There are a great variety of very tasty and healthy dishes to eat in Nepal, as it has a rich gastronomy. In the kingdom of the Himalayas, rice is the basis of the food, as well as cereals, pulses and vegetables. As a consequence, the traditional dishes of Nepal are varied and well-balanced.
The first thing that will surprise you about Nepalese gastronomy is its delicious breakfasts. Although the Nepalese begin the day with a bowl of rice and a tea, there are various types of breakfasts for travellers, each one more delicious and abundant. Not content with this, it is the custom in Nepal to have a second breakfast, this time with a spicy soup of vegetables and pulses.
But breakfasts apart, let’s take a look at what to eat in Nepal and which are the most traditional dishes of this country.
You will find momos in all places and at all times of the day. They are a pasty stuffed with vegetables or meat. To make them, the Nepalese fry or steam them and they are served with two types of sauce.
They can be eaten as a starter, for breakfast, as an afternoon snack or for supper. They are delicious and are the perfect way to appease hunger cravings. They are prepared with lean meat, onions, garlic, ginger, coriander and salt.
We could say that this is the national dish of Nepal, along with the momos. More than a dish, it is a tray with white boiled rice, accompanied by various bowls of vegetables, fish or meat, and a lentil soup, as well as vegetables.
This filling dish is very reminiscent of the traditional Hindu dish, the Thali, which in Nepal is also accompanied with a Naan, or Indian bread.
Apart from rice, something else to eat in Nepal is noodles. These are fried with onion and tomato, and egg, chicken or vegetables are also added. This is a very tasty dish which can also be eaten at any time.
There is also a soup version, called Thukpa, which is similar to the Japanese Ramen. To make this noodle soup, Tibetans add onions, garlic, ginger, tamari, tomatoes and hot peppers.
This Nepalese speciality consists of round-shaped pasties filled with meat. They are made from minced beef or lamb, to which are added onions, ginger, crushed garlic, cumin, soya sauce, sesame oil, flour and water. The result is finger-licking good.
Another traditional dish to try in Nepal, and one which you must not miss if you love meat, is the Kongpo Shaptak. To prepare this delicacy they use beef, red onion, paprika, garlic, ginger, tomato, blue cheese and jalapeno peppers. The meat is cut into small cubes and fried with the above ingredients. It is served accompanied with rice or with a traditional Naan.
For those who love chicken, we recommend you try this recipe for butter chicken. This is one of the tastiest traditional dishes of Nepal which is prepared with butter, powdered chilli, cashew nuts, garlic, ginger, and tomato puree. Added to this mixture are curry, garam masala (cinnamon, cloves and cardamon), lemon juice, turmeric and yogurt. The result is a marinated chicken which bursts with flavour in your mouth.
This traditional dish of Nepalese gastronomy is a Tibetan curry whose main ingredient is veal or lamb. The meat is cut into small cubes, along with some potatoes. You can also substitute the meat with tofu. It is fried with onion, garlic and ginger, and then seasoned with salt and turmeric.
To accompany the dish, they serve boiled bean and seaweed noodles, along with boiled white rice, and then sesame oil and curry are added. The resulting dish has a spectacular flavour.
The hot pot is a hot metal casserole containing a stew which is full of meat and vegetables. There is also a vegetarian version with egg, and a vegan version with tofu. This dish has Chinese origins, and is perfect for recovering your strength after a day out trekking in the mountains.
The Nepalese prepare different types of soups, among which the most famous is the garlic soup which prevents altitude sickness. Another traditional soup of Nepalese gastronomy is the Aloo Tama, or potato soup with curry and bamboo shoots. You can also find the Thukpa or noodle soup that we mentioned previously, with either vegetables or chicken. Or there is the famous Bhaat Tarkari, a soup made of lentils, rice and vegetable curry.
And to finish with something sweet after so many flavours, what better than the famous Juju Dhau or creamy yogurt. Don’t forget to try the famous Sikarni, or the yogurt shakes with cinnamon and dried fruit, at any time of the day.
Nepal is a country that will surprise you, not only due to the beauty of its landscapes, its mountains and its temples, but also because of the kindness of its people, and the richness of its gastronomy. So now you know what to eat in Nepal, organise your meals so that you are well prepared to try everything.