Food Tasting Tour Nepal – 15 Popular Local Dishes

The food culture in Nepal is influenced by its geography, history, climate, and multicultural society. The wide range of culinary landscapes (cities to mountain villages) in Nepal offers a rich tapestry of delectable flavors and textures. We are excited to take you on a culinary journey through the vibrant cities and streets of Nepal, accompanied by our local guide. You will have a food journey to the authentic and most popular places where you can taste the delicious Nepali dishes. With every bite of unique Nepali food, you can learn a stirring tale of typical Nepalese tradition, culture, and religion.

During your gastronomic adventure, you will be visiting traditional and authentic Nepali food restaurants, street markets, and local eateries filled with a variety of food options, from snacks like momo, drumstick, and stick potato to hearty dal bhaat. We will commence our food-tasting tour, starting from the bustling streets and narrow alleys of Kathmandu City. Once you make your way towards the food zones, you will start to soak into the fragrance of typical Nepali cuisine.

Next, we move toward the cultural and traditional city of Bhaktapur to sample the rich flavors of Newari cuisines, known for their unique cooking techniques. Newari delicacies include Choila, Bara, Yomari, etc, which allow you to appreciate the rich food culture of the place. Apart from the valley, you can taste a variety of regional dishes from all over Nepal. Mouthwatering dishes like Thukpa and Tsampa (roasted barley flour) are staple mountain foods offering warmth and nourishment in the cold Himalayan environment. Likewise, in the lowlands of Terai, flavors are highly influenced by international cuisine from India.

During your food tasting tour in Nepal, you can learn to make momos, selroti, Thukpa, etc., sample traditional ingredients in the local markets, and participate in the Newari feast to gain a tantalizing glimpse of the culinary aspect of Nepali society. You can have a savory dish with an abundance of flavors served with the warm hospitality of the charming Nepalese people.

15 Popular Local Dishes In Nepal

Traditional Cuisines

15 Popular Local Dishes In Nepal traditional cuisines

Dalbhat – National Dish

As we venture further, we discover the soul-warming flavor of dal bhat, a Nepalese staple dish. Dal bhat consists of rice (bhat), lentil soup (dal), and a symphony of pickles and vegetable curries. Dal can be prepared with several lentils like chickpeas, yellow lentils, red lentils, or a combination of all. Rice is cooked separately in a rice pot or rice cooker until it becomes fluffy and tender. Dalbhat is either served together on a plate or separately by placing dal in a bowl. The combination of lentil soup and rice provides a balanced mix of protein and carbohydrates, which is enjoyed by people of all ages throughout Nepal.

Gundruk

During the food tasting tour in Nepal, we make you taste an ancient and traditional dish, Gundruk. Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable that has nutritious benefits.

Gundruk involves a traditional preparation method that is passed down through generations. Leafy vegetables, like spinach, radish leaves, etc, are chopped and soaked in the water until they soften. Then, the water is drained from the leafy greens and added with seasonings like turmeric, salt, green chili, garlic, ginger, etc, which help in the fermentation process. The seasoned greens are tightly packed into an air-tight container and left to ferment for several days.

The dry greens, Gundruk, can be used to make a soup or pickles. The cooking helps to soften the fermented greens and brings out its tangy flavor.

Sel roti

During the food-tasting tour of Nepal, you can get immersed in the flavor of Sel roti. It is a traditional Nepali rice flour doughnut. This ring-shaped sweet bread has a crispy outer part and is soft on the inside. Selroti is made up of rice flour that is prepared by soaking the rice grains overnight and grinding them into a fine paste. Then, the flour is mixed with sugar, ghee, milk, water, and cardamom, which is dipped into the boiling oil.

Selroti is mostly prepared during festivals like Tihar, Dashain, etc, and special occasions like marriage, rice-weaning, and other religious ceremonies. Selroti is also specially served in houses for guests and visitors. We take you to a local and authentic restaurant where you can enjoy the taste of this amazing food.

