Food and Drink in Nepal

Food and Drink

The common dish is Daal Bhat Tarkari which is a combination of thin lentil soup (Dal), Boiled rice (Bhat) and curried vegetables (Tarkari), possibly a dab of pungent pickle (achaar) - hardly the makings of a dynamic national cuisine . In rice-growing areas daal bhaat is eaten twice a day, the first meal at around 10:30 a.m. and the second shortly after sunset. Different ethnic groups have their own specialties, but basically it's all subsistence food. Nepalese know the value of food as fuel: trek for just a few days and you'll learn it too.

Food may be served in a Thaali, a metal plate divided into separate compartments. The method is to attack the mountain of Daal Bhat quickly, while it's still hot. If the Daal came in a separate bowl, pour it over the rice, breaking up chunks with your fingers as you do. Add a bit of Tarkaari and/or Achaar, squeeze it all together, and pop it into your mouth. The hand remains in constant motion until the food vanishes.

Daal bhaat is an all-you-can-eat affair. A one-plate Daal bhaat is rarely enough for a Nepali. Dal Roti are also popular in Terai regions.

Some of Major Dishes.


Daal - Lentil soup eaten with plain rice and one-third of the famous dal-bhat-tarkari combination. Popular lentils are the black, green and yellow varieties.

Bhhat - Good old boiled rice, the staple Nepalese nourishment and the central ingredient of the dal-baht-tarkari diet.

Tarkari - Vegetable curry in a rich spicy broth, the third element of the dal-bhat-tarkari staple meal.

Gundruk - Dired and fermented green vegetables. Legendary accompaniment to meals in the hills of Nepal.

Achar - A pickle to "brighten up your mouth". Can be made of ground tomatoes. sliced radish, ground coriander, boiled and diced potatoes and other ingredients.

Newari Dishes:

Chatanmari - Rice flour pizza with meat or egg topping or plain. A just reward after a hard day's sight-seeing. Chhoyla - Roasted meat diced and spiced a versatile snack. Chomp it with flattened rice and wash everything down with homemade liquor.

Kwati - Soup of different sprouted beans. A festival specialty and great way to begin dinner.

Momocha (MO: MO:) - Dumplings filled with minced meat, served steamed or fried. Terrifically popular appetizer , afternoon snack or evening meal.   

Samay Baji - A ritual dish consisting of flattened rice, roasted meat, smoked fish, boiled egg, black soybeans and diced ginger.   

Sekuwa - Barbecued meat - Mutton, duck, chicken, buff, wild boar-take you pick. Goes famously with drinks.   

Sukuti - Hot and spicy concoction of dried meat roasted over a charcoal fire. Something to munch on between sips.   

Wo - Lentil flour patty with or without meat/egg topping. As a festival snack or an afternoon bite, nothing even comes close.



Tongba is a kind of homemade wine cultured with Limbu (Lemon). Here, fermented millet seeds are soaked in hot water. The resulting brew is sipped with a bamboo straw while the mug is replenished periodically with hot water. This enhances the taste and impact of Tongba, which is a great favourite with tourists. The Nepalese, of course, guzzle it all through their winter.

Rakshi is a strong alcoholic drink that is distilled from millet. A mandatory requirement at social events and religious rituals, and known both for its alcoholic content as well as its antiseptic properties, Rakshi is often homemade.

Eating Habits:      

Main Meal
All around Nepal, and more so in the rice growing regions, daal bhaat is the staple dish, eaten twice a day. This dish comprises a thin broth like preparation (daal) made from seasoning boiled lentils with chillies, ginger and cilantro and cooked rice (bhaat). Daal is poured liberally over a heap of bhaat and this is eaten along with vegetable curries (tarkaari) and a dash of pungent spicy pickle (achaar).

The two main meals are interspersed with snacks like beaten rice (chura), flat bread (roti), vegetable curries, bread and milky sweet tea.