Nepal is the home of thousands of people belonging to different ethnic groups, which have created their own unique food cultures and culinary traditions.
From spicy accompaniments to the plain boiled dishes, you get to enjoy a large variety of tastes in Nepal. The traditional dishes in Nepal also have a certain level of nutritional value in it and also considered healthy for consumption.
If you are traveling to the main cities like Kathmand and Pokhara, you will also find several restaurants serving foreign cuisines like Continental, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, and many more. So in case you are someone with a peculiar set of taste buds and prefer sticking to your own homely dish, then there are always hundred of options available for you in Nepal. For the food adventurers though, there are a lot of unique dishes that will definitely test the limits of your taste buds.
If you are traveling to the isolated regions of Nepal then you will only get select varieties in food based on what’s available in that place. But that being said, you can get food like dal-bhat tarkari, momo (veg/non-veg), curries (egg/chicken/veg), dhindo, bread, butter tea, extra almost anywhere in the country.
Followings are the dishes you should definitely try while visiting Nepal:
Dal Bhaat Tarkari
Dal Bhaat is the most widely consumed and a staple dish for the people of Nepal. Ask any Nepali what is their ideal food, and you’re likely to be cheerfully answered with ‘Dal Bhaat Tarkari, of course!’
If you are going on a trek, except to get dal bhaat tarkari at almost place. You can get the authentic version of it at Thakali Bhansa (Kitchen).
Dal Bhat Tarkari means lentil soup (dal), rice (bhaat) and curried vegetables (tarkari). If you are vegetarian you can choose to go with the vegetarian platter or can get chicken or meat curry served with it as well.
Samya Bhaji is a Newari dish that has been passed from generation to generation and is usually prepared and served in very special occasions. However, lately you can find this in many cafes that call themselves ‘Newari Khaja Ghar’. Samya Bhaji includes barbecued buffalo meat, boiled egg, spicy potato salad, and beaten rice.
The plate is full of mouth-watering flavors that will make your every taste buds thank you. A must try dish when you will visit Nepal.
Yomari is another very popular dish of the Newari Community, which is made during the festival of Yomari Punhi. The festival signifies the end of the rice harvest, and Yomari is prepared and offered to the Gods as a sign of gratitude for helping the farmers obtain a good harvest.
The steam bun of the Yomari is made from rice flour dough and enclosed inside it a sweet filling made from molasses, sesame seeds, and coconut . We can also consider Yomari to be one of the exotic desserts of Nepalese People.
Another Newari dish, Chatamari has been in existence since the medieval age. Chatamari is also popularly known as ‘Nepali Pizza’ because of it’s round shape and toppings added like in a pizza.
Basically, it is a rice pancake cooked on the frying pan with toppings on it like minced meat, egg, chopped onions, fresh coriander, chillies and a variety of spices.
Yet another Newari dish, Choila is a spicy delicacy traditionally made with water buffalo meat, but lately, you can also find it in duck and meat version. It is also an important part of Samya Bhaji, and served with chura (rice flakes). As you can see, the Newari community has a lots to offer, and this has still a few more dishes yet to be mentioned.
Gundruk is basically a Nepali version of Kimchi made by fermenting leafy green vegetables. Gundruk is consumed in two ways: either by making a soup of it or pickle. Pickle is made adding mustard, radish, cauliflower, and other spices. This goes perfectly well with the dal bhaat meal.
Sel Roti is a blend of doughnut and bagel specially made during the festivals of Tihar and Dashain. You can find this in many street stalls along roadside snack shops.
The circular rice flour bread is deep fried which gives it a crunchy texture from the outside and soft from the inside. Perfect snack with yogurt, tea or some veggies.
Bara is another popular Newar snack loved by every Nepalese. This is made with ground lentil batter and served with either an egg or minced buffalo meat on top of it. It is also eaten plain.
The texture of Bara is light and spongy ,and tastes kind of savory.
Sukuti (Dry Meat)
Sukuti (Dry Meat) is generally consumed in the hilly and mountain region of Nepal. Slices of fresh red meat is hanged over the fireplace or cooking place and when it gets dry it is ready to be consumed. It can be eaten readily or can be used to make ‘Shukuti ko Aachar (pickle)’ adding several spices into it.
Don’t forget to try this when you will be visiting Nepal.
Tongba is the traditional and indigenous millet-based alcoholic beverage of the Limbu people in eastern Nepal. It is also known as ‘Tibetan Hot Beer’ and is served in cast-like vessel and is sipped through bamboo straws. You can easily find it in Kathmandu as well as in upper mountain regions.
Don’t worry Tongba only includes 5-10% of alcohol in it and you can enjoy it without any worry.