Here are 10 foods Nepali people can’t live without.
Food is a basic need for human beings and when you’re a Nepali, it resonates with you on a different level. It doesn’t matter which part of the country you’re from or where you are in the world, nothing can top the feeling of having a belly full of dal/bhat/tarkari or two beautiful plates of momo (I said what I said).
Dal, Bhat, Tarkari, and Masu
Dhindo might be Nepal’s national food, but dal/bhat is what all of us live for. Nothing makes us Nepalis happy than the sight of a plate/thali filled with bhat (rice), dal (lentil soup), tarkari (veggies), aachar (pickle), and masu (meat).
Momo is undoubtedly the (unofficial) national dish of Nepal. They are tiny dumplings filled with meat (or vegetables) and steamed in a steaming vessel. It is found in every restaurant and food stalls on every corner of the streets in Nepal and you can’t be a Nepali if you don’t like momos.
Chau Chau (Instant noodles)
Chau chau is every Nepalis lunch staple. It is made with flour and other ingredients, pre-cooked and dried. The best thing about chau chau is that it’s quick and easy to make; you can either cook it or munch on it raw and you can have it any time of the day (although it’s very unhealthy).
Nepali people love instant noodles so much, we made Binod Chaudhary, the chairman, and president of Chaudhary Group (CG) a billionaire.
Are you even a Nepali if you don’t start your day with chiya instead of water? It doesn’t hurt to say that chiya is the fuel that almost every Nepali runs on.
Why are Nepalese obsessed with tea is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the world. But, how can you not be obsessed when just one sip can change your mood in an instant?
Name one food item that Nepali moms and grand-moms haven’t turned into an aachar, I’ll wait. Aachar (pickels) are preserved vegetables kept in a jar with different spices. Or they can be a condiment, made with blending tomatoes and other vegetables. Aachar makes everything better and is the perfect solution when you have to eat a crappy meal.
Pani puri and chatpatey are the most common street foods in Nepal and India. Pani puris are bite-sized, deep-fried puris filled with tangy/spicy water, herbs, potatoes, and other vegetables. While chatpatey is a mixture of puffed-rice with onions, peas, potatoes, and other vegetables along with spices.
As crazy as it sounds, there is nothing as satisfying as standing on the side of a road and eating tangy and spicy pani puri and chatpatey. Let’s admit it, there isn’t a week that goes by without us Nepalis craving for that hot and sour taste. Thus, we run to the nearest stall and devour it without care.
Potatoes are the most essential vegetables of any Nepali household. We don’t buy potatoes in 1-kilo bags, instead, it comes in dharni (2.33 kg), or an entire sack, just like rice. It goes with everything from other vegetables to meat and people even eat it like rice. There is probably nothing that’s as versatile and tasty as a humble potato and that is why it’s our favorite vegetable.
Makai and Bhatmas (Popcorn and Soybean)
Before chips and fancy snacks took over, makai and bhatmas (popcorn and soybean) was the ultimate Nepali snack and it is still equally cherished. It is basically dry-roasted corn and soybean, mixed together and eaten as a snack.
Titaura or pau is candied fruits, fermented in different spices. While people of all ages love titaura, it is probably the best classroom-food.
Doesn’t the tangy smell of the candied fruit take you back to the school days when you’d secretly munch on it while the teacher turns their back on you? It evokes nostalgia in Nepali people like no other food.
When did you know that chhurpi or durkha is actually cheese? It is mostly hard cheese made traditionally in Mountain regions from yak milk. These creamy treats can either come in bite-sized cubes or long pieces.
Whether it’s hard or soft, chhurpi is one of the best snacks that the Himalayan regions have to offer. The hard and chewy cheese can also be a good jaw workout. I’m sure we’re all guilty of setting aside a half-eaten chhurpi just to eat it a few days later, right?
These are our picks of all the food Nepali people can’t live without. Did your favorite make it to the list? Let us know in the comments.