Are you visiting Nepal soon and you don’t know where to start with food? Don’t worry, here are the top 10 food specialties not to miss while in Nepal!
Most likely you’ve already heard of its popular Dal Bhat Tarkari (rice and lentil soup with vegetables), and its delicious Momos (the Nepalese dumplings), but there is so much more to relish during your trip.
Because travelling is also about trying dishes you’ve never heard of and flavours you’ve never tasted, right?
So just follow our advice and you will go home with a happy tummy 🙂 .
1 – Thakali Khana
Literally meaning food (khana) eaten by the Thakali people, this rich and colourful dish is definitely one of Nepal’s favourites!
It is served all day long and consists of fluffy and fragrant basmati rice, a lentil soup (beware…authentic Thakali will serve you only black lentils), stir-fry leafy greens, such as spinach or mustard leaves, spicy seasonal vegetables, radish pickles, achaar (a mix of fruit or vegetables usually served as a sauce), gundruk (fermented leafy vegetables), yogurt, papad (a thin and crispy lentil snack), sliced raw cucumber and carrots. Meat curry (chicken or goat) is optional, but always available to add.
Does it seem too good to be true? Well, we didn’t tell you yet that you’ll always get free refills until you are full.
Oh, and if you want to eat like a local, use your hands. Mix the whole lot up with your fingers and enjoy!
2 – Chatamari
The Newari pizza. This is a very typical dish from Kathmandu, traditionally prepared by the Newari people.
The base is a pan fried rice flour batter topped with deliciously seasoned minced meat (chicken or buffalo), eggs, tomatoes, coriander and spices. Yum!
3 – Thukpa
Thukpa is a hot noodle soup, which originated in Tibet and northern Nepal. The noodles are boiled in a homemade chicken or vegetable broth and topped with different kinds of vegetables, beans, meat and coriander. Thukpa is a very filling dish and perfect to warm you up, especially after a long day of trekking!
4 – Sekuwa
Sekuwa is a mouth-watering charcoal roasted meat richly marinated in local herbs and spices. It’s the traditional food of the Limbu people, who are native to the hills and mountains of Nepal. Make sure not to miss it, it is one of the most liked snacks in Nepal!
5 – Chow Mein (Nepali style)
This easy-to-cook noodle based dish, is one of the go-to foods for the hungry Nepali. You can order Chow Mein in basically every restaurant and at any time of the day.
Originally a Chinese dish, it was introduced in Nepal by the Tibetans who settled in the country and is now the ultimate fast food.
The noodles are stir fried with spices, vegetables and chicken or buffalo meat: a real explosion of taste!
6 – Bhatmas Sadeko
Bhatmas Sadeko is a tasty soybean salad usually served as a side dish. It is prepared by frying dried soybeans and mixing them with fresh herbs, such as garlic, ginger and coriander, fresh lime juice, tomatoes, spring onions and…chilli. If your tongue is feeling lazy this dish will wake it up 🙂 .
7 – Bhakka
Bhakka is a popular snack typically found in the South of Nepal prepared by the Tharu people. It is a fluffy and warm steamed rice cake eaten with freshly made achaar and most enjoyed in the chilly winter mornings.
8 – Lassi
This delicious and refreshing drink is made by blending yoghurt, ice, a pinch of salt, cardamom, cumin and is topped with raisin, cashews, almonds or mint. Make sure to try it on a hot summer day, you won’t be disappointed!
9 – Choila
Choila is one of the favourite appetizers in Nepal and it’s often enjoyed with beaten rice and some alcohol. This bold and flavoursome dish is traditionally prepared with buffalo meat but nowadays goat and chicken choilas are also common. The meat is either boiled or barbequed and mixed with freshly ground herbs and spices. It’s hot and chilli, so make sure you are ready for the kick 🙂 .
10 – Pani Puri
Pani puri is originally an Indian snack but it has become one of the most loved Nepal’s street foods. Pani means water and it consists of sour water favoured with coriander, chilli and mint. Puris are crunchy, round and hollow balls made of flour and semolina and deep fried. Take your puri, fill it with potato salad, dip it in the tangy water and…enjoy!
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