The Nepali cuisine and food habits have been highly influenced by the neighboring Indian subcontinent. Since Nepal was a Hindu nation for many centuries, the ingredients used and the procedures followed mainly evolved from the scriptural Hindu traditions and culture. This exotic list of a few special Nepalese dishes is intended to serve the purpose of getting you acquainted with the true flavors from Nepal before you would ever plan to visit this beautiful and mystic country.
1. Jeri (Juri) – A Famous Crispy Sweet Dish
What is it: This is a spiral-shaped sweet that can be consumed both as starter and dessert, or just by itself, as a sweet snack. Influenced by the state-of-the-art Indian dish jalebi, the jeri is made of all-purpose flour, gram flour, saffron and/or turmeric, and some customized flavorings, and is finally dipped in simple sugar or jaggery syrup. It is also sold as junk snack food throughout the streets of Nepal.
What does it taste like: It is basically crispy with the flavors of gram flour and saffron adding a very special taste to this sweet. It is eaten either hot or at normal temperature.
2. Jaulo – The Traditional Rice & Pulse Dish
What is it: This, again, is an influence from ‘khichdi’, the famous staple food or the unofficial ‘national food’ of the Indian subcontinent. Rich with wholesome nutrition, Jaulo is nothing but a mixture of grams, lentils, and rice, along with assorted spices and often vegetables. It is quite common in Nepali households. However, the recipe and ingredients may vary from region to region. On top of being very healthy, it is easy to digest as well.
What does it taste like: This dish tastes best when served hot or just-cooked. It has a loose consistency and is often served along with vegetables and fries. The aroma of traditional Nepali spices, mixed with the mung or masoor ‘dal’ is the main attraction of this healthy dish.
3. Nepali Momo – Meat Dumplings Served with Spicy Sauce
What is it: This dish is a Nepalese version of the momo that originated in Tibet and spread in different parts of the Indian subcontinent and even Nepal. It is also a popular street food and is regularly consumed by thousands of Nepalis at home or outside. Basically, a steam-cooked dumpling, the envelope (coat) of the momo is made of dough from combinations of rice and all-purpose flours with usually minced meat/chicken used as filling. However, vegetables including bell peppers, carrots, peas, etc. can also be used for its vegetarian/vegan counterpart.
What does it taste like: The aroma of a dish full of hot momos, served with different kinds of chutneys is bound to keep your mouth water for hours. The best part is that it is easy to digest since it is only a steamed dish (devoid of extra oil).
4. Juju Dhau – Typical Nepali Buffalo Milk Yogurt
What is it: Literally meaning the ‘king of yogurt’ in Newari language, this dish is said to have been created in Nepal’s Bhaktapur, and is still extensively made in that area in a large scale. Juju Dhau is probably an indispensable part of almost all Nepalese celebrations and feasts.
What does it taste like: The use of buffalo milk (bhaisa doodh), as opposed to the more common cow milk, renders the characteristic thick texture and rich taste of this delicious dish.
5. Yomari – Holy Newari Dish from Nepal
What is it: Yomari is a sweet dumpling dish with a very strange but artistic shape (quite like a conch shell), and is directly associated to the mystic Yantras (geometrical forms) of Hinduism. This is a common dish of the famous Newar community of Nepal, and is specifically prepared during the religious celebrations of Yomari Punhi as an offering to God and various deities.
What does it taste like: The combined aromas of roasted sesame seeds and ghee, used as the fillings will captivate your taste buds instantly.
While Nepali food is getting popular day by day in the western world along with the other oriental countries, this was our choicest list of the few of the best dishes from this famous Asian destination. The primary information about these amazing Nepalese menus are enough to fill your heart with awe and your tongue with a tickle. Why don’t you then plan a quick trip to this beautiful country, and get the authentic ‘tastes’ of Nepal!