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Nepalese Food Culture - Himalayan Footsteps

Nepalese culture is a bit different from ours, here are some interesting facts about food culture in Nepal;

  • The Nepalese consider that food and eating are all divine and food should be eaten in a joyful manner.
  • The main staple diet of most Nepali people is Dal, Bhat and Tarkari – translated as Lentils, Rice and Curried vegetable. A meal of those three is generally eaten twice a day.
  • Most Nepalese use their fingers to eat and using spoons and forks is not common, especially when you are having “Daal Bhat” the staple Nepalese diet. Use your right hand to eat and deal with food. Nepalese use their left-hand to wash themselves in the toilet.
  • Cows are worshipped in Nepal, and considered the axis of the agricultural economy. Therefore their slaughter is forbidden and Nepalese do not eat beef.
  • The meat most widely consumed in Nepal is the one of male goats and sheep.
  • The kitchen in Hindu households is considered as sacred and usually faces south.
  • There are several festivals throughout the year where Nepali Hindus celebrate by fasting.
  • In most part of country, especially rice-growing areas, meals are eaten twice a day, about 10am and 8pm.
  • In between the two big meals, snacks are generally eaten, such as bread, chura (beaten rice), roti (flat bread), curried vegetables, milked tea and other snacks.
  • Eating is always in the home and going to a restaurant is unheard of except in cities.
  • In the hills where rice is expensive, the Nepalese substitute rice for dhedo, which is a mixture of flour and water or butter.
  • The most common custom in Nepal is jutho, which translates as “contaminated” and requires people not to touch others’ food and drink with either their hands or their spoon. When drinking water for example, Nepalese people will not touch the bottle or glass to their lips so that others can drink from it also.
  • Another custom is the idea that the foot is ritually dirty and therefore stepping over food or pointing the soles of your feet is disrespectful. Don’t eat off someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you have taken a bite out of.
  • Most Nepalese people won’t eat meat everyday, if they are not vegetarian and if they can afford it meat will be prepared and enjoyed during festivals.

If you want to experience this incredible cuisine for yourself, why not visit Nepal this year?