Nepal is famous for its beauty, culture, heritage, and other unique aspects. Many factors make Nepal world-famous, but very few people know Nepal for spice production.
Nepalese make extensive use of various spices such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, pepper, timmur, and mustard. An accurate and exciting mixture of these spices makes the Nepalese cuisines taste delicious.
Many spices are grown organically using traditional methods, which is why their flavors are authentic and fresh than spices from other parts of the world. The unique style of spice production in Nepal is what makes the Nepalese ethnic cuisine flavorful.
The unique production of spices in Nepal
Spice production is very common in Nepal. People living in the Himalayan region like Bajura and Myagdi do Timmur farming. And during the production season, production of this spice hikes in the villages of Nepal. This Himalayan spice is one of the popular ingredients in every Nepalese cuisine.
Nepalese uses timmur to flavor pickles, tea, and to make masalas. As this spice is largely produced in the villages of Nepal, it is also used in the production of essential oil.
Timmur has medicinal properties that are very beneficial for health. It boosts the immune system, reduces pain, increases circulation, strengthens the bone, and reduces inflammation. Timmur also helps in controlling gas and facilitates the digestive system.
Ginger, known as aduwau in Nepal, is essential spices in Nepalese dishes. Aduwau is also grown in high altitude in the Himalayan region and has a distinct flavor and aroma. Terhathum, Palpa, and Salyan are the three district of Nepal which are highly fertile for the production of ginger.
Aduwau adds flavor to the Nepalese cuisines. It is a regular spice that every Nepalese’s kitchen has and is an essential ingredient in every Nepali food. It’s an important ingredient to prepare vegetables, chicken, buff, and other dishes.
Ginger doesn’t just add flavor to the dishes, but it has numerous health benefits. Drinking ginger tea can treat cough and cold. Additionally, ginger also helps in reducing blood pressure levels and fight respiratory problems.
Black cardamom is a native spice of the Himalayan region. There are 16 varieties of cardamom all around the world. Among these varieties of cardamom, five of them are produced in Nepal. Five types of cardamom that are grown in Nepal are Ramsey, Golsey, Sawney, Chibesey, and Dammersey
Taplejung and Panchthar are the two district in Nepal which are suitable for the production of this spice. Cardamom oil is an essential ingredient in preparing food, perfume, medicines, and beverages. Most of the Nepalese cuisines use cardamom as an important ingredient.
Cardamom is useful in treating bad breath and prevent cavities. It can also help in curing the digestive problem and chronic diseases.
4. Akbare Khursani
Akbare khursani, also known as round chili, is the world’s hottest chili. It is not a common ingredient in Nepalese cuisines but few cuisines use round chili as a spicing agent.
It is also an important ingredient in making some of the famous Nepalese pickles. Nepalese prefer to add pickles to their plate, and round chili pickle is among the famous Nepalese pickles.
Most of the villages cultivate round chili in the house. Therefore people are not more into cultivating round chili for commercial purposes. But, in some village areas, people cultivate round chili to sell in the city area.
People leaving in the mid-altitude of Nepal do cinnamon farming. Cinnamon is also popular spices in Nepalese cuisines. This special spice is an important ingredient in preparing sel-roti.
Sel-roti is the traditional Nepalese snack which is popular during Dashain and Tihar. It’s made from the mixture of rice flour, ghee, sugar, and dalchini. Dalchini acts as a baking powder that gives a fluffiness to sel-roti.
Cinnamon also has medical properties that can treat health problems. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and may treat neurodegenerative diseases. The study also shows that cinnamon can also be useful in preventing and treating cancer.
Coriander, also known as dhania, is largely grown for the domestic market. Most of the Nepalese cultivate dhania in the home garden.
Dhaniya powder is a common ingredient in Nepalese cuisines like chicken gravy and curry. Dry coriander is blended into a powder. It acts as a flavoring agent in the food. It has a mild flavor that gives a sweet and savory taste to the food.
Additionally, coriander powder is useful in treating some of the major health issues. It is effective in lowering the sugar level and promotes digestive function. To some extent, it can also help in maintaining heart health. Coriander is rich in antioxidant properties that boost the immunity system.
Cilantro is the leaves of the coriander plant and is famous in Nepal as Hario dhaniya ko paat. People in Nepal use cilantro for various purposes. Cilantro is used for garnishing dishes, and it is also used as the primary ingredient.
Cilantro leaves act as a flavoring ingredient in most of the Nepalese cuisine. These leaves are chopped into fine pieces and are sprinkled over the dishes like dal and curries. However, cilantro can also be prepared like spinach and served as a vegetable.
People in Nepal use cilantro to make achar. Cilantro leaves are crushed and mashed into a paste. Then the paste is mixed with blended tomatoes, chili, and cumin seed.
Like other spices, Turmeric (Basaar) is cultivated in the higher altitude of the Himalayan region in Nepal. It has a unique flavor and aroma, which gives a yellowish color to the dishes. However, turmeric doesn’t act as a flavoring spice. Its presence doesn’t make much difference in taste but its absence can affect the food color.
Basaar is a natural medical spice that promotes digestion and also useful in reducing the cholesterol level. As Nepali food is typically oily, using turmeric in the cuisine decreases the negative effect of consuming oil.
In the Nepalese kitchen, turmeric is not just an ingredient for food but it also acts as a preventive agent. Nepalese use turmeric to marinate meat and pickles for later use. As turmeric also has healing power which is why its ointment is useful in curing wounds and burns. Turmeric is also useful in treating chickenpox and smallpox.