Cuisine of Nepal
Nepalese cuisine is quite simple and has had many influences during its development. As with most things in Nepal, the cuisine varies according to ethnic groups and castes, depending on ingredients available and affordable. Indian, Chinese and Tibetan flavors and aromas can easily be detected in Nepalese meals although Nepal's cuisine maintains its own flare. Nepal's climate has made it possible for the country to grow crops such as rice, lentils, wheat, corn and potatoes.
Whilst Nepalese cuisine is somewhat basic, it certainly does not lack in flavor, making extensive use of spices and flavorings such as ginger, garlic, coriander, pepper, cumin, chilies, cilantro, mustard oil, ghee and occasionally yak butter. The staple diet of Nepal's population is Dal (lentils), Bhat (rice) and Tarkari (curried vegetables). Beef is typically not eaten in Nepal for religious reasons. Local liquor, tongba and thon (rice beer) are popular drinks in Nepal. Let us take a closer look at some of the delicious foods of Nepalese cuisine.
Choyla – roasted or grilled spiced meat, typically accompanied by liquor.
Kwati – bean soup eaten at festivals.
Sekuwa – grilled meat such as chicken, mutton, duck or wild boar.
Alu Tama – potatoes with bamboo shoots.
Chatamari – flat bread made from rice flour with or without toppings (meat, vegetables, eggs, sugar). It is similar to a pizza.
Sukuti – spicy dried meat that is roasted with a charcoal fire.
Takhala – type of cold meat soup.
Momo – dumplings stuffed with minced meat which can be steamed or fried.
Gundruk – soup made out of dried, fermented green vegetables.
Sel – rice flour ring dessert.
Wo and Bara – a lentil flour patty which can be accompanied by a meat or egg topping. Typically used in rituals or at festivals.
Dal – a lentil soup made with black, red or yellow lentils. Served with rice.
Bhat – steamed rice.
Sag – green vegetables which are served with rice. Consists of spinach with mustard greens.
Tarkari – curried vegetable broth. Recipes vary greatly.
Masu – spiced or curried meat (usually chicken, mutton, buffalo or pork) with gravy. Served with rice.
Sanya Khuna – a jelly type relish made from a fish soup. It has a salty, spicy flavor.
Achar – a pickle that is either sweet, spicy or sour. There are many recipes for achar. Popular achars are made with potato, tomato, radish and coriander.
Juju Dau – a delicious creamy curd.
Dahi – tasty yogurt or curd.
Sikarni – curd with dried fruit added.
Tongba – hot water is poured into a pot of fermented millet. Tongba is best drunk with a straw of bamboo.
Rakshi – local liquor
Thon aka Chhyang – fermented rice beer.