First of all, hello to foodie friends over there and stay back with your favorite drink because today all we gonna talk about is food and only food.
After scrolling our page, you must be thinking that all we talk about is trekking/traveling in Nepal right? And also, after deciding on a travel destination the most concerning thing is about food. What kind of food is available whether that food will suit my body or will I be able to adopt new recipes?
So, instead of recommending you places to trek/travel, what to pack and what not to pack, dos and don’ts we are here with a food blog.
You might consider healthy food over oily & junk food and also you might tend or try to control your diets but none in this world isn’t a foodie. Most of you might not love to cook but to eat? And I guess none can say no to food.
So, before talking about foods available in Nepal let’s talk about the influence and inspiration of Nepalese food.
Nepal is not just famous for only trekking and its historical presence. It is known all over the world for having varieties of cooking styles and being the land of diverse cuisine.
Also, some people say that Indian and Nepalese food is the same. While talking about similarities with India, both countries share open borders & you can see similarities in living style, cultural diversities, ethnicity, foods, and so on. In both countries, there is never-ending exploration when it comes to cultural diversity.
If you start exploring diversity between Nepal and India, then you might explore a new tradition that none ever knew.
Not only with Indian cuisine, Nepalese food is also highly inspired by Tibetan cuisine. You can find lots of Tibetan street food around the Buddhist monastery. These kind of food is more famous among the youngster in Nepal. They crave for Tibetan food every day.
So, being inspired and influenced by the food of neighboring countries let’s discuss how Nepalese food still stands out? There are uncountable foods available in Nepal. And the must-try food for you visitors goes like this:
1) Makai and Bhatamas (Corn & Black Soybean)
Makai simply means popcorn and bhatamas is simply soybeans.
Why this simple dish is included in this blog? You must be curious right?
Makai Bhatamas used to always go to lunch for farmers. When crops didn’t harvest as farmers expected they had Makai bhatamas, when crops started to harvest as they expected they had Makai bhatamas.
When students had to deal with difficult math problems they had Makai bhatamas. And yeah when Nepalese came home after having a tried day they had Makai bhatamas.
As you can see, it used to play a very important part in the life of Nepalese when there were no modern foods like pizza, burgers, momos, and so on.
In the present context, it has become a treasure that has begun to rust.
So, why not try that food which became emotional support for Nepali?
2) The Dal, Bhat and Tarkari
First of all, let me state to you that without Dal, Bhat, and Tarkari no Nepali can stand just for one day. Nepalese might say no to money but for dal bhat and tarkari they are never going to say no. And if you have visited Nepal before you must have shared this crazy habit of Nepalese with your family and colleagues.
Being the national food of Nepal Dal, Bhat and tarkari is unbeatable food. Daal means lentils soup, Bhat means rice and tarkari simply means curry. Another thing you must know about our national food is in wholesome and it contains all nutrients that you need.
While trekking in Nepal you can see the quote “Dal Bhat power 24hour” frequently. Most of the trekkers also agree that having dal bhat and tarkari every day during their trekking period is the main reason which made them keep going on.
Also, the next thing you must know about national food is that the rice remaining constant the side dishes might differ. Nepal has vast ethnic groups and they all have their own style of serving the Dal, bhat and tarkari. The side dishes may vary some might offer only lentils soup and vegetables whereas some might offer you a meat product. So, do not get surprised when lots of side dishes are being served but you can ask about any dishes that you want to know about.
Well, I won’t lie I’m craving for Dal, Bhat, and Tarkari…
While trying out dhindo you will be like how will it taste? Am I having any taste problems? Don’t worry that’s the way how dhindo tastes. It’s tasteless, it doesn’t have sweet neither oily nor so on.
Dhindo used to be a part of the national food of Nepal until it got replaced by rice. Dhindo might sound like an exotic dish but it is simply mush made up of millet flour or buckwheat flour or maize flour with salt and water.
Another next interesting thing about dhindo is the way of having it. And you do not have to worry about it there will always be one person available to teach you.
You can have dhindo with a dab of homemade butter, vegetable curries, yogurt or milk, meat product, various pickle, and so on.
You can’t pronounce “GUNDRUK” properly unless you hear others pronouncing it properly but ok good try….
This is the most unique food all over the world and is used to be only available in Nepal. Now you can find gundruk in Nepalese restaurants (if any) outside Nepal.
So, what is gundruk, and how it is made? I must say you will be like really? And also will be willing to try gundruk once in your life.
Basically, gundruk is made up of fermented leafy green vegetables like radish, cauliflower, spinach, and so on. It is served as a side dish with main dishes and has a sour taste.
Even though it might look non-appealing or gross but it is very healthy.
If you’re in Nepal then why not try the food that’s originally from Nepal right?
Selroti is just like a huge circle made up of rice flour and is like no other bread in the world. It is used on the biggest festival of Nepal (Dashain and Tihar) or on any other special occasion. As it became famous now, it can be found as a street food easily.
If you love to try out the new foods, then it will be the best option for you. It’s a little crispy and sweet in the taste. To have a selroti with yogurt and veggies will be the only mistake that you’ll make with no regret unless you know how to make selroti. If you didn’t learn how to make selroti then well you might regret it. And the reason is Sel roti is that kind of snack which you will carve from time to time.
So, are you ready to make this little mistake without any regrets?
Let us know….
6) Newari Food
Besides dal, bhat and tarkari Newari food are the most famous food in Nepal. While writing about Newari food we got the vibes of the small feast.
Before jumping into the Newari food. We’re going to answer your what and who questions.
Who are Newars?
Basically, Newars are the indigenous people of Nepal. They can be found in any part of the country but are original inhabitants of Kathmandu city.
