Nepali Food

Find out all you need to know about the best Nepali food and drinks before your trip.

The authentic and plentiful Nepali food depends heavily upon the cultural diversity and geography of the country. Himalayan cuisine, and the culinary practices of Newar people, India, and Tibet are some of the major influences. Many people consider Nepali food the healthiest in South East Asia, as it depends on lean meats, vegetables, pickled ingredients, and grains. Most dishes are on silver plates along with a variety of appetizers such as dahi (Nepali yogurt) and chutney. Learn about the best dishes of Nepali cuisine and experience its diverse gastronomic scene like a local. Before you arrive, also keep in mind these Nepali food tips:

  • Dinner time in Nepal usually begins around 8-9pm.
  • When buying street food, try to avoid fruits that cannot be peeled, uncovered food, and unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Don’t try to find fancy restaurants for every meal. Give the quality food stalls and eateries a chance, and you will taste the most delicious Nepali street food dishes.

Must-Try Nepali Foods

Here are the top dishes of the Nepal food scene that will help you eat like a local:

Nepali food
Dal Bhat

Originally from Bengal, Dal Bhat is easily the most popular dish in Nepal. It consists of a variety of local flavors, all served on one silver tray. Dal Bhat is also a feast for the eyes, famous for its plenitude. A typical tray has rice at the center and lentil soup, curry chicken, pickles, chutney, and yogurt. If you are looking to get all the nutrition you need in one meal, Dal Bhat is the right choice for you. It is a perfect dish for vegetarians as well. You can find roti, an unleavened bread, replacing rice in some places due to farming restrictions for rice.

Nepali food
Pulao

Pulao is a wonderful vegetarian dish that makes use of Nepal’s main ingredients. It is fried rice with vegetables seasoned with cumin and turmeric. You will find it in most restaurants that serve it with yogurt, curry meats, and pickled vegetables. The subtlety of pulao is the technique of cooking the rice in a way that they won’t stick together.

Nepali food
Gorkhali Lamb

The most intense and aromatic dish in Nepali food, gorkhali lamb is meat cooked in a large amount of curry and sealed before it is put into a spicy sauce. Rice or roti often accompanies gorkhali to soothe its taste. You will have the best gorkhali lamb in the local restaurants in Kathmandu.

Nepali food
Momo

Momos look like they came straight from a western menu, but they are one of the quintessential dishes of Nepal that has made it through the centuries. A hearty stuffing of veggies, or minced lamb or chicken usually go into the dough. You can also find delicious variants with cheese and potatoes. It is usually the staple snack of Nepali street food shops. Raw chili and garlic provide a rich taste to momos. Taste them on the street or order a meal version in one of the restaurants in Kathamandu, which comes in a thick tomato sauce.

Nepali food
Sel Roti

When it comes to street food in Nepal, Sel Roti is the most available choice. Similar to the Turkish simit, or America’s bagel, this basic pastry is fulfilling and delicious. And you will notice that it is very different in taste, too, made of rice flour. It is slightly crunchy on the outside and puffy on the inside. We recommend dipping it in yogurt or eating it with veggies. If you are traveling during the festivities, you will see even more of them. You should definitely try some before you leave.

Nepali food

Yomari

A sweet touch to the uneventful food scene in Nepal, Yomari will make you feel at home no matter where you are coming from. It exalts the best of Nepali products, made from rice dough filled with a sweet and refreshing puree of sesame, coconut, and molasses. It is the number one dish served in the winter festivals in Nepal. You can even find salty versions made with spices and lentils.

Must-Try Nepali Drinks

Raksi

Distilled from fermented rice or millet, Raksi is a strong alcoholic beverage common across India, Nepal, and Tibet. There are different versions based on different grains, and we recommend asking for the ones suitable for your taste. Rice-based raksi is mellower, while barley-based is tangy. Pair it with salty snacks and raksi will make your nights in Nepal wonderful.

raksi
Chhaang

Barley and rice make an appearance in the beverage scene, too, as the primary products of Nepal. Chhaang is one of the most popular, consumed across Tibet and Nepal. It is a low-alcohol drink fermented from a mix of grains and yeast and blended with water. The flavor can be quite unusual from what you are used to, slightly sweet and tart.

Nepali food

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