Nepal is a country sandwiched between two large countries, India and China, with an abundance of culture and ethnicity with different foods, languages, and practices. The alleys and streets in Nepal, especially near Patan and Basantapur, are a beacon for food culture in Nepal, with each step navigating a path to different street foods and restaurants.
Each Nepali food has its unique flavor, taste, and outlook with other unusual names. Patan and Kathmandu areas consist of several mainstream food restaurants and some culturally representative restaurants like an eatery that is Newari themed, Thakali Bhansa Ghar, etc.
Saying that, here are some fantastic food that you must try if you are in Nepal:
It is a delicacy found in Nepal which is prepared by steaming. It is like a dumpling but with rice flour covering and a gooey sweet liquid called chaaku inside. Chaaku is made by melting hardened molasses with ghee, milk, coconut, and dried fruits. The end of a yomari is pointy, and the top is shaped like a fishtail. This dish is specially made during Yomari Punhi, a festival marking the end of the rice harvest.
Sapu Mhicha is a Newari dish made by stuffing bone marrow inside a buffalo leaf tripe where layers of the tripe are separated to make a pocket for the marrow. It is boiled and then fried. This, in ancient times, usually was served after dinner before dessert to honor a man when he visits his in-laws for festival dinners. Sapu Mhicha has a unique and different taste that is memorable.
Lakhamari is a sweet food that one must try if they visit the Newari locality in Nepal. It can be found in different shapes and usually looks like a mandala. Lakhamari is sweet and made up of flour, sugar, and butter.
Sel roti is a commonly found street food in Nepal made out of rice flour fried in hot oil. This dish is used during the festival of Tihar during Bhai tika and Mha puja. But the popularity of sel roti exceeds the festival. People consume it daily as breakfast with tea or snacks in general. It has a mildly sweet flavor and usually very soft when bought warm.
Chatamari is a Newari dish made out of rice. It can be taken as a rice crepe with delicious toppings of eggs, onion, grounded buff, etc. It has a simple but powerful taste that makes you come for more. Restaurants all around Nepal, especially the Newari restaurant, serves Chatamari as an appetizer.
Gundruk and Sukuti
Gundruk is a national dish made of fermented leafy green vegetables. It has a distinct odor and is used in Nepali households as achaar or soup. It has a sour taste that enhances one’s likeness to eating rice.
Sukuti refers to dried buffalo meat usually prepared in the household by pounding spices in it and roasting or frying it. The food is exceptionally chewy and meaty, with a little bit of crispiness. It is usually salty, spicy, and mildly sour.
Jeri swari is a popular dish found in Nepali alleyways. It combines a flat round bread made by frying the flour in oil and a sweet spiral called jeri, also known as jalebi, made out of deep-fried all-purpose flour into pretzels and then dipped in sugar syrup. Jeri swari is a perfect combination where jeri covers the blandness of the flatbread, and swari balances the sweetness of the jeri.
Bara is a particular type of lentil pancake made in a Newari household and a popular dish found in Kathmandu. Bara is made up of spices, salt, and lentils grounded into a batter-like texture with water. Bara is one of the most simple Newari delicacies cooked like a pancake but tastes completely different. There are varieties of bara like anda bara (egg bara), keema bara (minced meat bara), regular bara without any toppings, dahi bara (curd bara), etc.
What is your favorite Nepali food? Share with us in the comment section down below.
The author of this article, Lujata Shrestha, writes for Officium.