If you’re curious about Best Nepalese food to eat, then you’ve landed on the right page. Nepal is not only known as a popular trekking destination but is also known for its varieties of delicious delicacies that are culturally distinct.
Nepali foods are distinct from western fast foods. The Nepali foods listed in this article are popular among people because of their different tastes. Each dish compels you to eat more and more. Nepali cuisine is beyond just a simple ‘Dal-Bhat’. Various communities of Nepal extensively influence the menu.
List of Popular Nepalese Food
Thousands of years old recipes passing down from generation to generation, Nepalese food are close to Nepalese people’s culture and their feelings.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself into the Nepali culture, these foods are must-try. These cuisines have distinct flavors and essence that enrich you with the ultimate Nepali experience.
Here are some authentic Nepali foods that you have to try when you are in Nepal. Let’s take a tour around Nepal’s typical cuisines.
1) Dal Bhat
This probably is the heaviest dish you will try in Nepal. This traditional meal is commonly cooked in the Nepali kitchen, thus you can call it a national dish. Rice is served with lentil and side dishes such as meat, vegetables, curd, and pickles. Utterly satisfying Dal Bhat is a popular meal among trekkers.
It is full of carbohydrates and protein. It keeps you full all day and supplies you with the required energy for long hours. Elevate the taste by adding raw chilies to your food. Your Nepal visit would be incomplete without tasting this heavenly cuisine.
2) Newari Khaja
Newari Khaja, also known as ‘Newari Bhoye’ and ‘Samai Baji’ is an ethnic food of the Newar community. Earlier, Newari khaja was just limited to Newari people, which they would consume during special occasions but the time has changed. The fanbase of this dish is massive all around Nepal now.
Newari Khaja is a combined dish that comprises several items such as baji (beaten rice), achar, chhoyela, egg, soybeans, bara, Aalu Tama, chhyang (rice beer). You can find delicious Newari Khaja at various Newari restaurants in Kathmandu.
One of the most popular places to experience a Newari culture is at Newa Lahana, Kirtipur. You can witness the charm of proper Newari ambiance at Newa Lahana. The service here is ethnic. The ladies working here are dressed in Haku patasi and Newari Khaja is served in Lapte (Leaf plate). You can sit on sukul there which is the traditional way to enjoy the food.
Another delicious Newari dish that makes this list is Yomari. Yomari is a traditional dish made up of rice flour and chaaku. It involves a long process to prepare this unique yet delicious item.
First, the dough is prepared from rice flour. Then, a paste of chaaku with a thick consistency is prepared. Then, a distinctive shape is made of a small piece of dough taken one at a time.
Chaaku is filled in it and steamed. Chaaku is not the only fillings people prefer nowadays. We can find yomari filled with khuwa and meat. Yomari can be found in Newari restaurants but do check the menus first. Not all Newari restaurants offer yomari. It’s a heavenly food for the sweet tooth.
Another newari item makes it to the list, and that is chatamari. Chatamari is made up of rice flour. A thick batter is made out of rice flour. Various ingredients are used to garnish on the top of it giving it exotic look and taste.
Vegetables are used as toppings on chatamari for vegetarian and meat toppings are also available for non-vegetarians. It may not be available in all the Newari restaurants.
It is specifically mentioned on the menu if they serve chatamari. The chatamari visually appears as pizza but the taste is not the same. Chatamari has a local typical Nepali taste so it is a must-try delicacy.
The must-try dish when you are in Nepal is the mouthwatering dumplings of momo. Momo is undoubtedly one of the favorite cuisines of Nepalese. Kathmandu is flooded with momo hubs so it won’t be trouble finding a momo restaurant. Momo comes in a lot of varieties.
It comes in various flavors and different sizes. Besides momo dumplings, its sauce (momo achaar) is the interesting part. Plunge into the richness of the momo sauce, which is made up of the generous amount of spices that enhances the taste of the momo.
Momo in Nepal is available with various fillings such as minced buff, chicken, paneer, khuwa, etc. Trying momo here in Nepal is highly recommended.
