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Asian Food Primer: Nepali Food

by David Johnson

Asian Foods Guide

Common ingredients and popular dishes of various cultures.

East Asia

Pacific Region

South Asia

Southeast Asia

Cooking in the Himalayan Mountain country of Nepal is similar to that of Northern India and nearby Tibet. However, Nepali cooking makes use of some ingredients found only in the mountains, including jimbu, an herb, and timur, a type of pepper. Many Nepali dishes come from the Kathmandu Valley's Newari people. Drawing on their Buddhist heritage, vegetarian dishes are also common in the Himalayas. Beef is not generally eaten.

Common ingredients:

Vegetables

goat, pork, chicken, buffalo, freshwater fish and shrimp, potatoes, barley, onions, vegetables, mustard oil, ghee (Indian clarified butter), yak butter, curries, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, chilies, onions, cilantro, scallions

Popular dishes:

dal (lentils); bhat (steamed rice); tarkari (vegetables as a main course); curried or grilled meat or vegetables; meat marinated in mustard oil; stuffed dumplings; stewed and stir-fried noodles; sukutis (spicy and crispy meat slices); achars (chutneys); seasoned or unseasoned tea

More Information:

Map of Nepal

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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