Dal Bhat is the staple meal of Nepal which consists of rice, lentils, veggies and with or without meat. You can escape from Dal Bhat while in Nepal. Another unofficial national food is momos or dumplings. Anyone will tell you momo is the must-try food. Taking out these two popular foods, below is the list of some of the underrated foods in no particular order which might interest you.
Sel Roti is ring-shaped shaped like a donut but made out of rice flour and sugar. It is deep-fried in ghee giving it a crispy or sometimes soft taste. Sel Roti is a must during ‘Tihar-‘ – the festival of lights where everyone prepares Sel roti at their homes. If you want to try then it will be available at traditional sweet shops.
Chatamari is a Newari traditional food. It is in fact rice flour pancakes which are used during festivals and auspicious occasions. It can be found at Newari eatery with different options. While the base of Chatamari is the same as everywhere, the toppings can be chosen as per taste. Popularly it is also known as Newari pizza.
Again, traditional Newari food which popular and loved by Nepalese. It is made out of ground lentil batter with the topping of either egg or minced buffalo meat. It can also be eaten plain with no toppings. Bara texture is light and spongy.
Choila is a spicy dish made from water buffalo meat. But this time around, you can also find it with duck meat version. Choila together with beaten rice ‘Chura’ is good to taste and mix well. This is another Newari dish.
Samay Baji is another Newari food that consists of many elements as per one’s choice or season’s offering. It is consumed usually as afternoon lunch during festivals or family gatherings. It mainly consists of beaten rice, choela, marinated potato, mustard greens, bara, garlic and ginger julienne, pickle, sweetmeat. Samay Baji is best taken with ‘aila’ – traditional home-brewed alcohol which is equal to strong tequila. You can find this dish in Newari restaurants.
It’s in fact Tibetan cuisine. Syabhaley is made out of dough filled up with spiced up minced meat then deep-fried in oil. It is crispy outside but juicy and soft inside. It has circular or semi-circular shapes. It’s best to eat when it’s hot with homemade tomato sauce. Syabhaley can be found at Tibetan restaurants.
Dhendo & Gundruk
This meals are usually taken by the farming communities in the village areas. Dhendo is kind of porridge that can be made out of millet, buckwheat or barley. Gundruk is a soap that is fermented and preserved leafy green. Together with these two foods is the nutritious and wholesome meal. In city areas, adding meat curry with Dhendo gives a good taste. It can be found at Nepali restaurants serving Nepali meals like Dal Bhat.
Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic beverage which is the traditional drink for Limbu community. It’s served in hot water in a cast like a vessel with a bamboo straw so also called ‘Hot Tibetan Beer’. It can be found in Kathmandu and in the mountain regions. The alcohol percent is only 5-10%, so you don’t need to worry. Tongba is best to drink during winter days.