Aloo Tama

Aloo Tama is a popular traditional Nepali curry, where Aloo refers to potato, and Tama refers to bamboo shoots. To prepare this savory stew, first, the fresh bamboo shoots are washed, peeled, and thinly sliced. Shoots are then soaked in water and boiled multiple times to remove their bitterness. After that, the potatoes are peeled and cut into small pieces to mix with Tama. Potatoes complement the flavor of bamboo shoots when cooked together.

Tama has a distinctive sour taste, which provides a unique flavor and texture to the dish. To add more flavor and fragrance, certain spices and seasonings, like cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chili powder, etc, are added. Aloo Tama is mostly served with steamed rice or traditional Nepali flatbreads. During our food tour, you will taste the delectable Aloo Tama at one of the authentically traditional restaurants.

Kheer

Kheer is a creamy rice pudding flavored with cardamom, saffron (for color and flavor), and dry fruit nuts. The ingredients that are used to prepare kheer include rice, milk, sugar, etc.. First, the rice is cooked in milk until it becomes soft and thickens to look like a pudding. After that, the cardamom, nuts, and saffron are added for texture, color, and flavor. The other option to prepare kheer beyond the rice is vermicelli and paneer kheer. Kheer can be served warm or chilled as a dessert or a sweet treat during festivals, celebrations, and special occasions.

Thukpa

Thukpa is a traditional Tibetan noodle mostly enjoyed in the Himalayan regions. Moreover, this popular dish is widely found in several hotels, roadside stalls, and restaurants in Nepal.

Thukpa is mostly prepared with wheat-based noodles mixed in vegetable or meat broth and seasoned with spices and aromatics (garlic, ginger, onion, green chilies, etc). This warm and comforting Tibetan noodle soup is served with meat (chicken, pork, buff), vegetables, or tofu options.

Mo: Mo.

First, we will start with a popular and iconic food, MoMo. MoMo is the dumplings filled with the grinds of meat or vegetables. This special dish, MoMo, is served with a savory tomato dipping sauce.

First of all, the flour dough is made, and then the fillings of minced meat (chicken, lamb, pork, or buff), paneer, or vegetables (cabbage, carrot, onion, etc.) are prepared. The dough is rolled out into thin circles, and a portion of the filling is placed in the center of each circle. The edges of the dough are pinched together to seal the filling inside, which forms a dumpling shape. The dumplings are placed in a steamer for several minutes until the dough is cooked through.

Beyond steaming, momo can also be pan-fried or deep-fried to crisp. MoMo is served hot with dipping sauce and sesame pickles.

Typical Newari Cuisines

Typical Newari Cuisines -Food Tasting Tour Nepal

Yomari

In the picturesque cultural town of Bhaktapur, you can soak into the sweet delights of Yomari. Yomari, a popular delicacy of Newari communities in Nepal, is a steamed dumpling. Yomari has an external covering of rice flour and sweet fillings of molasse and Khuwa (remains of evaporated milk) mixed with sesame seeds. Traditionally eaten during the Yomari Punhi festival to symbolize prosperity and good fortune.

Bara

During our food tasting tour in Nepal, we will sample the famous Newari delicacy, Bara. Bara is a delicious lentil pancake fired to crispy and served with a spicy dipping sauce.

The main ingredient of Bara is a black lentil, which is soaked overnight and then ground and mixed with water to turn into a fine batter. The pourable batter is seasoned with a variety of spices to add flavor and fragrance to the food. After that, the batter is spread in a round shape and deep-fried in oil until it turns crispy on both sides. Bara, with its crispy exterior and soft inner part, added with a flavorful mixture of spices, makes it a delicious and heartening dish.

Choila

Choila is a traditional Newari cuisine prepared with spicy marinated chicken, goat, or buffalo meat. This spicy and flavorful meat is grilled or smoked and served with beaten rice. The key ingredient in Choila is a boneless meat marinated with a blend of spices and seasonings like turmeric, oil, chili powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, and lemon juice/vinegar. Choila is served as a snack, along with pickles and vegetable slices.

Kwati

Kwati is a traditional Newari food of mixed bean soup. This hearty soup is made with nine different types of sprouted beans simmered with various spices. Kwati is eaten and enjoyed during festivals and special occasions in the Newari community of Nepal.

