Hello to all food lovers around the globe. As you know, attempting new foods is like attempting new adventures like travelers. Without any hesitation trying new foods in different places widen the horizons – it helps to introduce new cuisines, and new cultures and add more nutrients to our diet. Thus, we seek a new variety of dishes & tastes when traveling. This is why as a food lover to other food lovers here is a blog about “7 foods to try in Nepal” for you to try when traveling in Nepal.
First of all, Nepal is not just famous for only trekking and its historical presence. It is famous for cultural diversity which opens the door to all types of cuisines in Nepal. You can also find hundreds of dishes inspired by Indian cuisine and Tibetan cuisine in Nepal too. Thus, let’s just highlight most of the best dishes that you must try when visiting Nepal, and easy to get.
1) Dal Bhat:
The no.1 food to try in Nepal that you won’t miss while visiting Nepal is Dal Bhat which is the most eaten food in Nepal. Dal Bhat where Dal means Lentil soup & Bhat means rice is the popular food of Nepal served with various curries to make it more flavorful. Even when trekking in Nepal, Dal Bhat is served as your lunch and dinner which boost the energy 24 hours.
Especially, what makes Dal Bhat the best dish is that it can be served as a veg dish as well as a non-veg dish. Though Nepalese people have Dal Bhat on daily basis the most popular Dal Bhat set that became popular is “Thakali Khana”. The Thakali food was inspired by Thakalis from Mustang’ Thak Khola.
Served with different kinds of spicy or sour pickles, curries, salad, and ghee – the dish becomes so unique and tasty that you will never forget it. Moreover, each Thakali restaurant in Kathmandu has its own signature so you won’t have to fear bad taste.
Likewise, Dal Bhat is very simple to make and takes less time to prepare. So, are you ready to make traditional food Dal Bhat in your kitchen?
Best pickle with Dal Bhat
Gundruk: Gundruk is the National food of Nepal which is served as a side dish of the main course like Dal Bhat. It is a dried green leaf-like spinach that is then packed tightly in a container for a week to be fermented naturally.
2) Dhindo and Curry:
How Gurkha Army became so strong and fearless? The answer is Dhindo. Yes, people of Nepal use to eat dhindo in their lunch & dinner daily before the rice was easy to buy. Now, Dhindo is seen in rural areas of Nepal and in the menu of restaurants.
Dhindo is simply mush made up of millet flour or buckwheat flour or maize flour with salt and water. With no flavor in itself, it can be eaten with yogurt, milk, ghee & curries to enhance its taste. Mostly Dhindo tastes better with non-veg curries rather than veg curries.
And one more thing, Dhindo is eaten by hand instead of using a spoon. It is easier with your hands so practice how to eat with your hand. So, try this food and share your first experience.
3) Newari Khaja:
Before jumping into Newar cuisine, you should know little about Newar people. The way of life of Newar people in former times generally use to spend their time in fields farming. At a time of no fuel & electricity, the foods were cooked on firewood. Thus, they had to prepare foods that can’t be easily spoiled, can be eaten cold, and have nutritional values. This is why they use to take foods like Chiura (beaten rice), Bhatmas (fried black-soybean), aalu (fried potato), choila (marinated barbecued buff meat), etc. in fields.
Thus, being the traditional food of Newar peoples in former times, the Newari Khaja became a popular menu in many restaurants in Nepal. The mixers of spices, the mouth-watering textures, and the unique taste can’t be resisted. What’s more, you can add more Newar dishes to make your Newari Khaja set more delicious. From hundreds of dishes from Newar cuisine, there’s no ending to flavor in the Newari Khaja set.
However, even though there are many places you can order Newari Khaja set in Kathmandu, I recommend the authentic Newari restaurant like “SASA:D’ Newa Restaurant” & “Newa: Lahana” in Kritipur. And yes, you can have never-ending choices of veg & non-veg side dishes.
Here are some of the best Newari Dishes to try with the Khaja set:
Chatamari is like a Nepali pizza with different kinds of toppings & eaten especially at festivals & special occasions of Newar.
b) Aalu Tama
Aalu Tama is a traditional soup dish made of fermented bamboo shoots, black-eyed beans, and potato which is hot & sour in taste.
Bara is a thick paste of lentils cooked like a pancake where an egg can be added as a topping. It is given as part of good luck in Newar culture on a special occasion.
Aila is a Newari liquor prepared by traditional methods that contain 60% alcohol & served on many occasions & festivals.
Yomari is a steamed dumpling made of rice flour with sweet filling like coconut, sesame seeds, molasses, and so on.
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.
