Tryin Out some Nepalese Cuisine during a Visit to Nepal

∞Overview∞

Nepalese cuisine is an amalgamation of different lifestyles, cultures and geographies existing in the small land-locked nation of Nepal. Divided into 3 geographical regions; Terai (South), Hills and the Mountains (North), the inhabitants of these regions are made up of variety in nature, lifestyle, taste and appetite.

Traditionally linked to India and Tibet with greater cultural liaison from the past, most of the Nepalese meals are the variants of the ethnic meals from these two nations. However, the locales residing on the remote regions of Nepal have created their own cuisines over the time, utilizing available local landmasses, cultures and weather.

∞Major Nepalese Cuisines∞

# Dal Bhat

Dal Bhat (Hindi: Dal Chawal) refers to a traditional meal most consumed in Greater regions of Nepal, Bangladesh and India. Due to the ease in cooking, availability of ingredients and historic existence, Dal Bhat has been the staple diet of most Nepalese since birth.

Nepalese Dal Bhat
Set of Nepalese Dal Bhat, eaten throughout Nepal

Bhat refers to a steamed/boiled rice. Dal is a cooked lentils’ soup seasoned with herbs and assorted Masalas (Spices). It may be cooked with onion, garlic, ginger, chili, tomatoes or tamarind, and sprinkled with herbs and spices such as coriander, garam masala, cumin and turmeric.

Dal bhat is always accompanied with Curry (vegetable or non-veg) –a mix of available seasonal vegetables like Cauliflower, Brocolli, Cabbage, Potatoes, Soya beans etc. Popularly known as Dal Bhat Tarkari in Nepal, almost every restaurants and diners serve this very meal which is full in taste and quantity.

# Thakali

Thakali is an elaborate set of Dal Bhat with authentic flavor arising from the place of its origination. Popular among the Thakali tribal originating from Thak Khola region of western Nepal the meal is greatly enjoyed by non-thakalis and foreigners as well.

The items generally include, boiled/steamed rice, lentils’ soup (Dal), Gundruk ko achar (Pickle), Vegetable and non-veg curry, yogurt, dried (papad) and boiled/fried green veggies.

# Newari

Newari cuisine, also known as Newa cuisine, is a subset of Nepalese meal or an ethnic meal originated in the Newar community of Kathmandu valley. Popular among Newars and non-newars, Newari dish serves a special purpose of defining the rich and vibrant culture and lifestyle of the inhabitants of Greater Kathmandu region.

It’s a rich combination of countless numbers of different ingredients, cooked and eaten in One-go, example; Beaten rice (baji), veg and non-veg curries, chatamari (pan cake), soy beans, assorted pickles with yogurt,  beans, lentils and dried or roasted meat. During festivities and cultural gathering, people of Newar community relish the meal with a locally-brewed alcohol called ‘Aila’.

∞Ethnic-exotic Ingredients∞

# Gundruk

Gundruk
Gundruk mashed with Soy beans and spices

Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable of radish, cauliflower or radish roots popular among many Nepalese. Popularly known as the national dish of Nepal, it is popular not only in Nepal but the surrounding regions of Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Darjeeling and Ladakh.

It is mostly used in making a form of pickle called ‘Gundruk ko Achar’ or sometimes cooked as Curry ‘Gundruk ko Jhol’, which is high in minerals and eaten along with Dal Bhat or as snacks.

The production/fermentation of Gundruk is quite complex and time consuming, however, the exotic taste and rich minerals make it popular among foreigners too.

# Dhido

Dhido is another ethnic-exotic ingredient of Nepal made by continuously mixing and stirring maize flour (also other grains, like buckwheat) in a boiling water. Because of the ingredients used in preparing it and its energy contents, it is consider a healthy meal compared to Dal Bhat. The best accompanist of Dhido is Gundruk. Many locales prefer eating it with Gundruk ko Jhol.

Preparing Dhido is a time-consuming process.

___

Today, many Nepalese prefer eating MoMo, Chowmein and other Indian or Tibetan-hybrid meals on a daily basis. You, as a Traveler, can enjoy all these meals in Nepal, however, do care to choose a quality and hygienic diner while eating out. There’s been many cases of food-poisoning, stomach ache and such in the past.

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