While Indian food is rather well known and loved, with many great curry places everywhere, few people know about food in the other Himalayan countries, today we want to take you on a taster of Nepal.
Nepalese food is influenced by Indian and Tibetan cuisine and is very healthy. Staple food in most areas of the country is rice and, in some high-altitude areas, a thick corn or millet mush. Nepalese cuisine makes extensive use of spices, such as ginger, garlic, coriander, pepper, cumin, chilies.
The most popular food and national dish is “Dhal Bhat”, which you will encounter daily during teahouse treks. Nepalese people eat it twice a day, for both of their main meals. It comes in different varieties: Dhal is a lentil soup and Bhat means rice, but usually it is accompanied by several other vegetable dishes, such as curried vegetables, and pickles.
Apart from Dhal Bhat, all different ethnic groups in Nepal have their own dishes. Especially popular is Newari cuisine, which can mainly be found in the Kathmandu valley. It offers a broad variety of vegetable dishes, but also water buffalo (which is widely consumed in Nepal as a substitue for beef, as cows are considered holy) and other meat and fish dishes. A wellknown Newari dish is Chatamari, which looks a bit like a Crepe with pizza topping – the flat bread is made from rice flour and topped with meat, vegetables or sugar.
There is a broad variety of tasty snacks, like momos (filled dumplings), pakoras, samosas, different types of flat breads and others. In Nepal you can also get plenty of fresh fruits, such as Mangos, Pomegranates, Oranges, Bananas, Grapefruit, Pineapples, Guavas. In the Annapurna region you will find the “Apple Pie Trek”, where you can feast on delicious apple pies in the guest houses on the way.
Tea is a very popular drink in Nepal. Proper Nepali milk tea is prepared with half milk, half water. Both is boiled up with tea and spices in it and sweetened with sugar.
The traditional alcoholic beverage is Raksi, a grain based distilled drink, commonly made from millet, rice, wheat or a combination. It is used for many religious rituals and of course can be found at social events. It is a very strong drink, often brewed at home, and not only used for drinking, but also for its antiseptic qualities.