Some delicacies from the land of Serenity…. Nepalese cuisine has the taste of its rich and diverse culture. There are certain must-try dishes as well. Being a multi-ethnic nation, they happen to have their own food culture. Here are some must-try dishes if you are in Nepal.
Top 10 Famous Dishes Recipes in Nepal
1. Dal Bhat Tarkari or MEAT
Eaten throughout the country, this can be called as the signature Nepalese dish. Every Nepal household has the spiced lentil soup (dal) and steamed rice (bhaat) along with curries for at least twice! “Dal Bhat power 24hr!”
This is the Nepali renovated model of the Chinese dumplings. There are a lot of variants in terms of momo. It all depends upon the filling of the momo. Chicken meat momo, vegetable momo etc. Nepalese Buff Momo or water-buffalo meat stuffed dumpling has its own identity.
3. Dhido -Gundruk
Dhindo is traditional Nepali hillside food eaten along with Gundruk soup. Gundruk is fermented and dried leafy vegetables prepared with soybean grains and potatoes. Dhido is similar to Indian dish halva or polenta made by mixing and stirring corn or buckwheat flower continuously in the hot boiling water, but no sugar no salt. One will often hear some Nepali people calling it as their national dish.
4. Sel Roti
Next dish on our Must-have list. This ancient dish is the highlight of the festival of lights- Tihar. Sel roti is basically semi-liquid type rice flour spiced with cinnamon or cardamom. For elevating the taste, cream, sugar, and banana is added to the mixture. Rings of this sel roti mixture is added into the oil and fried till golden and served.
Chatamari can be called as the Nepali pizza. A compulsory Newari dish in the festivals such as Diwali or any other festivities. Also, to add some extra flavors, Chatamari is topped with minced meat or eggs. From what I have read, chicken Chatamari tastes the best!
6. Bagiya – Bhakka
Maithili community represents Nepal’s second most population and so does their language and food. Approximately 4 million Maithili people live in Nepal whose traditional and one favorite dish is Bagiya. It’ their one must eat winter food. This is similar to momo, instead made on rice flower and filled with potatoes, lentil or some kind of spicy vegetables inside. If you ever get an opportunity to visit around eastern southern part of Nepal, don’t forget to ask your Maithili friend to prepare bagiya for you.
7. Puri – Kheer
Kheer is not only eaten as dessert but also as a proper meal in Terai & Hills of Nepal. Eating Kheer-Puri is often considered as a treat. In southern Nepal, when women go to see their parents house or any relatives house they prepare kheer & puri as the special dish and take their home as gift food. Some also eat Puri-Kheer in morning breakfast.
Kheer is basically rice pudding while puri is flat bread deep fried in oil with some lentil fillings.
If you are non-vegetarian, then this is one Nepali food you must try. Sukuti is mainly famous for hills and upper Himalayan region where people don’t get the green vegetables entire season, so when they sacrifice or cut animals, extra meat they dry for offseason. The taste of dry meat is totally different. Nepali people are very artistic with their hand in preparing sukuti. They prepare sukuti with lentil, cilantro, tomatoes and some spices, which can water your mouth anytime.
Another mouth-watering nonvegetarian Nepali cuisine from Newari community. Choila is spiced grilled water buffalo meat prepared nicely in burning rice hay. Newari people generally eat this with beaten paddy called Chiura and some hot-sour anchaar.
10. Yak Cheese
This is a delicious thoughtful ingredient, yak cheese is a dish in itself. The Himalayan belt happens to be the home of the yaks, thus yak cheese is produced commercially. One can also find homemade yak cheese in Nepal. It comes in two variants, Churpi- the hard one and a softer one. These five dishes happen to be many of the must-try dishes.
WRITER: KRISHNA RATH AND ANIL MAHATO