Food of Nepal

Tour of Nepali Food

Author: Mohammad Amaan
Date: 2020-05-09

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The snow-clad mountains, yaks, sherpas (major ethnic group native to the region), and monasteries are some of the main attractions Nepal has to offer for mountain lovers and tourists alike. The rugged Everest, the Annapurna’s cozy comfortable resorts, Nepalese food, bungee jumping points, paragliding, kayaking, and mountain biking awaits you. The capital city of Kathmandu has a collection of tourist spots that promise to make your visit a worthy affair. Nepal has some of the world’s best cafes and bakeries. Nepal is a place to quench your thirst for outdoor treks and picturesque views.

Nepali/Nepalese food comprises a variety of cuisines based upon ethnicity, soil, and climate relating to Nepal's cultural diversity and geography. Much of the food is variations in Asian themes. Other foods have hybrid Tibetan, Indian and Thai origins. Common ingredients found across Nepalese food include potatoes, tomatoes, lentils, coriander, cumin, garlic, chilies, peppers, and mustard oil.

5 Types of Nepali Food:

(1) Khas Food

The traditional food of Nepal consists of Dal-Bhat-Tarkari. This is usually eaten twice a day.

Yogurt or dahi is popular across Nepal and is eaten for its healthy attributes and adaptable nature, as it can be used as a side dish or as an ingredient in drinks (lassi) and desserts (sikarni).

Nepali Dal-Bhat-Tarkari

Nepali Dal-Bhat-Tarkari

(2) Himalayan Food

Himalayan food is influenced culturally by the Tibetans and other closely related ethnic groups in the Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya. Because of the cold temperature, people often prefer hot and warm food like soup, thukpa (ramen), strong tea, and strong alcohols. Grain is made into alcoholic beverages. Butter tea is made by mixing butter or ghee and salt with strong tea leaves.

Potato curry, momo (dumplings), yak or goat or sheep meat, milk, thukpa, or strong alcohol like tongba (millet juice) are added to their regular diet. Chhurpi also adds flavor to daily food.

(3) Newa Food

Newars are an urbanized ethnic group originally living in the Kathmandu Valley, but now also in bazaar towns elsewhere in the world and Middle Hills. Daily Newar food practices consist mostly of components from the generic hill food, during ritual, ceremonial, and festive eating. The food has a wide range of fermented preparations, whereas Pahade/Pahari cuisine has beyond a few pickle condiments.

Kwati (soup of different beans), kachila (spiced minced meat), swan puka (stuffed lungs), sapu mhicha (leaf tripe stuffed with bone marrow), chhoyla (water buffalo meat marinated in spices and grilled over the flames of dried wheat stalks), wo (lentil cake), pukala (fried meat), paun kwa (sour soup), syen (fried liver), mye (boiled and fried tongue) and sanya khuna (jellied fish soup) are some of the popular festival foods.

(4) Lohorung Food

The Lohorung are indigenous to eastern Nepal. They have a variety of food in their cuisine made from local ingredients. Some of them are Tongba, Chamre, Wachipa, Yangpen, Wamik, Sibring, Bawari, Dhule Achar, Masikdaam, Saruwa, Kinima, Dibu, Sel roti, and so on.

(5) Terai Food

A typical terai set includes basmati rice with ghee, pigeon pea daal, tarkari (cooked variety of vegetable), taruwa (battered raw vegetables known as taruwa/baruwa such as potato, brinjal/aubergine, chili, cauliflower, etc. deep fried in the oil), papad/papadum, mango/lemon pickles, and yogurt. For non-vegetable items, they consume mostly fish or goat curry. Traditionally there never used to be poultry items but nowadays, due to urbanization, poultry items are common, too.

Food Etiquette

Food is traditionally eaten with the right hand. Touching or eating food with the left hand, which is traditionally used for washing off, after relieving oneself, is taboo. In Nepal, especially among the Brahmin and ChettrI castes, the purity of food and drinks is taken very seriously.

For detailed dishes read: Delicacies of Nepal

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