There is a lot of misconception about Nepalese cuisine being limited to Dumplings and Tibetan noodle soup. The gastronomy of Nepal is a fusion of tastes, customs, and culinary history. If you delve deeper into a Nepalese home, you will uncover dishes for every event.
Surrounded by India, Tibet, and China, the flavors of Nepalese cuisine are heavily influenced by its neighboring countries. While in urban areas like Kathmandu, Newari cuisine is popular, the hilly regions with limited agriculture have Tibetan noodle soup and meat as their specialties. These dishes are not just part of their everyday meals but also hold great significance in Nepal’s cultural festivities.
Top 10 Nepalese Delicacies You Should Try
While there are countless places to explore in Nepal, the gastronomic adventure is equally fascinating. Here are the top 10 dishes, apart from dumplings and flavored rice, that you must try in Nepal if you consider yourself a food enthusiast.
1. Sel Roti
A crispy and sugary snack, Sel Roti is a fusion of a donut and a bagel. One of the most beloved Nepalese delicacies, Sel Roti is prepared during the festivals of Tihar and Dashain. This round bread made of rice flour is deep-fried, resulting in a crispy texture on the outside and a soft and doughy interior. It is typically enjoyed as a breakfast dish with yogurt-based dips and accompanied by vegetables.
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Another popular Nepalese dish, Gundruk is considered the national specialty of Nepal. It consists of pickled leafy vegetables that are enjoyed as a condiment or side dish with the main course. Mustard, radish, and cauliflower are left to wilt for a day or two, and then they are stored in a sealed earthenware pot, allowing the leaves to release their acidic juices. In essence, it is Nepali-style kimchi.
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One of the popular dishes of the Newar community of Nepal, Yomari is a fish-shaped winter delicacy. It is created with rice dough to combat chilly weather in the mountains. Not only will its unique shape captivate you, but a sugary filling is inserted inside the dough that makes it irresistible for individuals with a sweet tooth. You can also relish the zesty pulse variation.
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One of the elements that will complete your gastronomic adventure in Nepal is Tongba. The millet-based alcoholic beverage is a traditional and indigenous drink of the Limbu people in eastern Nepal. Also recognized as ‘Tibetan Hot Beer’, the staple local beer is poured into container-like vessels and sipped through bamboo straws. The DIY local beer can be elongated into multiple rounds of warm alcoholic beverage so you never deplete your beer supply.
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5. Samya Bhaji
The Nepalese cuisine is not only a culinary delight but also one of the main attractions in Nepal. The Newari delicacy has been handed down through generations and is served during important celebrations. Samay Baji is a platter of various dishes including flattened rice, grilled buffalo meat, boiled egg, and spicy potato salad. This traditional Newari dish is a must-try when visiting Nepal.
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