Heaven of natural beauty and cultural diversity, Nepal is equally famous for its food culture. Surrounded by big nations on all sides (India and China), Nepalese cuisines are also often influenced by their flavors. In simpler terms, you can be assured that local Nepali cuisines are the amalgamation of tastes, traditions, and gastronomic history.
Additionally, these dishes are diverse, healthy, whole meals and have lip-smacking flavors. It is a unique blend of aromas and tastes. What’s the best part? Local Nepali cuisines are high in nutritional value, and the spices and herbs add more health benefits and flavors.
All these Nepali dishes are more than just everyday eateries filled with cultural importance and history. In addition to that, this culinary journey is much more enjoyable.
Some Must Try Local Nepali Foods
As you go around asking any Nepalese what the must-try local food is around in Nepal, you will hear several chants of “Dal Bhaat” and momos. And yes, while in Nepal, you should at least eat a few hearty servings of the national dish (dhido gundruk, dal bhaat).
However, if you are lost and do not know where to start your culinary journey in Nepal, we are here to help. Below are lists of the best hand-picked and tasted dishes for which you must crack your flavors.
It is the national dish of Nepal and is appetizingly pleasing with its rich taste. Here, Dhido is a thick porridge (often made up of paddy flour, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, or millet flour). They are prepared by boiling stone ground and later added with salt in water.
As tasty as it gets, Dhido is exceptionally healthy and is a staple diet in most rural areas. Likewise, Gundruk is fermented leafy vegetables (mustard leaves, spinach, or cauliflower) that taste slightly sour and mushroomy. Apart from it, you can also find gundruk as a pickle, a famous statement. These two go well together as a team on a plate.
Similarly, you can also have dhido alongside butter, vegetable curries, pickles, buttermilk, and yogurt.
Dal Bhaat Tarkaari
As we have said before, everyone should taste Dal Bhaat at least once in Nepal. This dish is indeed the crucial one among every Nepalese, as the famous quote about it goes, “Dal Bhaat Power, 24 Hours.”
This authentic Nepali taste consists of Bhaat (steamed rice), Dal (lentil soup), and Tarkaari (several varieties of seasonal veggies). It also consists of meat varieties (mutton, buff, and chicken) and comes with a side of Dahi (yogurt).
Moving on, Dal Bhaat Tarkaari is the primary food of the day that every Nepalese love and eat. Not to mention, it is also a primary source of energy that keeps everyone energy packed.
They are bite-sized dumplings that are meat or veggie fillings wrapped in dough. These are not to miss dishes as they are savory and full of mouth-dripping flavors.
Momos often come with varieties of fillings. In non-veg options, you can choose from buff, mutton, chicken, pork, and many more. Likewise, for vegan options, you can also choose from cabbage, carrots, spinach, paneer, etc.
Furthermore, the primary recipe for momo is steaming; however, it can also be fried, steam-fried, and many more,
You can call sel roti a fusion between a bagel and a doughnut and quite famous, especially during the festivals of Dashain and Tihar. These are circular rice flour bread that is deep fried and have significantly less sweetness.
Well, sell roti is made after kneading the rice flour in a saturated solution as you add ghee and a little bit of sugar. Moving on, they are crunchy on the outside while soft on the inside, and yes, they taste well with a side of veggies.
It is a sweet dish prepared in the Newari community to mark the end of the rice harvest. They are printed and fish-like dumplings prepared from rice dough. Additionally, it has sweet fillings on the inside, either a sweet molasses mixture or a coconut one.
Indeed, this dish is hard to find all year round. However, some bakery sections and supermarkets have them on sale.
It is one of Nepal’s most famous meats and is a heaven for meat and mutton lovers. These chunks of lambs are slow-cooked succulents that are immersed in chunky curry.
The curry includes big potatoes, chopped onions, and chilly mixtures here. Altogether, they are cooked on a charcoal grill and are always the best dish in cold weather. Again, this meat is best enjoyed with rice or roti.
It is tasty noodles with a heartwarming bowl of soup, perfect for cold weather. These noodles contain meat and vegetables, while the soup is heavy with an aroma of meat stock and broth.
Likewise, its soup is filled with chili powder and masala (usually garam masala) to make it hot and spicy.
It is a slice of dried meat and is usually made up of buffaloes and lambs or goats. This is a famous meat specialty, especially in mountainous regions’ Limbu and Gurung families. They are often turned into curried or simply served after marinating in turmeric, black pepper, coriander, chili, ginger, garlic, and onion paste.
Also known as the King of Curd, Juju Dhau is one of the most famous curds you can find in the streets of Bhaktapur. They are thick, creamy, and sweetened yogurt served in a clay pot. Often, they are made from buffalo milk which is much richer in taste.
What About Beverages?
When we talk about food, it is not at all a choice to miss out speaking on the beverages you can enjoy alongside these dishes. Below are some of the lists of local Nepali drinks to try out.
- Tongba (Millet-based alcoholic beverage perfect for winter seasons)
- Everest Beer (Brewed by Mount Everest Brewery, it is one of the best beers in Nepal)
- Lassi (Traditional cooling drink with a blend of yogurt, water, spices, and sometimes fruit)
- Masala Tea (Brewed tea with aromatic blends of aromatic herbs, milk, and water)
- Ranjana Soda (Carbonated water with varieties of flavors such as lemon, mango, litchi, orange, cola, and so on)