What is the national dish of Nepal

Nepalese cuisine

The food and drinks in Nepal have influences from Indian, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine.

The staple foods in Nepal include lentil and bean sauce as well as various types of vegetables (these are called steamedTarkaari). Therefore also applies Dal Bhat as a kind of national dish. Meat is usually only served on very special occasions.

The choice of ingredients for the dishes varies depending on the region in Nepal. In the Terai, for example, very little meat is eaten, as it is predominantly Hindus who eat little or no meat. In the high mountains, on the other hand, mainly Buddhists live who, due to the scarcely available cultivation options for vegetables and fruit, have to show animal products. Yak cow milk, fresh yogurt, dried yak cheese and yak meat are often served in the high valleys of Nepal. People in the high mountains also have to use other ingredients for flatbread. Since no rice or wheat grows here, buckwheat is mostly used.

In addition to regional, religious factors also play a major role in the cuisine of Nepal.

On a cultural tour in Nepal you have the opportunity to try various of the local specialties:

Did you know?

  • In Nepal, most people eat with the right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean.
  • Most dishes in Nepal are made with garlic, onions and ginger.
  • As a matter of principle, the Brahmins and Chetris ethnic groups do not eat food prepared by another caste.
  • The orthodox Hindus in Nepal avoid alcohol, chicken, garlic, onions, tomatoes and chillies, as these foods stimulate the senses of the body. People who drink alcohol are referred to by the Orthodox Hindus as Matwali, who represent one of the lowest levels in the caste system.
  • Yoghurt is often served with spicy dishes to soften the spiciness.
  • In vegetable and meat dishes, spices, called masala, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, chilli and pepper should not be missing.
  • Buddhists are allowed to eat yak meat as well.

Typical dishes in Nepal

Dal BhatIn Nepal a kind of national dish that the Nepalese usually eat up to two times a day. A combination of lentil sauce, boiled rice and a vegetable curry.
HalawaA sweet dough made from rice flour or semolina enriched with clarified butter and nuts
SwariA thin flatbread baked in clarified butter
AcharA kind of chutney or paste made from pickled and seasoned vegetables or fruit that gives many dishes a special flavor
Gundruk BhatmasRoasted soybeans with pickled vegetables that are later sun-dried
PakoraFried cheese and vegetable balls
DhedoA dough made from barley or beech wheat flour that is cooked with liquid and fat. Similar to polenta, Dhedo is served with sauce and vegetables.
MomosA pasta-like dough that is filled with meat or vegetables and then steamed (reminiscent of Maultausch) - fried they are called Kothay
Puri-JulebiA flatbread (puri) baked in fat, which is eaten with sweetly baked Julebi batter and a fresh vegetable curry
Chana ChiuraChickpeas in curry sauce with whipped rice
Yak productsYak cow milk, fresh yogurt, dried yak cheese (chirpi)

Self-made drinks

Drinks without alcohol

ChiyaBlack tea refined with milk, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon
Butter teaTea with yak butter and salt

Alcoholic beverages

Fruit brandyMade from apples, apricots or peaches (mostly from the high valleys)
brandyStrictly speaking, a fruit brandy from the village of Marpha on the Annapurna circuit
Anise schnapps and todiMilky drink that is obtained from a palm tree and contains approx. 5% alcohol (comes from the Terai)
ChangBeer-like drink made from rice, corn or wheat
RakshiGrain brandy
TongwaFermented millet that is doused with hot water

Hygiene standards in the kitchens of Nepal

Unfortunately, the risk of diarrhea in Nepal is very high. Anything that has not been cooked or peeled should be crossed off the meal plan when traveling in Nepal. In addition, tap water should never be drunk (even when brushing your teeth you should use water from sealed bottles). Ice cubes should also be avoided for safety's sake. If you are uncertain, it is better not to take any risks.