Food in Nepal: 7 Favorite Dishes
For years, Nepal had been on our list. In 2017, during our 6-month journey through Asia, the time had finally come for 4 weeks in Nepal, with the highlight being the Annapurna Circuit. We fell head over heels in love with this country. So authentic. The people are incredibly friendly and hospitable, the nature breathtaking, and the food is fantastic! It might sound a bit odd, but having good food during a journey is crucial to me, and discovering Nepalese cuisine was a true delight. Join me on a culinary journey through Nepal with my 7 favorite dishes from Nepal.
DAL BHAT POWER, 24/7! Dal Bhat is the national dish of Nepal, and I absolutely adore it. You can order Dal Bhat everywhere in Nepal. We were even told that about 80% of the population eats Dal Bhat twice a day, every day. The dish consists of rice, lentil curry (the Dal), often served with papadum or bread, and a vegetable curry (Tarkari). However, no two Dal Bhats are the same. Everyone prepares it in their own way. Especially in the mountains, Dal Bhat is widely consumed. It’s the perfect meal for trekking, as it truly provides a substantial energy boost. And the best part, you can have unlimited refills of Dal Bhat. If you want more, they’ll simply bring you extra Dal. This was Leroy’s motivation to have Dal Bhat almost 3 times a day during our trekking. I loved it, but even I had my limits.
Dal is perfect after a trek, wonderfully warming by a fireplace.
Doesn’t “Momo” sound like a fantastic dish already? If you’re a fan of dumplings, then this dish is for you. Nepalese momos are steamed dough packages filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, served with a spicy sauce. I love it! You can literally order this dish everywhere. So, definitely give it a try!
Perhaps not the best choice for a first date, but garlic soup is secretly delicious and incredibly healthy. Especially during your trek, it’s wise to order garlic soup occasionally. Despite its intense reputation, the garlic flavor isn’t overpowering. Highly recommended.
If there’s one thing I miss during my travels through Asia, it’s cheese. I really love cheese. We hadn’t had a decent piece of cheese in 4 months, until we stumbled upon Jak Cheese at an elevation of 3500m, in a small mountain hut. A Jak is a massive hairy cow that lives at high altitudes. Everything from the Jak is utilized in the mountains: meat, milk, and even its skin. During our trekking, we often ordered chapati (bread) with some Jak Cheese. Our personally crafted Nepalese cheese platter. This was truly delightful.
Say What!! Yes, really, apple pie. Okay, maybe not a typical Nepalese dish, but during our Annapurna trek, we encountered pastries and cakes with apples everywhere. Apple trees are abundant, and the local population makes all sorts of things with apples, including pastries. These pastries are divine. They come in all shapes and sizes.
Hummus, Falafel, and a “Kapsalon” Fries???
It’s not Nepalese, of course, but you come across it everywhere: the kebab shop. One of our favorite hotspots in Kathmandu was Thamel Doner, a tiny place where you could order a kebab or falafel for 1 euro. And even in Pokhara’s hotspots, kebabs make an appearance. There’s even a rumor that the “Kapsalon” fries dish has made its way to Nepal and is apparently very popular. So after a night out, you can simply order your trusted “Kapsalon.”
A traditional Nepalese soup with potatoes and bamboo shoots.