Have we covered this topic before? Nope, but we have covered a list of 10 Newari dishes though. So in this list, we will try not to repeat them. That aside there are some dishes that you have to try if you visit Nepal. Naturally, this article is meant for those who are not residing in Nepal but along the way, there might be some dishes that some of you may not have tried so seeing this article through to the end might not be such a bad idea after all. Now along with the dishes, we will also give you ideas about how much they will cost and where you can find them as well.
Table of Contents
1. Chowela (छ्वेला)
In simple words, this is roasted meat which is then seasoned and mixed. There exist different types of chowela including buff chowela and chicken chowela. Although there is also a variety of a duck chowela it is not as popular and it is also hard to find as well. Now if you are a vegan and you want to enjoy the taste of the chowela without the meat, then there is also a Masyaura Chowela. Just as the name suggests it is Masyaura (Soyabean) prepared with the recipe of Chawla.
Although you will not get the fully meaty flavor, it comes pretty close. As for the price range, it really depends on how much you eat and you can get it for as cheap as 25Rs for a small serving. You do have to consider that the small serving is just around 5 pieces so you may not be satisfied with that. Our suggestion is that you order a chowela of at least 50Rs to get a satisfactory serving. You can find this dish in almost every Newari Khaja Ghars with there being a few exceptions. Due to the low amount of fat used this is among the simplest and healthiest ways meat can be eaten.
2. Sel Roti (सेल रोटि)
You all know what this is and our guess is that there are very few Who has not eaten this Nepali Dish. This is bread made out of coarsely grounded rice, rice flour, butter, and sugar. Along with this, some spices are added in a negligible amount as well to enhance the taste. Then after they are made into rings which are deep-fried. Since this is a rather common dish not specific to any community.
You can find this all over Nepal, mostly in sweet shops or traditional breakfast shops on the narrow roads and chowks all over Nepal. It is cheap as well and unlike Chowela this has a standard price which is Rs 5 or Rs 10 per piece depending on where you buy it. Needless to say, this contains a lot of fat so if you are dieting or cannot digest fat well, this is a food that you should avoid.
3. Thukpa (थुक्पा)
Japanese have their Ramen, Chinese have their Noodles and Nepali have their own Thukpa. Similar to ramen or Chinese noodles this is a form of noodles but the difference is that we do not use any fat while making this dish. It is not to say that Ramen and Noodles have fat but in some versions they kind of do but in Thukpa, you won’t find any form of added fat besides what is already in the raw ingredients.
To make this, all one has to do is cut some veggies and boil them with some spices and dry noodles which one can find in shops or can make at home. Although you can have buff Thukpa this is a traditional vegetarian dish and is a vegetable soup with added noodles, this is meant to be healthy and nutritious so adding meat is a matter of choice and not a requirement for this dish. You can find these at Thakali houses for the price range between 80Rs and 150rs but nowadays they are available in most of the MoMo houses as well.
4. MoMo (म:म:)
Just like thukpa, this is another Nepali dish that a lot of you are familiar with. In all honesty, this dish is inspired by the Chinese Wonton and Dumplings and is pretty similar to them. You just roll meat or veggies inside a thinly rolled rice flour dough and steam it. This is served with a sauce as well and what sauce you get depends on the place where you eat. Just like thukpa, there is no added fat in this dish and if you are looking for a healthy non-fat non-veg food, this is what you should be looking for.
Additionally, you can find this is in 3 types which are Chicken-MoMo, Veg-MoMo, and Buff-MoMo. Along with this, you can also find a fried version of this as well both of which are equally popular in Nepal. You don’t have to worry about finding this dish as MoMo stations are pretty much around every corner and you can even find street vendors around major locations in the evenings for a cheap price of 50rs and if you go into a café or a Khaja Ghar you can get this form 80rs to 150Rs.
5. Gundruk (गुन्द्रुक)
Do you want to eat something spicy but healthy at the same time? Then gundruk is probably one of your best choices. You do have to avoid eating too much though as although this dish is rich in vitamin-C and minerals, this is, after all, a spicy dish. On top of that, this dish is made out of the preserved green vegetables. This dish is prepared by smashing the green vegetables, marinating them in either lemon juice or vinegar, packing them in an airtight container, and then letting it sit in the sun for a good month to kill the germs.
