Traditional Nepali Foods, Cereals, Sweets, Snacks, Beverages (Both Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian)

5. •Khir:

Khir is a sweet dish that is considered important in Nepali culture. In Shrawan 15 (Khir khane din), khir is prepared in almost every Hindu household. The main ingredients are rice and milk. The rice is soaked overnight and then is boiled in milk by continuous stirring. Consistency can be prepared as desirable. Khir is also given in the rice feeding ceremony to babies.

6. •Chiura:

It means beaten rice. It is also one of the traditional foods of Nepal and is a popular one. It is consumed along with pickle, curries, tea, milk or just so. In Ashar 15th of Nepalese calendar, it is eaten along with dahi (curd). It is made from rice. It is prepared from paddy. After husking the paddy, it is soaked, drained, roasted and then flaked. Then the beaten rice i.e. chiura is prepared.

7. •Syabaji:

It is another preparation of paddy. The word Syabaji is derived from Newari word ‘Shiyagu’ which literally means roasted. It is lighter than the beaten rice and is prepared by roasting the chiura in sand.

8. •Golfuki (puffed rice):

It is also prepared from paddy and as the name suggests, it looks like the puffed form of rice. To prepare this, paddy needs to be soaked for about 2-3 days in water. Then, water is removed and the paddy is roasted lightly. This is done in a utensil called “handi”. It is also called as ‘muri’ or ‘bhuja’ by some people.

9. •Masyaura:

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It is a traditional food item in Nepalese household which is prepared from legumes especially black gram and colocasia tuber along with small shreds of other vegetables. The ingredients used are first cleaned, soaked in water and then drained. Then it is grinded into powder form and shaped into balls of about 3-5mm diameter and sundried along with partial fermentation. It is kept for the future use and can be cooked along with other vegetables or sole itself to make the curry. It is considered as a good source of protein and carbohydrate.

FERMENTED FOOD PRODUCTS:

10. •Gundruk:

Gundruk is a popular dish among all ethnic groups of Nepal. It is prepared by fermenting the green leafy vegetables which may be of spinach, radish, mustard or cauliflower. These are smashed and then kept in an earthenware pot. These are kept compressed and then warm water about 30ºC is kept to cover the leaves. The container is closed tightly and kept in a dry and warm place for almost a week. Then it is tested. The acidic taste indicates the end of the fermentation process. It is then sun dried for final preparation. It gives the curry a sour taste that is to the liking of many people. It is also served as a side dish or an appetizer.

11. •Sinki:

It is also a preserved and fermented food item. It is similar to Gundruk and is popular among the Nepali people. However, for its preparation, not the leafy vegetables but the radish taproot sections are used. It also has a sour taste.

12. •Bamboo Shoot (Tama/ Mesu):

These are the fermented bamboo shoots of the edible bamboo species like Choya bans (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii), Karati bans (Bambus tulda Roxb), Bhalu bans (Dendrocalamus Sikkimenens), etc. It’s curry along with aaloo (potato) called as aaloo tama curry is very popular among Nepali people. It can be prepared as a pickle also. The final acidity in tama ranges from 0.o4 to 0.95% as lactic acid.

13. •Khalpi:

It is also a fermented pickle of Nepal. The ingredient used here is the mature cucumber. The pickles are prepared in different ways according to different people. In general, the cucumber is cut into pieces of about 2-3 inches. It is then sun-dried and mixed with different spices according to one’s desire. The cucumber is then kept in the container in an airtight condition. It is then left as it is to allow the natural fermentation to occur. After about a week, it is ready to be eaten along with a meal.

14. •Chook-Amilo:

It is a traditional fermented product which is usually prepared in the hilly region as there is wide availability of citrus fruits like Jyamir, kagati, nibuwa, etc. Chook-amilo’s literal English meaning is sour. The ripe citrus fruits are collected and juices are extracted from them. The collected juice is then boiled with occasional stirring. The color of the juice changes to grey and to black. Then it is stored in an airtight mud container. It can be used up to 2 years.

15. •Aamchoor:

‘Aam’ means mango and the main ingredient for this fermented product are mango. Mainly, the mangoes of the pre-ripening stage are used. They are cut longitudinally and mixed with salt. After sun drying, these are kept in an airtight container which lengthens its storage for more than a year. It is taken as a pickle in Nepali meal, dal- bhat. It is considered helpful for the digestion process of old age people.

16. •Chukauni :

It is a very famous pickle mainly in Palpa district of Nepal. The main ingredients used are yogurts, potato, and vegetables like onion, chilies, green peas, and coariander. The boiled and cut potato pieces are mixed in the yogurt along with the pieces of mentioned vegetables. The salty and sour taste of chukauni attracts the gourmets all over the country.

17. •Kinema:

It is a fermented product prepared from soyabean. It has a pungent odour which may not be to the liking of many people and has a slimy texture.

18. •Poko:

It is a base product during the preparation of traditional alcoholic beverage of Nepal like Jandh and raksi. It is prepared from rice. After cooking the rice in a slightly soft consistency, ‘marcha’ (yeast) is kept to allow the process of fermentation. It is stored in a bucket or some large airtight container for some days. When it is finally prepared, it seems to have creamy color. It becomes soft and has the juicy, sweet and sour taste with the alcoholic aroma. However, the production is confined to home scale only.

SWEETS AND SNACKS (APPETIZERS)

19. •Kasaar:

Kasar is a traditional sweet of Nepal which is vital in many occasions especially marriages. Its main constituents are rice and brown sugar. The first khatte is prepared and then it is grinded. Sugar is melted alongside. After the sugar is ready, rice flour is added to it. When the temperature is moderate, these two constituents are shaped into round balls which should be very tight.

20. •Puwa:

Puwa is a popular sweet snack among the Nepalese people, especially those from Dang. The basic constituent of puwa is also rice. Then, we need ghee and water. It is very easy to prepare this and it serves as a right alternative during snacks time. Ghee is heated in the pan and rice is added to it. It is stirred occasionally to not let it burn. After it changes its color to red, water is added and it is simmered until the water evaporates. Puwa can be served then. It has the same importance as kasaar.

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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