Not only for having unique food, but Newars are also famous all over the world for having unbelievable tradition as well.
And they belong to that Asians who take their food really seriously. They follow the rule “Food is a huge part of the culture.”
What is Newari food?
Nothing will be wrong when we say Newari food is divided into three parts i.e. daily meals, feast, and snacks.
In the past, Newari foods were like limited edition dresses. They were really hard to find was expensive too. But as time passed, the fan base of Newari food started to increase and now in the present context, it is available easily at any time but not anywhere.
There’s no way, I forget to write that Newars are those people who have made cuisine into the next level having an amazing magical flavors.
So, let’s get into the sub-topic….
There’s lots of Newari food but we’ll mention some you must try. If you want to try any other Newari food which didn’t make it into the list of ours then just feel free to explore your own journey of Newari food.
And the list is:
a) Samaya Baji
It is the most loved and appreciated Newari food by the people and has been passed down from many generations.
Samaya Baji is served on any occasion, festival, or family get-together. It can found in any Newari restaurant and smelled incredible.
Bara looks alike pancakes which are just perfect for snacks. It is made with lentil batter and will be perfect for non-vegetarians visitors.
Yomari is just wow. It is the festival food and made only on the occasion of Yomari Punhi to thank God for a good harvest.
It’s a rich dough, stuffed with a sweet paste made of coconut, sesame seeds, molasses, and so on. It can be made in every flavor as you wish.
Chatamari is widely known as Nepali pizza, actually, it doesn’t taste like pizza. Mostly, because of toppings and shape, it is considered as the Nepali pizza.
It is now widely eaten as a snack and has become very famous among the youth. It is one of the must-try snacks.
e) Meat product
Newari food includes lots of meat products as well. If you love spicy food, then no other food can reach your expectation other than choila.
It is usually made up of buffalo meat. You can also find variants of choila that uses duck eat or other meat product.
Choila is famous in the festive season among Newars.
f) Juju Dhau
Juju Dhau is the finest curd available and in a simple language, Juju dhau means “King of yogurt” in English.
It is a specialty of Newari people which gives a very creamy texture and has a sweet taste. For its origin taste, you can visit the east town of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur.
You will love it and always want juju dhau when you carve for something sweet in Nepal.
7) Momos or Dumplings
If we say the snack that came all the way from Tibet, dumplings as well as known as momos don’t deserve mention, then we might get into trouble. In the present day, the first food that roams around the Nepalese mind while talking about lunch is the momos.
Momos are loved equally by tourists as well and I would love to say if you once start having momos then there is no coming back. Basically, momos are small design wrap of white flour stuffed with veggies and other meat product. The different kind of sauces that comes along with momos makes the delicious snack combination.
Laphing is also the food that visited from Tibet and made Nepal its second home. Laphing is famous among the youngsters in Nepal. If they crave something spicy then they always prefer laphing. Some of the youngsters are head over heels for laphing.
A Tibetan food laphing is made up of cold noodles and mung bean flour with the blast of flavor. Laphing is just the youngster style food.
But don’t mind to try even though you aren’t young because age is just a number…
Thukpa is the food influenced by two countries i.e. Tibet and China. It can be found in trekking regions of Nepal with little spicy flavor.
Thukpa is the bowl of hot soup with the toppings of veggies or meat product or as you like. Having thukpa after your trekking is relaxing and will keep your body warm.
Why not to try thukpa and feel relaxed after trekking for hours and hours?
10) Yak Cheese
Let’s be very honest, I haven’t found one person who do not love cheese. But the cheese found in Nepal is quite different.
This Yak cheese is originated from Himalayan region of Nepal and is widely available all over the Nepal.
Made from yak milk, it is initially soft and tender. It becomes harder as days goes by but there is nothing wrong to have them.
Similarly, if you’re trekking in Himalayan region you can visit cheese factory and have them.
Beverages in Nepal
After all these foods you must be wondering about some exotic beverages found in Nepal right? Well now we’ll try to remove your all the curiosity about beverages found in Nepal.
Let’s not start with the hard beverages. Firstly, let’s talk about the soft beverages which have very unique taste and it just need very simple ingredients i.e. tea leaves (boiled for half day), yak butter and salt.
As it boosts your energy, prevents you from altitude sickness it is widely available in trekking regions of Nepal.
This is one of the most unique exotic beverage found in Nepal is prepared by fermented rice. If you have in Nepal, you must have tried chhang and have become the fan of its sweet taste right?
It doesn’t need any special occasions to be served and it cool downs your hot summer body which provide you some kind of relaxation. But having it more than three/four might make you drunk.
Till now you must have known that Nepal has lots of indigenous people. And when talking about tongba any Mongolian folks can be happy.
This tongba is the hot drink prepared by fermented millet which makes you warm from head to toe. It can be found in restaurants owned by Mongolians and in high elevation trekking region.
Raksi/Aila belongs to the traditional beverage prepared by the mixture of fermented millet, rice, and grains which is listed in ’50 most delicious drink in the world” by CNN.
It is served by Newari and Mongolian indigenous people on special occasions or festivals. It is barely found in any restaurants and it contains 60% alcohol so be careful while you try.
At last, we hope this blog came out as helpful as you expected it to be. You might not like the food we mentioned above and you might like something else. In that case, you can let us know about your choice of food in Nepal in the comment section.
In addition, do not forget to explore by yourself and we hope you will try at least five/six food out of ten food items mentioned above in the blog.
By the way, if you have been to Nepal and tried some of the food of Nepal comment down below…
Stay tuned for our next blog and HAPPY EATING.