Nepali cuisine traditionally combines ingredients and cooking techniques from its neighboring countries, with its own distinct flavor and a long gastronomic history. Stretching from the high Himalayan plateaus in the north to the never-ending plains in the south, Nepal has a diverse variety of ethnicities and culture, which is widely reflected in its cuisine. The most used ingredients are the vegetables and types of meat that are typically found in the surroundings, such as potatoes, tomatoes, lentils and rice. Chicken, fish, mutton and buffalo meat are also among its locals’ favorites. Making a list of the most famous and distinct Nepali dishes is a difficult task, but we have tried to list three types of food that are impossible to avoid while in Nepal. They are so tasty and flavorsome that you probably wouldn’t want to miss them at all!
Momo is typically a dumpling dish, like the ones found in China, but done the Nepali way. It is probably the single most popular dish in the Kathmandu Va
lley and wider. It is so famous that it is practically impossible to miss the specialized momo shops (local restaurants) spread all over Kathmandu while there. Momos can be steamed, fried and served with a stew. Their filling varies from vegetables, chicken, buff or pork, although new types of momo are being invented every day. They typically come with one or two dips, one of which has to be spicy to enrich the flavor. Even if you are picky about food, there is a high chance that you will like at least one type of it!
If momo is the most famous “fast food” of Nepal then Dal Bhaat would be the most popular and widely eaten dish in the country. Every household eats dal bhaat daily as a staple food. It consists of rice alongside a lentil soup which comprises the base and a variety of smaller dishes such as vegetable or meat curry, yoghurt and a pickle. The variations of this dish are countless and you probably won’t get to eat the same dish twice. While in Nepal, try to savor as many types of the dish as possible to get its authentic taste.
Newars are an ethnic community that has lived in the Kathmandu Valley since times immemorial. Except from their beautiful architecture ornamenting Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan, they are also well known for their delicious food. Newars are big lovers of meat and it is said that if they are presented with a buffalo, no part of it would be spared and will be cooked in a delicious way. Some of the most famous dishes are: roasted buff meat (choila), beaten rice (chiura), fried lungs (phokso), lentil pancakes (bara), bone marrow stuffed in intestines (saphu micha)…the list is endless! Except from the meat dishes, the most famous vegetable dishes are spicy potatoes and spinach with peanuts! For the adventurous foodies, the Newari cuisine is a wonderful thing to explore. Not to mention their variety of their homemade alcoholic beverages!