Food & Culinary

Nepal’s most known dishes are probably dal bhat (rice and lentils) and the popular momos.  And besides the international dishes from continental to Asian, Nepal that are available in the touristic areas, Nepal has a wide variety of local dishes to discover.

There is no better way to understand Nepal and the Nepali people, than through their kitchen. Nepal does not have a distinct cooking style. However, food habits differ depending on the region. Nepali food has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles of cooking. Authentic Nepali taste is found in Newari and Thakali cuisines. Most Nepalis do not use cutlery but eat with their right hand.

The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. Acquired from Tibetans, momos (steamed or fried dumplings) deserve a mention as one of the most popular snack among Nepalis. Rotis (flat bread) and dhedo (boiled flour) also make meals in some homes.

Wherever a self may go, his exploration would be incomplete without getting an opportunity to taste the local food of the destination. Nepal is the land of delicious, cuisine. Varieties of cuisine are available upon categories of ethnicity, geography, and climate of the country. Rice is the major source of energy in the country, where – everywhere – Nepali people love to consume two times a day, as lunch and dinner, every day. However, side dishes may vary from lentils to vegetable curries to meat curries to extremely spicy pickle.

Rice remaining constant, the side dishes is the excitements of the Nepali cuisine. Depending upon culture and ethnicity, chef of the Nepali houses (mothers especially) tend to settle curries with complex spices that she had learned from her mother, which traditionally has been in survival for centuries. Nepal’s cuisine is mostly, but not all of them, spicy, however on request, spices can be reduced without compromising the taste of the dish.

Newars, indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley, cater the best snacks in the country. Their cuisine makes much use of buffalo meat, however, their vegetable soup, made of potato and bamboo shoot, is simply tempting.

People of mid-hills of Nepal are renowned for their heavy cum delicious lunches. Especially, Thakalis are notable for producing high-grade rice, lentils, vegetables, and curries in the country.

The Himalayan cuisine of Nepal is much influenced by the Tibetan culture. Exquisite yak cheese of the Himalayan region is notably famous in all over the country, and beyond. Butter tea and noodles are often consumed in this region.

The lowland of Nepal, Madhesh (Terai), is the grain vault of the country. Much of the food and fruits of Nepal are produced in this region. Tharu, indigenous the Terai make the delicious food of ‘chicher’ and they, relatively, make the delicious  fish curry in the country.

Nepali people, normally, have their lunch before leaving for work, school, or colleges. So, there is a system of having healthy and heavy, alike, breakfast or high tea during the lunch time. At this time, since Nepali people love eating in their own traditional manner, much of hybrid dishes like momo – which is believed to Tibetan dish, but after mixing with Nepali spices –  becomes the Nepal momo cha religiously served at every second party and by every restaurant is almost like the national dish and is highly recommended.

Source: Nepal Tourism Board