Nepal, Nepali, Nepalese dishes, sugar, spice and everything nice
While roaming around the meandering alleys of Nepal, you will find yourself getting hit by the powerful smell coming from every roadside house and you will be unable to resist your senses to stop smelling it. This is something spicy about Nepal. The one who comes here, will always get that little zing and fiery blast in their tongue while enjoying the Nepali dishes.
Nepal, trekking and mountaineering country, is a wonderful place to land on if you want to give varieties of taste to your tongue. From generation to generation, from 1000 years, Nepalse food has been passed on and on which portrays the feelings and cultures of Nepal. If you’re looking to immerse yourself into the Nepali culture, these foods are a must-try. These cuisines have distinct flavors and essence that enrich you with the ultimate Nepali experience. Nepalses cuisines are highly influenced by its neighbouring countries - Tibet and India. However, with some similarities, there are differences too which make Nepalese foods unique.
As everyone knows, Nepal is a land of ethnic diversity. In Nepal, more than 125 recorded ethnic groups live. All of these ethnic groups have distinct customs, culture, traditions, and cuisines. There is also a variety of food that all differs from ethnic group to ethnic group. All of these 125 and more divergent ethnic groups pride themselves in their unique foods and cuisines. Here is a list of jaw dropping Nepali foods that you must try when you are in Nepal.
1. SEL- ROTI
Large thin puffed-up doughnut with a crispy texture and reddish-brown color, is a most unique food of Nepalese locality. Actually, it is a festive food and is mainly prepared during any special occasions like Dashain, Tihar, puja etc. It is very hard to find houses who don't prepare this food during festivals. It is made mainly by rice four or all purpose flour by adding some sugar to give this a sweet taste. So, it is also called sweet bread which is popularly served with tea, achar, alu tarkari, or with other hot beverages. It is also prepared as sacred food for the gods and goddess because it is considered to be pure. During the old days, it was only prepared in houses but today we can see every cafe, hotel offering this food at an affordable price. Selroti signifies happiness because preparation of this unique food item brings ultime joy in children to old people.
Cost: In a basic hotel, it charges NRS 20 for a piece of sel and for adding it with other tarkari and achar will cost you around NRS 60.
Ingredients: Rice flour, water/milk, sugar, cooking oil and ghee
2. DHIDO AND GUNDRUK
Dhido and gundruk are the best combo ever which give a cherishable taste to one's food. This food is not only unique to other countries but also to the people living in urban areas of Nepal as it is a traditional food item popular in rural areas or the countryside of Nepal. Dhido also has significant benefits for people suffering from Diabetes. It is nowadays served in hotels and restaurants too in order to make National Food of Nepal more popular. Gundruk, a fermented leafy green, is also known as sinki. It is prepared like soup by mixing Bhatmas and Potato to give an extra dose of flavour. Also, some make gundruk as curry by mixing tomato, onion, chilly and other pickles items. You need to understand that in order to prepare Dhido, you must learn it because it is very hard to get this recipe cooked perfectly which is also eaten with chicken and mutton sometimes.
Cost: It cost around NRS 250 for a combination of Dhido and Gundruk in hotels.
Ingredients: Corn flour and water (Dhido) and Leafy vegetables and making it dry by keeping it in sunny places for a few weeks (Gundruk)
3. DAAL BHAT TARKARI
Daal, Bhaat and Tarkari is everyday food of Nepalese houses. The set of Daal, Bhat, Tarkari or a plate of Daal Bhat Tarkari consists of a cooked lentil soup which is known as Daal, steamed rice is Bhat and Tarkari is a mix of seasonal vegetables. Daal is cooked by mixing different spices like coriander, turmeric, garam masala etc whose recipe varies by places, families and culture. Bhaat is cooked rice which is made by steaming rice and water according to desired level. Tarkari is another item that is very tasty because of spices found in Nepal. It is generally cooked by mixing different vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, pumpkin, radish, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. Tarkari can be prepared with only one vegetable also or a mixture of different kinds. Tarkari can also be green leafy vegetables which are called Saag. It is cooked on a daily basis because these food items carry high protein and carbohydrate which makes Nepali more energetic, active and keepy away from diseases.
Cost: It costs around NRS 200 for combination of Daal, Bhaay and Tarkari in basic hotels and differs according to the quality and popularity of the hotels.
Thukpa is a highly popular food of Tibetan region and is popular in buddhist culture of Nepal. If you ever visited any mongolian houses or stupas, you will see a lot of people preparing it as a snack. It is more popular in the winter season because the hot soup of thukpa keeps people very warm. That is the reason why sherpa of Solukhumbu and other cold places are very attracted to this dish. Thukpa is a boiled noodle, which is filtered & mixed with some seasonal vegetables and meat items and is dipped in very hot soup. It also has its chili dipped vinegar source. Usually, people like to have hot and spicy tomato Achar with this item. Generally, Thukpa is eaten for lunch at noon or meals at night. It has a very strong smell and taste because of the use of different spices found in the Himalayas. So, once you reach it, you can't stop craving within yourself unless you taste it.
Cost: It costs around NRS 100 for a full plate in the small hotels operated around buddhist areas.
5. NEWARI KHAJA SET
Newari kitchen is the most diverse and unique kitchen of Nepal. They are not only unique in culture and traditions but also have their own kind of cuisine which makes Nepal more popular. Newari kitchen has a unique list of foods like chatamari, yomari, kwati, Bara, Samaya bhaja etc. which are cooked by stuffing meat in them. Newari Khaja Set consists of beaten rice with roasted and curried soya beans, gundruk, peanuts, choila, fish, achar, aloo tarkari, salad, juju dhau, spinach and so on (list continues! So better taste it once) Newari khaja set can be made on both veg and non veg according to personal choice. This dish is very rich in nutrition as the mixture of a lot of other items make it rich in protein, vitamins and carbohydrate.
Cost: For a veg set, it costs around NRS 150-200 and for non- veg sets, it costs around NRS 350-400.
Kheer, the sweetest one, is prepared by using a lot of spices, milk, rice etc. It is also prepared on the special occasion to give special taste to guests. It is regarded as very pure food because of the use of milk on it. It is mainly eaten as a dessert or side dish with puri or sel. Its look is also very attractive because of the use of nuts, coconut, cardamom, dry fruits, saffron, cashews etc. The name Kheer is derived from sanskrit words which is also known as rice pudding. It is said that kheer was very popular in India in ancient days and later on Nepal got influenced by it. No matter what, the taste of Nepalese Kheer has a different taste where one can get love and warmth along with better taste.
Ingredients: Rice, Ghee, Milk, Sugar, along with different spices