If you look roughly into the Nepali cuisine, you may feel that Nepal lacks varieties other than the so-called staple “Dal bhat”. But, when you look deeper into the Nepali kitchen you’ll discover a new dish in every home for each occasion.
The multi-ethnic and multicultural Nepal has its own kind of dishes to offer. each community in Nepal holds its own food culture that’s yet to be explored. The Newar community itself has over 200 dishes in its cuisine.
The mountain region of Nepal has cuisines that are much influenced by the Tibet while the Terai has its own big variety of the food due to rich agricultural production.
Many of these unique Nepali dishes are left unnoticed as they’re not commercially produced and served within the restaurants. In our list, we’ve tried to include the dishes which have their own unique Nepali flavor and are comparatively not accessible to the one new to Nepal.
Yomari is one of the foremost unique dishes offered by the Newar community of Nepal. This steamed dish is specially prepared in a Newar family during the winter and said to kill cold.
The dish has a peculiar shape made out of rice dough. Sweets like chaku and khuwa are packed inside the dough and steamed. some of the variety also contains finely spiced lentil within the steamed rice dough cover.
2. Samay Baji
Samay Baji is the famous Newari dish served as a starter in family get-together and festivals.
The dish consists of Chiura ( beaten rice) and is served with many side dishes like Choila (marinated meat), fried boiled egg, black soybeans, spicy potato pickle, finely cut ginger, spiced beans, green leafy vegetables, buff and Newari drink known as “Aila”.
This food reflects unique feeding habits of Newar people in Nepal.
3. Sel Roti
Sel Roti is a famed sweet, ring- shaped dish mostly prepared during Tihar. it’s a deep fried rice dough. to add taste, sugar, and cardamom is mixed in the dough before frying it.
Sel Rotis are common in local eateries and now available in some of the famous departmental stores in the cities.
Chatamari, a must try delicacy of Nepal, is referred as Newari pizza by many foreigners. it’s made from rice flour. The rice crepe is topped with minced meat, egg and seasoned with vegetables.
Prepared in a special way, it’s quite different from other “Roti”- bread prepared in Nepal. The bread is baked without flipping it in the pan, in contrast to other bread.
Dhido is a traditional Nepali food widely consumed in hilly and mountain region of Nepal, where rice and wheat isn’t abundant. Dhido is similar to polenta and is made by endlessly mixing hot water and flours of maize and buckwheat.
It is often eaten along with local vegetable curry, pickle, or Gundruk (fermented leafy green vegetable) soup. although a food of humble origin, Dhido is that the second most popular dish in the country after dkl bhat and we can now find it being served in many Nepali restaurants.
6. Momo cha
Momo or MoMo Cha (in Newar communities) is a famed food in Nepal. Momo are bite size dumplings filled with seasoned stuffing. inside the dumpling you can add veggies, meat, sweets, or anything you prefer.
The dish is usually steamed but other types of the dish do exist. The dish comes other varieties called Kothey Momo (fried) and C-Momo (served with a spicy hot soup.)
Although the dish is said to be originated from Tibet, it highly evolved with Newari seasoning to suit the Nepali palate.
Puwa is regarded as pious food among the Hindus. it’s usually served during sacred rituals and Puja.
This is a sweet dish prepared with rice flour, butter and sugar. Sweet and crusty, it’s a mouth watering dish prepared sometimes. you can eat it dry or with warm milk.