4) MOMO | Dumplings
Influenced by Tibetan cuisine, MOMO is one of the best foods to try in Nepal. Different fillings bring different tastes to MOMO so there are no boundaries to tastes when it comes to MOMO. What’s more the decoration that wraps those fillings makes it more appealing and the smell brings more appetite.
Nowadays, MOMO fillings are prepared with any combinations of ground meat, vegetables, cheese, panner, and many more and what makes the MOMO more delicious is the sauce. Usually, popular dipping sauce in Nepal includes tomato sauce, peanut or soybean sauce, or sesame sauce. But the different restaurant has their own signature.
Also, let’s not forget that MOMO can be served as deep-fried or pan-fried to add more flavor punch in it. My favorite way to eat MOMO is C-MOMO which is deep-fried and served in hot sauce.
|Place of origin||Tibet, Nepal & India|
|Ingredients||White-flour-&-water dough, Meat or Vegetables, or Panner as Filling.|
|Variations||Steam-Momo, C-MOMO, JHOL MOMO, Deep-Fried, Pan-fried, Open Momo|
|Food Energy||35kcl to 100kcal per piece|
5) Chow Mein: Noodles
Chow Mein is another most famous dish to try in Nepal which was inspired by Tibetans that settled in Nepal. Over the centuries there are many variations to make Chow Mein in different countries however in Nepal they mostly use the meat of water buffalo or chicken.
Since it is a plain noodle, it can be prepared in many ways as you like which is why it can fit at any time on your table. Anyway, in Nepal Chow Mein is prepared by stir-frying the noodle with various sorts of vegetables or meat or egg and adding a few spices.
Nowadays, you can find Chow Mein on every menu in the restaurant and the best part is, that they are cheap and have their own styles to make them more delicious. Similarly, it comes with different types of sauce which adds more flavor to it.
|Place of Origin||China|
|Include||Home-made or packet Chow-mein Noodle, vegetables or meat or egg, soy sauce|
|Variations||Chicken, pork, beef, tofu, shrimp|
6) Paratha & Curry
Paratha is a traditional simple flatbread of the Indian subcontinent which is made with wheat flour, salt, water & ghee, or oil. These crispy & chewy flatbreads are best served with any kind of curries, chutney, eggs, or a simple yogurt. Since Nepal is sharing the boundaries with India, you can also find this delicious dish in Nepal.
Basically, there is another kind of Paratha too which is stuffed parathas. These stuffed parathas are made with a stuffing of various vegetables mainly potato. Stuffed parathas taste better with sauce or yoghurt.
Sel roti is a traditional homemade doughnut-shaped bread made from rice flour batter which is then deep-fried by making it in a circle shape by hand. It is the iconic symbol of Nepali culture which is prepared for many festivals & occasions in Nepal.
Now available in many restaurants, you can enjoy the Sel-roti with various kinds of side dishes. Sel-roti should be eaten warm with curries for better taste.
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 curiosity about beverages found in Nepal.
a) Butter Tea
Butter tea is a local drink in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India & Tibet which is made from tea leaves, yak butter, water & salt. The best quality butter tea is made by boiling pu-erh tea (fermented tea) leaves in water for half a day to achieve dark brown color.
It is believed that it boosts your energy and prevents from altitude sickness when trekking in Himalayan regions.
Tongba is a traditional & indigenous alcoholic beverage of Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Sunuwar, Yakkha & many other ethnic groups of eastern Nepal. It is consumed in a unique way i.e.; a vessel holds the fermented millet & hot water is poured into it. After leaving it for about 5 min, a fine bamboo straw with a blind end is used to act as a filter when consuming.
Raksi is an alcoholic beverage like a clear Vodka or Gin which is made from millet or rice by a pot distillation process. It is one of the world’s 41st most delicious drinks that is best served with pork, water buffalo or goat meat.
Marpha is a type of brandy that is produced by distillation of fermented mash of apples in the village of Marpha, Mustang district. It only contains 40%-50% alcohol in it & best served with meat products.
Lassi is a healthy drink blended with yogurt, water, spices & sometimes fruit which is a traditional drink in India, Pakistan & rural areas of Nepal. It is the best coolant drink for summer and the best medicine for digestion. It is mostly consumed after the meal.
Finally at the end for Nepali Foods to try out:
Nepal is a peace and friendly country and we have a full form of Nepal i.e. “Never Ending Peace and Love”.
In this beautiful country, you can find many cultures and dishes which I may not have included. However, if you find any good food when exploring Nepal then please comment to us so that we can add it. Anyway, Happy Eating!!