Nepal is a country of multi-ethnic communities. Every ethnic tribes have their unique culture, traditions, and language and food habits. There are different food for every occasions. Nepal lies in between India and China so food and spices used are also influenced by these countries.
Every community in Nepal holds its own rich food culture that is yet to be explored. Newar community itself has more than 200 dishes in its rich cuisine. The mountain region of Nepal has the cuisine that are much influenced by the Tibet while the Terai has its own wide variety of the food due to rich agriculture produce.
Here I have listed 7 famous food you have to try if you are visiting Nepal:
1. Dal Bhat Tarkari Achar
Dal bhat is most popular/common food in Nepal, it can be found throughout the country. Dal Bhat is included in daily diet of Nepalese. Dal Bhat includes Steamed Rice (Bhat), lentil soup (Dal) served with seasonal vegetable (Tarkari) which is cooked using traditional spices and Achar refers to pickle which is spicy and yummy at the same time. We can say that Dal Bhat Tarkari is a wholesome meal that is a perfect example of balance diet in Nepal.
2. MoMo (Nepali Dumpling)
Another most common food in Nepal is MoMo (Dumpling). Momo is available in most of the restaurant and hotels in Nepal. Momo is filled with seasoned meat and vegetables. We can find several varieties of momos in Nepal like vegetable momo, buff momo, chicken momo, pork momo, khuwa momo and so on!!! It is served with special jhol achar or spicy chutney which is eaten hot. Momos can be either steamed, fried or half fried(kothey). But most common is steamed jhol momo.
3. Newari Khaja Set
Newari khaja set comes with beaten rice is served with many of side dishes like roasted soybean, cholia (smoked and marinated buff meat), daku la (soup of buff)alu tama (potato with bamboo shoots),spicy potato pickle, finely cut ginger, spiced beans, green leafy vegetables along with curries of vegetables and pulses. Home-made liquor (thon) is served along with the food.
4. Sel Roti
Sel Roti sweet ring shaped dish and is especially cooked in Tihar-festival of light. But you can get it local sweet shop and departmental store, people eat sel for their breakfast with tea. Sel Roti is prepared out of semi liquid rice flour with sugar, sesame seed, banana, clarified butter and is deep fried in hot oil.
Dhido is a traditional Nepali food widely consumed in hilly and mountain region of Nepal. We can say it is Nepali porridge which is made by either maize flour, corn or bucket wheat. You can easily find Deheedo in Nepali restaurants. It is sugar free and considered as one of the healthy and nutritious dish which can be consumed by diabetic patient as well. It is prepared by continuously string it with hot water and flour of your choice. It is usually served with Gundruk (fermented leafy green vegetable) soup or vegetable curry in villages or milk. In restaurant you can eat it with masu ko jhol (meat gravy of chicken, buff or pork).
Yomari is special Newari dish prepared in Yomari Punhi (Full moon night of Poush month of Nepali calendar) but you can find yomari in most of the restaurant these days. Yomari means “favorite bread”. It is also prepared in occasions like second, fourth, sixth up to twelfth birthday of child (even years). It is prepared by using rice flour which contains stuffing of brown cane sugar (chaku)and sesame seeds or khuwa. Also can be stuffed with “khuwa”, sauted black lentils, and seasoned meat.
7. Juju Dhau(King Curd)
Juju dhau mean King of curd. It is the tastiest form of yogurt found in the world. It is prepared by a mixture of buffalo milk and cow milk which is boiled to high temperatures and stirred vigorously before poured into clay pots. The clay pots also helps in absorbing excess moisture. This thick and creamy curd from Bhaktapur is a must try while you are in Nepal. One of the unique characteristics of juju dhau other than its taste is that if you hold the clay pot upside down the curd will NOT fall out. You can easily get juju dhau from departmental stores near you.