There is a lot of misconception about Nepalese food being limited to Momos and Thukpa. The cuisine of Nepal is an amalgamation of flavours, traditions, and gastronomic history. If you look deeper into a Nepalese household, you will discover dishes for every occasion.
Surrounded by India, Tibet, and China, the flavours of the Nepalese food are highly influenced by the neighbouring countries. While in urban regions like Kathmandu, Newari food is popular, the mountainous regions with sparse agriculture Tibetan Thukpa and meat are the specialties. These dishes are not only a part of their daily diet but also have a great importance in the cultural festivals of Nepal.
Top 10 Nepalese Food Items You Must Try
While there are so many places to visit in Nepal, the culinary journey is equally interesting. Here are top 10 dishes apart from momos and pulao you must try in Nepal if you call yourself a foodie.
1. Sel Roti
A crispy and sweet munching treat, Sel Roti is a marriage between a doughnut and a bagel. One of the most relished Nepalese food item, Sel Roti is made during the festivals of Tihar and Dashain religious festivals. The circular rice flour bread is deep fried which gives it a crunchy texture from the outside and soft and doughy from the inside. It is usually had during the breakfast with the dippings made with yogurt and along with vegetables.
Another popular Nepalese food item, Gundruk is regarded as the national dish of Nepal. It is an assortment of pickled green-leafy vegetables which is relished as a condiment or a side dish with the main course meal. Mustard, radish, and cauliflower are wilted for a day or two and then stored in a tight earthenware pot which allows the leaves to release acidic juices. So, it is basically a Nepali kimchi.
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One of the popular dishes of the Newar community of Nepal, Yomari is a fish-shaped winter delicacy. It is made with rice dough to fight cold weather in the mountains. Not only its peculiar shape will intrigue you, but a sweet filling is filled inside the dough which makes it hard to resist for people with sweet tooth. You can also enjoy the spicy lentil version.
One of the things that will fulfill your culinary journey in Nepal is Tongba. The millet-based alcoholic beverage is a traditional and indigenous drink of the Limbu people in eastern Nepal. Also known as ‘Tibetan Hot Beer’, the staple local beer is filled in cast-like vessels and is sipped through bamboo straws. The brew-it-yourself local beer can be stretched into several rounds of warm alcoholic beverage so you never run out of beer.
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5. Samya Bhaji
This Nepalese food is not only a gourmet delight but also one of the main attractions of Nepal. The Newari dish has been passed on from generations to generations and is served during an auspicious occasion. Samay Baji is a plate of assortments like beaten rice, barbecued buffalo meat, boiled egg, and spicy potato salad. The traditional dish of Newari community is a must-try next time you are in Nepal.
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6. Wo – Newari Pancakes
Wo is typically Newari Pancakes made with ground lentil batter, usually green and black lentils. Also known as Baara, the delicious delicacy is made during the Newari festival of ‘Siti Nakha’. The dal patties are so light and spongy and make for an excellent snack or lunch item. Minced chicken and battered egg can also be added to make a non-vegetarian version of the pancakes.
Another typical Newari dish, Choila or Chhoyela is a spicy delicacy traditionally made with water buffalo meat. However, you can find duck and meat versions too. The hot and mouth-watering dish is savored along rice flakes (Chura). Also an important part of Samay Bhai, it is a necessary part of the diet in the festivals of Nepal.
Influenced from both Tibet and China, Nepal has its own version of Thukpa containing pieces of meat and vegetables along with noodles. The wintry noodle delicacy can be found in Kathmandu and nearby mountainous regions. The aroma of meat stock will arouse your hunger and the spices will titillate your taste buds. There are a number of cafes in Kathmandu where you can savor the Nepalese food delight.
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9. Dal Bhat
Nepal runs on Dal Bhat. The delectable lentil curry served with a side of rice is a staple lunch and dinner in the country. It is only after tasting the Nepalese Dal Bhat, you will be surprised to know how something simple like this can be so tasty and soul-filling. Pickles, meats, and yogurt dips are also served along the side. There are different variations in different parts of the country all providing you with an authentic experience of different tribes and cultures.
10. Gorkhali Lamb
For all meat and mutton lovers, Gorkhali Lamb is a must-try while you are travelling in Nepal. The slow-cooked succulent pieces of meat lamb are immersed in chunky curry alongside wedges of potatoes and roughly chopped onions. the chilly mixture which is used to coat the lamb pieces before they are grilled feel like taste bombs in your mouth. The curry is best enjoyed with flatbread.
With so many things to explore and dishes to try apart from the fact that is right next door, a trip to Nepal makes for an excellent quick budget holiday.
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