6) Selroti and Aalu Achaar
It is a festive season item. Tihar is a huge festival celebrated with high enthusiasm in Nepal. It is also called the festival of lights, which is celebrated for 5 days. Nepalese prepare selroti in their home and enjoy selroti with family and friends mainly during Tihar.
But the popularity of selroti is so huge that many people prefer selroti in their daily lives. They have it for breakfast and lunch sometimes. It is made up of rice flour. Its shape is like a ring, deep-fried in oil or ghee. This delicacy is mostly preferred with tea as well as with aalu achar.
Aalu achaar is a traditional potato pickle generally preferred as a side item with the Dal Bhat. Boiled potatoes are sliced into small cubes, which are then mixed with a wide range of spices. The sweetness of selroti and the spicy aalu achaar maintains a balancing taste. So when you visit Nepal, you should try out selroti and achhar without hesitation.
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7) Pani puri
Pani puri started as street food but it gained so much popularity that several fine restaurants now adopt it. It is an interesting dish with lots of spices and tangy taste.
Mashed potato, onion, chili, and spices, go into a small puri that is served with flavored water. One may use the flavors like mint and tamarind as per his/her wish. It is cheap and widely available.
If you love spicy food and want to try Nepali food with lots of spices, then you should try out chatpate. Chatpate is a mixture of various spices so it will feel like firework inside your mouth.
It’s like a festival of spices. You will experience tanginess, spiciness, sweetness, and more in just one bite. You have to try it to know how it tastes.
9) Thakali Khana
Thakali Khana is basically a set of Rice/dhido served with flavored lentils, stir-fried greens, gundruk ko achaar, multiple pickles, and vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries in a single platter.
Adding some melted ghee over rice/dhido can elevate the taste. Though Thakali khana looks similar to Dal-Bhat, it differs in cooking methodology and ingredients.
Since the dish is getting popular in Kathmandu day by day, you can find the delicious Thakali Khana in any restaurants in Nepal.
10) Juju Dhau
Nepal’s most delicious yogurt, juju dhau will give you a taste of Newari culture. King of yogurt, Juju Dhau is a must in almost all festivities. Bhaktapur is the core place to find juju dhau.
Made of buffalo milk, it has a rich texture. Rich in flavor, juju dhau is prepared by pounding some sweeten in boiled milk. After pouring the mixture in a decorative clay bowl, the bowl is kept in a warm place until it’s ready to eat.
While visiting Bhaktapur, make sure to taste Juju Dhau. You might end up ordering more. You can enjoy juju dhau as a side dish with dal-bhat or have it as a snack.
Exotic traditional food, dhido is prepared by cooking millet flour, wheat flour, buckwheat flour, or maize flour in a traditional way. It is a healthy dish made by adding flour in hot water.
It is cooked by stirring the batter with a cooking spatula until it gets a consistency texture. Steaming hot dhido is served with cool liquid. Add ghee to enhance the taste.
Enjoy the dish by dipping in meat soup, milk, lentil soup, or gundruk. You can eat it for lunch or dinner.
12) Sadheko Sukuti
If you’re fond of meat items, then this dish will definitely win your heart. Sadheko sukuti tastes great, but this tangy, spicy and smoky meat dish takes your experience to a whole new level.
The dried meat mixed with little spices and raw onions, chillis, and garlic is served as a starter or side dish in restaurants. It can be prepared in multiple ways.
It is served with beaten rice, pickles, and freshly chopped carrots, radish, and cucumber.
13) Gundruk ko achar
An extraordinary nepali item, gundruk ko achar, have a bit different smell and taste. Newbies might take some time to accommodate the taste of gundruk ko achar. Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable prepared from mustard leaves, radish leaves, and cauliflower leaves.
Gundruk ko achar is prepared by mixing soaked gundruk, chopped onion, green chilies, tomato, garlic, ginger, mustard oil, fenugreek, turmeric, lemon, and salt. Adding some grains of roasted bhatmas, elevates the taste of the dish to the next level.
It is an appetizer served as a side dish. You will barely find this dish outside Nepal. No wonder Nepali calls it their national dish and they make it finger-licking good. When you order Dal-Bhat or Thakali khana, make sure you ask for gundruk ko achar. The combination will be great.
