Make Jill Dillard's Dal Bhat Recipe from 19 Kids and Counting

Jill Dillard

Thanks to Jill Dillard, we got a lesson in Nepali cooking.

On Tuesday night’s 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggar daughter and her older sister Jana cooked up quite a storm preparing dal bhat — a traditional lentil and rice dish popular in Nepal, Bangladesh and India — for her husband, Derick Dillard.

Jill created the dish as a special treat for Derick, who lived and did missionary work in Nepal. It’s also where the now-married couple met and began their official courtship.

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But the dish was no easy feat, as dal bhat has an extensive ingredient list and requires some preparation. “There’s a lot to it,” Jill admitted in the episode, as she and Jana attempt to tackle the dinner, which is served with a fragrant and flavorful vegetable curry, curried spinach and tomato pickle.

“Our family is known for making tater-tot casserole,” Jana said. “This dish, though, is not anything like that. It has a lot more spices that go into it and it’s a lot more time consuming.”

But the recipe — which Jill shared exclusively with PEOPLE (see below) — is a success, and Derick is thrilled to dig into his nostalgic supper. (In fact, he reached in with his hands, because traditional Nepali food is eaten without utensils, he explained.)

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This isn’t the first time Jill has been seen in the kitchen on the TLC series. Just last week, the mom-to-be whipped up a no-bake cheesecake for her mother-in-law, and then shared the recipe with her fans on Instagram.

This savory dish is a slight departure for the Duggar daughters, who are known for their love of all things sweet: Jill and Derick’s 2014 wedding featured more than 600 cupcakes, while her younger sister Jessa opted for a fully stocked ice cream sundae bar for her nuptials to Ben Seewald last November.

19 Kids and Counting airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on TLC.

Jill Dillard’s Dal Bhat
Adapted to serve 4

Bhat (fluffy rice)
2 cups basmati rice
2 cups water

To make fluffy (read: not sticky) rice, first rinse and then boil rice in water for 10-20 minutes, until a rice grain is still slightly hard when squeezed with the fingers. At this point, it is almost cooked; pour the contents of the pot into a drainer, and then steam the rice above a steamer until ready to serve.

Dal (lentils)
1½ cups lentils
3-8 cups water*
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 heaping tsp. turmeric
3 tbsp. vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
2 tomatoes, small (for color)
½-1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 heaping tsp. cumin seeds
2 chili peppers (optional), whole if dried or chopped if fresh
Handful of chopped cilantro

1. In a large pot, wash lentils and let soak; drain. Add 3-8 cups water. (The amount of water used can vary by literally magnitudes; it determines the consistency of liquid. If using a steamer, however, use more water to avoid burning the dal.) Add salt, turmeric and 1-2 tbsp. ghee/oil, ginger and simmer in a covered pot (for 20-30 minutes) or pressure cooker (for 10-20 minutes) until the lentils look like porridge.

2. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the remaining oil/ghee and cook garlic, onions, ginger, cumin seeds, chili peppers until golden brown, stirring often. Add tomatoes, stir and cook until reduced to a gravy-like consistency. Add the cooked dal (lentils), salt to taste, cilantro, water if necessary, and boil.

Tarkari (vegetable curry)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil/ghee
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
Chili peppers, to taste, chopped
1 heaping tsp. cumin
1 heaping tsp. turmeric
1 heaping tsp. curry powder
1 heaping tsp. red chili powder
1 heaping tsp. garam masala
1 heaping tsp. salt
4-5 small tomatoes, chopped
Your favorite vegetables, boiled or steamed*, chopped
Handful cilantro, chopped
Lemon juice, to taste
*Common Nepali choices are potato (boiled), green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, peas and carrots, but any will do.

1. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil/ghee and cook the garlic, onion, ginger and chilies until golden brown. Add the cumin, turmeric, curry powder, and red chili powder, garam masala, 1 cup of water, and salt.

2. Add chopped tomatoes and boiled vegetables. Cook over low heat until the curry has a gravy-like consistency. Remove from heat, add cilantro and lemon juice.

Saag (curried spinach)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil/ghee
½-1 bulb of garlic, chopped
1 heaping tsp. cumin seed
4 cups packed spinach leaves, chopped
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 heaping tsp. curry powder
1 heaping tsp. white pepper

In a frying pan, heat the oil/ghee, garlic and cumin seeds until fragrant and golden brown. Add spinach, salt, curry powder and white pepper. Cook until spinach is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Tomato Pickle
2 cups roasted tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp. mustard oil, divided
3 fresh red chilis, minced
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tbsp. minced cilantro
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. fenugreek
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. green onion, finely chopped

1. In a blender, combine tomatoes, 1 tbsp. mustard oil and next 9 ingredients until it forms a smooth paste. Transfer to large bowl.

2. Then, in a frying pan heat the 1 tbsp. mustard oil. Add fenugreek, and cook until it turns dark. Add garlic slices and cook until they turn golden brown. Pour the mixture over the blended tomato paste and add chopped green onions; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Mix the dal with the rice to form a soupy mixture. Serve with spinach, vegetable curry and tomato pickle. Enjoy!

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—Morgan Gibson

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