)
  • 2 ½ litre boiling water
  • 1/3 can tinned tomato
  • 2 green chillies, pureed
  • 1 ½” ginger, pureed
  • Small handful of peanuts
  • 2 pieces of kokum
  • 1 tsp rai (black mustard seeds)
  • 1 heaped tsp jeeru (cumin)
  • 1 small piece of tuj (cinnamon)
  • 2 lavin (cloves)
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 3 leemro (curry leaves)
  • 1 heaped tsp dhana jeeru (ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 tsp hardar (turmeric)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp sugar (optional)
  • Dhana, chopped (coriander leaves), to garnish
  • 1 cup basmati rice

Method for the Dhal:

  1. Rinse the tuver dhal and put into a pressure cooker. Add 1 tsp nimak, ½ tbsp thel and 1 litre of boiling water. Cook for one whistle on a high heat and then reduce to a low heat and cook for 10 to 15 mins until the dhal is soft.
  2. Whisk the dhal until blended. Our family generally like our dhal quick thick but you can add some boiling water here to thin the dhal to your preferred consistency.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, chillies, ginger, peanuts and kokum
  4. In a pan, add 1 tbsp thel and put on a high heat. Once hot, add in the rai. When they pop, add the jeeru, tuj, lavin, and a dried chilli
  5. Add the tomato mix and leemro, stirring well
  6. Add dhana jeeru, hardar, 1 tsp nimak, garam masala and sugar (optional)
  7. Stir to combine thoroughly and then add in the dhal
  8. Cook on a low heat to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes
  9. Garnish with dhana and serve with the bhath

Method for the Bhath:

  1. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear
  2. Put into a pan with 1 ½ litres of boiling water
  3. Boil for approximately 15 minutes on a high heat
  4. To check that the rice is cooked, see if a grain of rice squashes with the back of a spoon
  5. Once cooked, strain in a colander and serve with the dhal

We often have dhal bhath with chirya buteta nu shak. For a creamy treat we mix dhal bhath with a little sugar and some greek yoghurt.