Nepalese dishes are filled with vegetables, lean meats, pickled ingredients, and salads. Often compared to Indian food, dishes from Nepal share similarities with many Asian countries, including Tibet and China. Nepalese food is often lighter than other South Asian cuisine, as it relies more on fresh vegetables and lean meats than fat. Common dishes include soups, curries, salads, pickles, curd, lean meats and vegetables. Like any South Asian country, Nepalese food is a blend of spices and flavours, that are mouth-watering.
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From dal bhat to yomari, here are just a selection of foods that are a must-try in Nepal
The most recognized, and a staple in any Nepali home, dal bhat is lentil soup and curry with meat or vegetarian served with rice. Wholesome and sustaining, dal bhat is a soul-warming dish that will leave you full and satisfied.
Made only during the festival of Yomari Punhi, the festival to celebrate during the winter to thank the Gods for a good harvest, Yomari is a sweet, filled pastry. Made from rice dough and stuffed with a paste made from coconut, sesame seeds and molasses, this famous dish is a must try. As long as you are in Nepal in November or December, during the full moon day of Thinlā, the second full moon in the lunar Nepal Era calendar. Most yomaris are made in the forms of gods and goddesses.
Dhindho or Dhido Thali and Gundruk
A delicacy from Kathmandu and the Thamel region, dhindho is a thick porridge made with cornmeal, buckwheat flour, millet flour, and salt. It is a staple in the rural areas around Kathmandu and the Thamel region and is eaten with vegetable curries, pickles, buttermilk, yoghurt and butter.
Gundruk is a side-dish that is often served with dhindo. Considered the national food in Nepal, Gundruk is made with fermented or pickled green and leafy vegetables. Mustard, radish, and cauliflower are stored in an earthen pot, which is then left to be pickled by the vegetables acidic juices, fermenting them.
Known as “king curd” Juju Dhau is a thick, creamy yogurt that is generally served as a dessert. Made with buffalo milk, juju dhau is a common dish sold by street-side vendors in Bhaktapur.
Called the “Nepali pizza” based on looks, this dish is very different from pizza in terms of taste. Chatamari is a rice flour crepe that is cooked with toppings that include coriander, minced meats, eggs, onions, chilies, and spices.
This circular, rice flour based bread is the perfect combination of a donut, and a bagel. This snack is deep fried, making it soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside. This sweet bread is often served with yoghurt or vegetables, and is a popular festival food in Nepal.