There are so many things that one can do in Nepal, one of which is eat. There are literally so many things that you can find to eat here. From local authentic cuisines to items from different countries. Nepalese foods are an essence of Himalayan foods that possesses a unique taste. They use a variety of ingredients in all types of food items that makes it delicious and bring a different food culture. In this blog, however, we’re focusing on 12 Authentic Nepali Food Items – the dishes that originated in Nepal, and believe me, they’re delicious.
It is a series of blog on Himalayan Foods. We have previously covered 12 Authentic Food Items from Uttarakhand, that you may like to read.
12 Authentic Nepali Food Items
Kachila is a very basic dish; a non-vegetarian snack item made of minced buffalo meat.
The meat is finely minced, mixed with different spices, and left to be marinated for a few hours. It is then, ponded and smashed using naked hands for quite some time, until the mixture becomes further fine and smooth.
There is no cooking involved in the process, however, the mincing and pounding makes the meat edible enough to be eaten directly. It is believed that meat prepared like this retains its freshness and taste.
It is served with beaten rice (Flattened rice or Chura), salad and pickles.
Tass is a very popular non-vegetarian snack. It comes from a place called Chitwan in Nepal. However, Tass restaurants are available everywhere.
The dish is nothing but boneless goat meat cut into bite sized pieces, and marinated in salt and different spices. It is then left to rest for 3-4 hours, after which, it is seared in a hot pan with oil until cooked.
It is served mainly with beaten rice, pickles and salad.
#3. Sel Roti
Sel Roti is actually sweet soft fried batter rings. A batter with thick consistency is prepared using rice flour, sugar, water, bananas and cardamom powder. Then, it is fried in ghee or oil, in ring shape.
The item is prepared mainly during special occasions like festivals, marriages, anniversaries and so on. However, one can find Sel Roti being sold in confectionaries throughout the day. It is mainly consumed as a snack.
Gwaramari is composed of two words. ‘Gwara’ means round, and ‘mari’ means bread. Gwaramari tastes quite similar to plain doughnuts.
White flour is mixed with water, baking soda, salt and sugar to form a batter. This batter is now given round ping pong ball like shape, and fried in oil or ghee.
Gwaramari is mainly preferred as a breakfast with tea.
#5. Gundruk with Rice
Gundruk is actually prepared by drying the leaves of radish, mustard greens or any other leafy vegetable. After the drying process is completed, the leaves get darker and develop a pungent smell.
Gundruk is used to prepare curries, by mixing potatoes and soybeans in it. It is also pickled to further intensify the sour taste. It is then served with rice and dal(Pulses), as a part of the main course, or with beaten rice in the form of a snack. This is the most different of all the 12 Authentic Nepali Food Items in this blog.
#6. Tama Aaloo with Rice
This is another simple and authentic but nutritious recipe in our list of 12 authentic Nepali Food Items. Tama is actually edible bamboo shoot. It has a soft texture, and a very strong sour taste and smell. Tama is used to prepare soups and curries, even potatoes and beans are added to it to give it texture and volume, and to make it taste better.
It is basically served with rice and dal as a main course, or with beaten rice as a snack.
Dhindo is a thick paste like substance that is eaten as a supplement of rice. It is made using mainly buckwheat or millet flour. The flour is cooked in hot water until it transforms into a sticky paste.
It is eaten mainly with mutton/ chicken curry, vegetable curry, ghee (clarified butter), fried mustard green and spicy tomato chutney.
It was previously known as the food of the farmers, as it has a very high nutritional value, and it gave them the energy to work in the field for the entire day. Now, however, it has become one of the favorite foods of the nation.
#8. Thakali Khana
Thakali Khana basically is a combination of simple items like steamed rice, lentil soup, vegetable curry, mutton/ chicken curry, fried mustard green, pickled gundruk, tomato chutney, salad, yogurt and ghee.
One of the staple food items of Nepali cuisine, this is usually eaten as lunch, and is said to be packed with all the nutrients to keep us going throughout the day. Trust me, you will feel refreshed the whole or at least the quarter of the day after having this Authentic Nepali Food Items.
A simpler version, which is called Dal Bhat, consisting fewer items is eaten on a regular basis by majority of Nepalese as lunch.
#9. Samyebaji or Samaybaji
Samyebaji is sort of like a platter, which mainly consists of beaten rice, sautéed potatoes, sautéed beans, fried fish, fried mutton/chicken, marinated cucumbers, boiled/ fried eggs and so on. Certain other items are added depending on the preference of the cook.
It is prepared on special occasions mainly by people belonging to the Newari community.
Yomari is another Newari cuisine. It has a conical shape, and has two parts. The outer layer, which is simply steamed rice flour dough, and an inner filling, which is a thick liquid made of melted Chaku, grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds. Chaku is a more intense sweeter and bitter kind of jaggery, found locally in Nepal.
The dough is shaped into a cone, and the liquid is filled inside the cone. It is then sealed, and steamed until the outer layer is cooked.
Yomari is prepared in winter season by Newars. It is served in very limited restaurants and is really one of the Authentic Nepali Food Items.
Gudpak is a sweet savory thick dry sort of paste made with dry fruits and Chaku. Chaku is melted, and cooked with ghee, milk, edible gum, cashews, almonds, pistachios, diced coconuts and raisins, until the mixture is thick and completely bonded. It is then left to be cooled. After a while, it sets and that’s when it’s ready to be eaten.
Gudpak is a very popular dessert in Nepal. It is also said to be high in iron, and so, traditionally, it was served to the women who’d recently given birth to babies.
Lakhamari is a whitish brown crunchy bread sort of thing. It is mainly round in shape with various coil like designs created on top to make it look attractive. Traditionally, it was made during wedding ceremonies, and exchanged as gifts.
Taichin rice flour and peeled minced black pulse is mixed together with ghee, sugar and water to form a thick paste. This batter is fried in oil or ghee, and after being taken out, it is glazed with sugar. After letting it rest for a while, the sugar crystalizes creating a white layer on top of brownish base.
It is rarely prepared at home, and usually bought from designated sweet shops. It can be bought at all times, as availability is never an issue.
Your tour in Nepal is never completed without tasting either one or all of these items. They’re so savory, you’d want to continue eating till the end of time. Hard to believe? Well, you’ll have to try them to know if I’m speaking the truth or not.
So the next time you take a tour of Nepal, make sure to try these Authentic Nepali Food Items. You’ll never regret your decision, and you’d want to keep on coming back for more.