During our stay in Nepal we have been trying different types of local dishes from the different regions (Newari, Thakali, Tibetan, common Nepali). Throughout the history, Nepali food has been influenced by the cuisines of their neighbor countries: India, Tibet, China
These are some of the dishes we have tasted!!
The National Nepali dish which they usually eat day and night. It consists of plain rice, dal soup (lentils soup), potatoes, vegetables and pickles. All the ingredients are served on a plate separated and Nepalis mix them all before eating.
The good thing about Dal Bhat is that one can repeat as many times as wanted! But believe us when we say that repeating one or two times it is more than enough. It’s definitely a solid meal, as they say it gives you 24 hours power!
Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures of Dal Bhat, every time we ordered one we were so hungry that we forgot to take one!
Momos are the Nepali Dumplings. Stuffed with vegetables, meat and/or cheese they can be eaten steamed, fried or in a soup. This is the dish that we have liked the most.
We even tried them stuffed with apple and covered with warm custard… yummy!!
Tibetan Bread is made of wheat flour and water. After making the dough they shape it as a round pancake and they normally make 3 cuts in the middle before frying it in soy bean oil. It can be eaten plain, with honey, butter or jam. This was definitely our favorite breakfast when served with honey! It’s like a fresh made giant flat donut!
These are fried lentil–flour patties with buff (buffalo meat) or egg accompanied with gravy.
We tried this patties at a dark, hidden local woh eatery. We only found the place and adventured to try them after reading it in our guide. Full of locals who kept staring at us thinking what are you doing here it ended up being a good choice.
Another Tibetan dish, it is a combination of meats, fish and tofu cooked and served with a vegetables broth. The meats are accompanied with rice and steamed Tibetan bread (different to the one we normally have for breakfast).
Curd in Nepal is similar to yogurt. It can be made of goat, buffalo or cows milk. Traditionally in Nepal buffalo’s milk it is used to make the curd. In Bhaktapur we tried “the king of curds”, which is meant to be the best curd in Nepal!
Ground grain mixed with tea, water or milk and eaten dried either instead of rice or mixed with it, it is meant to be the staple dish in the Tibetan side of the hill country but not as common in the area we have visited.
While we never tried Tsampa as a main dish, we tried it as breakfast: Tsampa Porridge. The taste wasn’t completely uncomfortable and it looked like baby food, so not the most appetizing thing to have first thing in the morning but a very good energy source.
Buckwheat is some kind of grain which is used to make bread. A bit insipid if eaten plain but great to help you going to the toilet ;-)
As strange as it sounds, garlic is a great natural remedy to help preventing high altitude sickness. While the hardcore Nepalis eat raw garlic we only ate it in soup. Great for dinner in the cold Himalayan nights.
Buff Choyila and Alutama
Both quite spicy Newari dishes that we tried in Bhaktapur. We learned later that Newari food is normally more spicy than food from other Nepali regions. Choyila is dried buff cubes fried with spices and greens (you need good teeth to chew this!) and Alutama it’s a potato and bamboo shoots based soup.
Like the American-Chinese dish. Probably not the most local dish, but we have tried really good chopsueys in Tibetan restaurants.
Yak Burger & Steak
Yak’s meat is hardly ever found below 3500m, as yaks only live in cold weather. That’s why we tried it in Manang (around 3700m). The meat is quite hard and it tastes similar to beef.
We ordered both a yak burger and steak, and while we were expecting a mouthwatering steak we got instead a kind of burger meat patty. We found out that’s how the serve the steaks, probably because the meat is really hard and this makes it easier to chew it.
Tibetan soup containing noodles, meat and vegetables.
Marpha Apples (dried & fresh!)
Marpha is famous for its apples. This little village is the main producer of apples in the area and they sell them either fresh, sun-dried or as a juice or as brandy! After buying a few we can say that they are really juicy and yummy!