There is a lot of misconception about nepali food Being limited to momos and thukpa. Nepal’s food is a blend of taste, traditions and delicious history. If you look deeper into Nepali gharana, you will find dishes for every occasion.
Surrounded by India, Tibet and China, the taste of Nepali food is highly influenced by the neighboring countries. While in urban areas like Kathmandu, Newari food is popular, in hilly areas with sparse agriculture Tibetan thukpa and meat are typical. These dishes are not only a part of their daily diet but also have great importance in the cultural festivals of Nepal.
Top 10 Nepali Foods You Must Try
Although there are a lot of places to visit in Nepal, culinary travel is equally interesting. Apart from momos and pulao, here are the top 10 dishes that you must try in Nepal, if you call yourself a foodie.
1. Cell Bread
A crunchy and sweet flavor, cell roti is a cross between a donut and a bagel. One of the most loved Nepali foods, Sel Roti is made during Tihar and Dashain religious festivals. The circular rice flour roti is deep fried which makes it crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. It is usually eaten with curd chutney and vegetables during breakfast.
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Another popular Nepali food item, Gundruk is considered the national dish of Nepal. It is a mixture of spicy green-leafy vegetables that is eaten as a condiment or side dish with the main meal. Mustard, radish and cauliflower are dried for a day or two and then stored in a tight earthen pot, allowing the leaves to release acidic juices. So, this is basically Nepali Kimchi.
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One of the popular dishes of the Newar community of Nepal, Yomari is a fish-shaped winter dish. It is made from rice flour to fight the cold weather in the mountains. Not only will its unique shape attract you, but there is a sweet filling inside the dough, making it hard to resist for those with a sweet tooth. You can also enjoy the spicy dal version.
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One of the things that can complete your culinary journey in Nepal is Tongba. Millet-based alcoholic beverage is a traditional and indigenous beverage of the Limbu people in eastern Nepal. Also known as ‘Tibetan hot beer’, the prominent local beer is bottled in molded vessels and sipped through bamboo straws. Brew-it-yourself local beer can be extended into multiple rounds of hot alcoholic beverages so your beer never runs out.
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5. Samya Bhaji
This Nepali food is not only delicious but also one of the main attractions of Nepal. Newari cuisine has been passed down from generation to generation and is served on any auspicious occasion. Samay Baji is a plate of a variety of dishes such as beaten rice, barbecued buffalo meat, boiled egg and spicy potato salad. Next time you are in Nepal, be sure to try the traditional cuisine of the Newari community.
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6. That – Newari Pancake
Wo is typically a Newari pancake made with a batter of ground lentils, usually green and black lentils. Also known as Bara, this delicious dish is made during the Newari festival ‘Siti Nakha’. Dal Patties are very light and spongy and make for an excellent breakfast or lunch. Minced chicken and cooked egg can also be added to make a non-vegetarian version of the pancake.
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Another typical Newari dish, Choila or Choyela is a spicy dish traditionally made with buffalo meat. However, you can also find duck and meat versions. This hot and mouth-watering dish is best enjoyed with rice shavings (chura). As well as an important part of Samay Bhai, it is an essential part of the diet in the festivals of Nepal.
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Influenced by both Tibet and China, Nepal has its own version of thukpa that consists of pieces of meat and vegetables with noodles. Winter noodle dishes can be found in Kathmandu and the surrounding hilly areas. The aroma of the meat stock will whet your appetite and the spices will excite your taste buds. There are many cafes in Kathmandu where you can enjoy Nepali food.
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9. Dal Bhaat
Nepal runs on pulses and rice. The delicious lentil curry served with rice is a staple lunch and dinner in the country. Just taste Nepali Dal Bhaat and you will be surprised to know how something so simple can be so delicious and soul-filling. Pickles, meat and curd dips are also served. There are different variations in different parts of the country giving you an authentic experience of different tribes and cultures.
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10. Gorkhali Lamb
For all the meat and mutton lovers, Gorkhali Lamb is a must try when you are traveling in Nepal. Slow-cooked juicy pieces of lamb meat dipped in chunky curry with chunks of potatoes and roughly chopped onions. The mixture of chillies that is used to coat the lamb pieces before roasting them is like a taste bomb in your mouth. Curry is best enjoyed with flatbread.
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With so many things to see and cuisine to see, plus the fact that it’s right next door, a trip to Nepal becomes an excellent quick budget vacation.
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