The legumes (black-eyed peas, black gram, soybeans, chickpeas, green mung beans, white beans, etc.) mixed to prepare Kwati have distinctive medicinal value. These beans are immersed in water overnight and allowed to sprout for several days. Sprouted beans are washed thoroughly and cooked with water until they turn soft. The beans are mixed with onion, tomatoes, and spices and cooked in oil/ghee to form a flavorful dish, ready to be served.

Chatamari

Next, we dive into the flavor of Chatamari, a traditional Nepali rice crepe with a delicious topping of minced meat (chicken, goat, and buffalo), eggs, and vegetables (onions, tomatoes, mushroom, paneer, etc. ). Chatamari is often referred to as Nepali pizza, which has a base of thin rice flour batter.

The batter is made by mixing rice flour with water or flour (lentil/wheat). Then, the mixture is poured into a pan and thinly and evenly spread to form a circular shape. The oil or ghee over which the batter is fried adds flavor to the dish. Toppings are now added evenly over the surface of Chatamari and cooked until it turn golden brown and crispy.

Chatamari is often served with traditional Nepali sauces like tomato pickles, mint pickles, etc. Chatamari is a versatile, flavorful dish as it can also be served as a dessert option by replacing the topping with sweet versions like honey, sugar, and sliced fruits.

Sekwa

Sekuwa is another popular Nepali dish, especially among the Newari communities. The preparation method of Sekuwa is similar to Choila. However, after Sekuwa is prepared, it is skewered into bamboo sticks or metal skewers and grilled over an open flame. Grilled or barbecued meat skewers marinated in a flavourful blend of spices are served with pickles. Sekuwa is often sold by street vendors for everyone to enjoy its mouthwatering flavor. During our food tasting tour in Nepal, you will be enjoying the diverse taste of savory Sekuwa.

Snacks

Chaat

Chaat is a popular street food snack in Nepal. We will taste the vibrant flavor of chaat during our food tasting tour in Nepal. Chaat is a savory snack made with crispy fried dough, potatoes, creamy yogurt, pickles, onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, tamarind, and spices like chaat masala, black salt, chili powder, etc. Due to the mix of various food items, chaat tastes spicy, sweet, sour, and tangy flavors in one dish. You can experience several varieties of chaat like papri chaat, aloo chaat, dahi puri etc.

Samosa

Samosa is a popular snack enjoyed widely in Nepal. This crispy and flaky pastry is filled with spiced potatoes, peas, onions, green chilies, etc. Spices such as cumin, garam masala, coriander, etc., are used for distinct flavors. While preparing samosa, the filling is cooked separately and filled into triangular/cone-shaped dough. The dough is folded and sealed to enclose the filling. After that, the food is deep-fried until it turns golden brown and crispy. Samosa has different variations as per dietary plans and preferences, like vegetable samosa, paneer samosa, and keema (samosa filled with spiced minced meats).

Other Food Items

Other Food Items - Food Tasting Tour in Nepal

  • Dhido (traditional Nepali porridge)
  • Thenthuk (hand-pulled noodle soup)
  • Samay Baji (traditional Newari platter)
  • Fapar and Kodo Roti (flatbread of buckwheat and millet)
  • Kachila (spicy minced meat)
  • Bhakka (rice cake)
  • Dhikri
  • Gud Pak
  • Chatpate
  • Ghungi
  • Haluwa
  • Kasaar
  • Anarasa
  • Shaya Bhale
  • Dahi Cheura
  • JuJu Dhau
  • Gwaramari (fried bread)
  • Tarul (Nepali yam) etc.

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Conclusion:

A food tasting tour in Nepal is an unbeatable journey of sampling the diverse flavors of Nepali cuisine. You can have the pleasure of tasting a symphony of delectable Nepali dishes by embarking on this gastronomic adventure. During our prior journey, we enjoyed the best dishes along with the warmth and hospitality of Nepalese people, which was truly appreciating.

Likewise, one of our clients said the journey was worth satisfying his taste buds and was happy to foster connections with the people he met along the way. He added, “I am left with a strong and lasting love for Nepali cuisine and wish to return again for the next food journey.”

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Food Tasting Tour Nepal – 15 Popular Local Dishes
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