The street of Boudha is lined up with lafhing shops. Originally a Tibetan street food, Lafhing has garnered huge popularity among food lovers in Kathmandu in recent years.
A summer food served with cold-spiced water can be eaten in winter as well. We are sure the scrumptious taste will leave you wanting for more.
A pinch of salt, coriander, onions, cloves, and garlic with a few drops of sesame oil makes the noodles unbelievably tasty.
You can increase the level of spice as much as you want. Well, it tastes best when it is super-spicy. Next time, when you visit Buddha, surprise your taste bud with this spicy treat.
15) Gud Pak
Prepared from milk and sugar, gud pak is believed to have multiple health benefits. Thus, is consistently served to a new mother. The brownish soft treat topped with grated coconut and sliced almond tastes best when eaten hot.
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16) Pau or Titaura
Sour and spicy treat made from fruits are the must-try. The new road will welcome you with a chain of titaura shops. They sell a large variety of titaura. Make sure to grab a packet. Be careful, you may get addicted to its peculiar taste.
17) Yak Cheese
Yak cheese is produced in the Himalayan region that’s why this piece of creamy, soft treat tastes divine. Prepared from yak milk, the cheese is widely found in Kathmandu as well as other parts of Nepal.
If you are trekking in the Himalayan region, you can taste the fresh yak cheese while visiting cheese factories.
18) Aalu Tama
Blend of Chinese and Indian food, aalu tama is a spicy and sour soup. A mix of potato, bamboo shoot, and black-eyed beans is served as a side dish with rice, sel roti, or Newari khaja set.
If you are tasting the soup for the first time, it might not suit your taste but a few more shots and you will be additive to its peculiar sourness.
Khuwa is made of milk. Stirring the milk until it turns thick and smooth is backbreaking however for such a delicious treat every hard work is worthy. This delicacy is served in most veg-restaurants throughout Nepal.
Influenced by Tibetan and Chinese cuisines, Thukpa is widely served in the Himalayan region of Nepal. A bowl of hot soup will keep the cold at bay.
Its nutrition value and exquisite taste make thukpa a much-loved dish in Nepal. The stew is made from noodles, green vegetables, meat, and egg. You may add lime to enhance its taste.
21) Sherpa Stew
Sherpa stew is a popular dish among locals and trekkers in the Everest region. Thick soup containing dough, veg, and rice keep you full all day and supply the energy you need to climb the rough trail.
Though the dish is easily found in the high Himalayan, in Kathmandu only a few restaurants serve it. Sprinkle schezuan pepper to elevate its taste. You may eat it as lunch or dinner.
Exotic Nepali Beverages
1) Butter Tea
Popular in the Himalayan region, butter tea calls for common ingredients but has an incredibly unique taste.
The mixture of tea leaves boiled for a half-day, yak butter, and salt give the butter tea a rich taste. If you want an authentic taste, grab one while trekking in the Himalayan region.
Listed in “50 most delicious drink in the world” by CNN, the traditional Newari beverage is prepared by mixing fermented millet, rice, and grains.
Aila is mostly served during the Newari festivals and is barely found in restaurants.
However, the restaurants serving the Newari cuisines served Aila. It has 60% alcohol so be careful while you try it out.
Chhang is an exotic Nepali beverage prepared by fermented rice. In summer, you can drink it at room temperature whereas it is served hot in winter. Ideal to warm up in winter, the beverage contains very little alcohol. It can taste sweet.
The unique hot hard-drink keeps large folks happy in winter. The indigenous drink of Limbu community, Tongba is prepared by fermented millet.
The fermented millet is placed in a vessel called Tongba and then hot water is poured. Refill it as much as you want. It can be easily found in hotels at high elevation during trekking in Nepal. Tongba warms you from head to toe.
At the End
I hope this guide helps to choose Nepalese food while you are in Nepal. There are different varieties of food to try out and I believe you will not miss the listed items while your visit to Nepal.
BTW, What are you planning to Eat?
Are you going to try Momo? or maybe you can try Dhido?
Either way, leave a comment/feedback in the comment section.
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