Nepali Cuisine at a glance
Crisscrossed by ancient trading routes and a melting pot of influences, Nepal has one of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages of anywhere in the world.
The North of Nepal is dominated by the Himalayas, an arid region that for much of the year is below freezing. High altitude winds mean that nothing much grows and people have to survive on their animals. Momos, are the stand out dish from the north, unassuming little steamed stuffed dumplings momos have spread far beyond the Himalaya to become a must have street food wherever you are in South Asia.
n southern and central belts of Nepal 'Dal Bhat', rice and lentils are the staple meal. Dal Bhat is so much a part of the Nepalese way of life that few Nepalese can live without it. No self respecting Nepalese will go without having Dal Bhat at least once a day and most people will eat it twice, firstly for brunch and again for evening meal. You may think that sounds repetitive but with more than 15 different types of dal and an almost endless variety of vegetables, Dal Bhat is never boring.
A must of Nepalese cuisine is 'Achar', pickle, chutney or whatever you prefer to call it, it's an integral part of every meal or snack. There are literally thousands of recipes for achar, some are slowly fermented in oil others are light and zingy. A good achar is spicy, sour and salty with a flavour punch that can elevate a simple plate of rice and lentils to a feast.
'Khaja khana' literally means snack food and after Dal Bhat and plays a big part in the culinary scene in Nepal, it's the marriage of food and culture that defines Nepal. The cake with your afternoon tea to a tapas ladened table with your drinks, you will never visit a house without being offered something to eat. Every street has it's own khaja stall selling pakoras and samosas, but if you really want to see the fine art of Khaja khana you need to visit a Newari house during a festival. There will be a dazzling array of small dishes, classics like spicy dried meat and crunchy soya beans alongside family favourites, often as many as 12 dishes and of course several types of achar.
To try your hand at some Nepalese recipes