Like any other country, Nepal too has to its own cuisine. Any talk of cuisine of Nepal cannot be completed without its spicy chutneys, pickle, sliced lemon and long green chillies. So, when a platter of Nepalese food is order, one can easily expect red chillies and spices making their place in every traveller’s taste buds!
Interestingly, there is a lot of relation between the local climate; geographical diversity when it comes to cuisine. Every region has got its speciality, with flavours and aromas coming out of the kitchens as per the changing weather conditions. Spiced up with lemon and green chillies which are decorated with every serving; Nepalese cuisine does make a difference!
Basically divided as Newa Cuisine of Newars and Dhindo of traditional hierarchy!
Newa Cusine consists of around 200 dishes with names like Aalu Achar, Dhau, Lakhmari, Sanyaa, Thwon, Yomari, Alu Tama, Sanyaakhunya, Sapu Mhicha, Pau kwa and many more. Most of these are cooked over slow flame, cooked with lots of patience and time involved in them. Some of them even take two days for the raw material to be prepared which is then used to make the mouth – watering cuisine.
Baiscally using buffalo meat; its vegetarians love to eat tofu and cottage cheese. For others it is buffalo meat marinated in spices and cooked over dried wheat stalks, fried meat, sour soup, fried liver, leaf tripe filled with bone marrow and jellied fish soup. Newari cuisine includes dessert which includes yoghurt, fruits and aamli fruit. Locally made liquors prepared especially at home make an integral part of any serving.
Other kind is a mix of traditional and Asian cuisine. A true mix of Tibetan, Thai and Indian food, these are much popular amongst young college goers and tourists. One of them is very popular even out of Nepal – Momos and Chowmein. Momos are originally Tibetan style dumplings which were originally filled with buffalo meat. Today it’s the filling of goat, chicken and vegetarian preparations.
Including the list of Nepalese dishes are Khas Or Pahari cuisine. The typical Pahari meal includes Mandarin Orange, lemon, asian, pear, bayberry, mangoes and khaffir lime. The Mangoes used in Pahrai cuisine are grown at a height of 800 meters height. Yoghurt, curried meat, fish, chicken, buffalo and yak meat are served as side dishes in every festival or marriage occasion.
Pahari cuisine which is served in traditional restaurant includes makai(maize)/ buckwheat(fapar)/or kodo(millet) bread. These are served along with potato, green beans, cauliflower, pumpkin, daikon radish and dried green dishes. Of course, the lemon, curd and chillies are an integral part of these platters! So, if you are going to Nepal do not forget to try one of these dishes – definitely they will be spicy but worth a try!
Himalayan cuisine is something which is generally prepared at heights where winter does makes it presence felt every year. To fight the bone – chilling cold, barley,millet and buckwheat make an integral part of every cuisine. Good amount of rice make big portions in every food. Yak meat, Yak butter and Yak milk are something which are never left out!
If you really have to taste something that you should not forget butter tea and vegetable made of red leaves vegetable. Good for a constant blood flow in the body in cold winters and maintaining the level of haemoglobin in body; these are something which are not only different in taste but also healthy!
This Awadhi influenced cuisine of Nepal comes with various names – Madhesh, Maithili, Tharu and Bhojupri depending upon the area where it is prepared. With very slight variations in the method of preparation; the main ingredients remain similar everywhere. Freshwater crab, prawns, fried taro leaf cakes, snails, rice and lentil dumplings and dried fish make a part of this cuisine. So, if you are ordering any of the Madhesi cuisine platter; make sure it includes all of these!
The last if Nepalese cuisine is Lohorung cuisine. It’s the cuisine which makes the best use of locally found ingredients. Spicy and mouth-watering some of the best names include – Sel roti, Dhule Achar, Chamre Yangpen, Dibu, Saruwa and so on.
*Since most of the Nepalese cuisines make use of meat and its various forms, make sure you know what is being served. Make a good inquiry about the meat you are being served. If you are a vegetarian then make sure you are dining out in purely Indian vegetarian hotels/restaurants. If it’s a pre – booked tour, mention the same to your tour operator at the time of booking itself to avoid any sort of inconvenience.