Nepali Cuisine - Introduction and Features

Nepali Cuisine refers to the food items eaten in Nepal. Nepal is a small land locked country situated in South East of Asia , bordered by China and India. The influence of western culture is easily seen on Nepali Cuisine with fast food becoming very popular among youngsters. Burger , sandwich , MOMO , chowmin  and various cold drinks are very popular. However, the staple food is Dal - bhat - Tarkari. Dal is a lentil soup , bhat is boiled rice / pressure cooker rice while Tarkari is veg component . Nepali people eats Dal - bhat - Tarkari twice a day as lunch and dinner. The taste is enhanced by pickle or Achar / Chutney . Food items are not consumed by cutlery instead Right hand is used. Food are cooked in home itself in Home kitchen. The Nepali kitchen is very clean and everyone is not allowed to enter in kitchen as purity is strictly maintained in food items. The food items were traditionally cooked in wood fire which is now replaced by LPG gas and induction cooking. Dal bhat Tarkari is eaten throughout country . Tarkari varies from season to season while meat items as side dishes are consumed usually in festivals, weekends. Around 80% of Nepalis are Hindus so cattle meat are considered sacred and taboo. The popular meat are Mutton , chicken among Brahmin , chhetris while aadibaashi , Newar takes pork , Buffalo . Nepali food uses various spices which are used either whole, grounded or in Roasted form . It gives distinct flavour to the dish. The food of Nepal is considered Healthier than India as cream are not used in cooking, oil and spices are not used at extreme level. They eat together either sitting or in dining table. No shoes are allowed in kitchen and touching other foods while eating is considered bad. Nepali cuisine has its distinct taste  and fruits and vegetables are available through out season in Tearai. The land is also very suitable for Agriculture than Hilly and mountain region so Tearai is also called granary of Nepal. Dairy products are also extensively eaten . Milk , curd , ghee are available in all houses everyday.



FEATURES OF NEPALI ETHNIC/ REGIONAL CUSINE  :-

Nepal has cultural and geographical diversity which resulted in variety of Cuisine. It is multi ethnic and multi culture country . The ethnic group of Nepal has their own special Cuisine. Some features of Nepali Ethnic and Regional Cuisine are :-

1. Newari Cuisine : 

The Newars are indigenous people living in capital of Nepal ' Kathmandu ' . Newari Cuisine has more than 200 dishes with all dishes primary made from Buffalo. No part of Buffalo is wasted , every part is used in preparation of various dishes with different names. The dishes have distinct taste and flavour . Chhoila , kachila, kwanti e.t.c are their signature dishes . Newars House have high income and feast are common among them. Their dessert are also traditional like JuJu dhau , yomari e.t.c

2. Himalayan Cuisine :

Himalayan region is bordered by Tibet so it's influence is easily seen on Himalayan Cuisine. Himalayan region of Nepal is not suitable for Agriculture as it receives heavy snowfall throughout region. Potato is staple crop here and dishes are mainly made of potato. There is no good Transportation facilities so goods and food items need to be either transported by Air or by animals. Himalayan people grows Millet , barley , buckwheat and they take warm food to keep themselves warm like soup , thukpa , strong alcohol , butter tea. They raise yak , sheep so yak and sheep meat, milk is very common here. Dhindo is also their primary dish 

3. Thakali cuisine :

The Thakali are the people living in thak khola valley. Their Cuisine is the fusion between Himalayan and Tearai cusine. They take sheep meat and is common there . Similarly, rice , maize and pulses are transported from lower region. Thakali Cuisine has very distinct taste and food items are very tasty. They have migrated to different places of Nepal and flourished their cuisine throughout Nepal.

4. Khas Cuisine :

It is typical hilly area Cuisine. Dal-bhat-tarkari is eaten two times a day similarly, the hilly area is not so productive so the crops they grow don't last a year due to which other grains like wheat , Maize , barley , millet are popular. They make gundruk, sinki and various Achar which are available throughout a year. Fruits like lemon , mango , apple is common here and meat are taken as side dishes along with curd. The Tarkari consumed here is seasonal vegetables grown in own land with own efforts. 

5. Lohorung Cuisine :

It is the cuisine from Eastern region of Nepal. The most important contribution by lohorung Cuisine is tongba which is millet base eaten by adding warm water. The homeland of lohorung Cuisine is sankhuwasabaha district.

6. Tearai cusine :

Tearai have a most fertile land so a lots of crops , legumes , vegetables  grow throughout year. Rice is eaten throughout year . Similarly, Tearai cuisine consists of maithali cuisine in East, tharu Cuisine in West , bhojpuri cusine in centre. Fruits like litchi, mango , papaya are grown and various fish , crabs are also consumed which is fished in local land, river. The cuisine of Tearai is bit spicy then other cuisine of Nepal.

HERBS AND SPICES USED

  • Ajowan - jwano
  • Asafoetida - hing
  • Bay leaf - Tejpatta
  • Pepper - Marich
  • Chilly - khursani
  • Cinnamon - dalchinni
  • Cloves - lwang
  • Coriander seed - dhaniya KO daana
  • Cumin seed - jeera daana
  • Garlic - lasun
  • Fenugreek - methi
  • Ginger - adhuwa
  • Cardamom - alaichi
  • Mace - jaipatri
  • Nepali pepper - Timur
  • Saffron - keshar
  • Green cardamom - alaichi 
  • Turmeric - besar
  • Mint - pudina
  • spring onion - pyaaj KO past
  • Tamarind - Imli

They are used in either whole , grounded or in Roasted form. 

EQUIPMENT USED 

  • Chula 
  • Dekchi
  • Kasaudi
  • Dadu
  • Panyau
  • Koresa
  • Belna chakla
  • Bata
  • Chimta
  • Karai
  • Pressure cooker
  • Chulesi
  • Gaagro
  • Karuwa
  • Kachora and thaali
  • Tawa
  • Theki
  • Silouta
  • Tapke
  • diure
  • masala box
CULINARY TERMS
  • Sour - Amilo
  • Salty - Nunilo
  • Oily - Chillo
  • ashes - kharani
  • Bitter - Tito
  • Boil - Umalney
  • Cook - pakauney
  • Cut - kaatney
  • Peel - Taasney
  • Fire - Aago
  • Hot - Taato
  • Dal - Lentil soup
  • Bhat - Steamed rice 
  • Tarkari - seasonal vegetables
  • Gundruk - dried spinach 
  • Sinki - dried radish
  • Khaja - fast food
  • Selroti - Nepali donut
  • Momo - dumpling
  • Chiura - beaten rice

Nepalese cuisine is a food with distinct taste which is very hardly available throughout the world so, it's worth trying once when you visit Nepal..


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