Relishing the taste of Nepali cuisine
-   2017-08-29 | nepaltraveller.com
Achaar Ghar truly celebrates the taste and warmth of Nepali cuisine that goes beyond just Dal Bhat.
On a weekend if you look for a decent eatery among the thousands that dots the streets of Kathmandu, it’s unlikely that you’ll find something close to home. Perhaps something that reminds you of late family dinners and your mom’s cooking, something that brews in a typical Nepali home. These are very things that represent Achaar Ghar, a restaurant that serves typical Nepali food without breaking its warmth and authenticity for commercial reasons.
These are the very things that lie at the core of the restaurant; maintaining the authenticity of Nepali cuisine. The interior and decor of the place itself speaks of it eloquently, in some ways through its use of local products and with the several artworks that adds mood to the entire place. Although the place looks relatively small from the outside it has a lounge area for people who do not especially favour noise and clamour but would prefer to delve into books or quiet conversations with good food for a perfect time; one of details that I admired the most. But quite opposite to that is the restaurant area where some evenings the soulful voice of a singer echoes through the space and the hum of people’s conversations adds a perfect time for the easygoing people. What we can be sure of is that all kinds of people can have equally good time at this restaurant.
As the owner of Achaar Ghar, Kratu R. Pandey adds with fervour that even the smallest details have been thought about. It’s in the dark and artistic portraits that adorn the walls, the table mats that have been made from straw, the soft lights above the tables that are perfect for reading. These smallest details might make you want to revisit this place once and again.
But the main thing about Achaar Ghar, as the name suggests is its food. More precisely it is in the serving of fresh achaars (home-made pickles) the very thing that gives Nepali cuisine its unique identity. Whether it is dried chilli, or dipped in oil, authentic pickle made from Tama or Lapsi the restaurant offers that with every food that you order from its menu. And if you enjoy it too much than you can even buy it from their store and relish it’s taste in every scoop of Dal Bhat (Rice and lentil; staple in Nepali food).
“People usually assume Nepali cuisine to be the usual Thakali food, but there is so much more to Nepali cuisine than just that”, says Kratu R. Pandey. Besides the staple Dal Bhat, Achhar Ghar serves a wide range of authentic Nepali dishes that is otherwise not made anywhere besides our home. For instance, Timur alu tareko which is special dish of potato that is fried with wild pepper and perfectly blended with a healthy dose of vegetables. Each bite was a perfect execution of a well blending of spices that was pleasant to the tongue without being too spicy.
A personal favourite of mine was the Mutton poleko (roasted Mutton). With each bite it was evident that the meat was treated with skill because it was very soft yet gave a smoky taste and smell that strongly reminded me of the fragrant smell of wet wood sizzling in winter evenings. With chilli pickle dipped in oil, it was every meat lover’s dream come true. Besides that Mutton Alu Chop was a unique dish that totally redefined the favourite Nepali street food.
Food tastes even amazing when there’s good music that brings back memories while you delve into delicious delicacies. This is true in case of Achaar Ghar, every Saturday and Wednesday, traditional music flows through its spaces making the evening pleasant with the light strums of the Sarangi. It’s a gorgeous sight to see the happy musician strumming his Sarangi with such adoration and lightness. When you return home the light strums and happy smile of the musician still lingers in your mind.
Achaar Ghar truly celebrates the taste and warmth of Nepali cuisine that goes beyond just Dal Bhat although it is an essential staple. From its varieties of pickles that are freshly produced to its rich blend of spices Achaar Ghar will not let you down for a pleasant evening that brings back memories of homely dinners.