This is then served after spicing it up. Now the greens used can be anything from your classic spinach to cauliflower leaves so pretty much any leafy vegetable can be used as a core raw ingredient. This is one of the oldest foods in Nepal so you can find this even in the rural areas and every Khaja Ghars of Nepal and as this is not a culture-specific dish, you don’t have to worry about this dish being a rare thing. The thing about Gundruk is, this is not the main dish so there is no fixed price but if you ask you can get a small serving for as less as 30Rs
6. Sukuti (सुकुटी)
A simple Dish which is not really hard to make but time-consuming is Sukuti. All in all, all you have to do is dry a bunch of the tender muscle part of the meat till they are bone dry and prepare it with spices and a bit of fat. You can also prepare this without fat and for that, you have to marinate the meat in vinegar and spices for a few hours before drying. As long as the meat remains dry, there is almost no expiration date.
The nutrients will decline over time but it will still remain tasty and edible. This dish remains healthy for a long time as this is just dried meat but even after the nutrients evaporate, it does not become unhealthy and just becomes something like an edible and tasty brick. It costs a minimum of 50Rs and you can find this in almost every khaja Gahrs but if you want to buy a pre-spiced version then get ready to spend at least 150rs in the stores.
7. Chatpate (चटपटे)
Going away from the formal dishes, let’s talk about Chatpate which is one of the most popular street snacks in Nepal. This is cheap, spicy, and quick food which you can find in every corner of the urban cities and junction of the villages. Why is this street dish so popular you may ask? It is because of the spiciness and the power to the customer. The consumer can literally dictate what type of taste they want as long as their demand is not unsuitable for the original dish. The core of the dish is bhujia (puffed rice), potato, onions, chilly, tomatoes, vinegar/lime water, a bit of oil, and spices.
They are mixed and that is about it. The customer can tell how much of what they want and they can even exclude some as well as add some which include adding potato chips, instant noodles, and peas. You can get a small amount for as little as 15 Rs but if you want to enjoy this street dish, we recommend you to spend 25 Rs for one serving. Needless to say, this is not a healthy dish and is mainly just for taste and instant hunger relief.
8. Sekuwa (सेकुवा)
This is another popular street dish in Nepal but unlike Chatpate, it is not meant for instant eating and is more for either those who are off from work and are heading home or for groups/couples who are visiting spending time together. Along with this, despite being a street dish if you want to eat this during the day, you will have to enter a Khaja Ghar as this dish is seen in the streets only in the evening when the sun begins to set.
If you are wondering what this dish is, for those who don’t know this is basically grilled meat which is marinated in Nepali spices. Like we said at the start, this is not meant to be an instant dish as the vendors who prepare this grill each portion are made fresh and warm. You can get this in the streets for as less as 50Rs per portion and in the Khaja Ghars, you can get this for a price of 110Rs for a decent-sized portion in a small food establishment. The price can rise up to 1000Rs if you go to the restaurants though.
9. Chiura (चिउरा)
If you are someone who has never eaten chiura, then you may be thinking “is this a Nepali Variation of Corn Flakes?” You will be justified for thinking that and not completely wrong either. It is a kind of a flake just not a cornflake. You can call this rice flakes but the real name is Beaten rice and yes, rice is literally beaten in order to prepare this. Just like Gundruk, this is not eaten purely on its own. This is complemented by vegetables and other foods but if you really want to try this, you can do it without any other compliments as well.
It is crunchy and savory in taste when eaten alone which goes well with just about anything as long as it is not a soup or a steamed dish. Now one of the best combinations that you can have with Chiura is with Chowela, and Sekuwa if you are going for a non-veg diet and with Alu-Tama and Gundruk if you are going for the Vegetarian diet. With this being said, you can find this in any grocery store and they are sold in kilos with the price fluctuating between 50rs per 200 Grams.
10. Dal Bhat Tarkari (दाल भात तरकारी)
This is more of a food set rather than a single dish. This is a combination of boiled pulses (Dal), rice (Bhat), and vegetables (tarkari) and this is what Nepali people eat as their standard breakfast and dinner. If you are someone who is traveling to Nepal then this is a dish that you will try without any doubt and enjoy as well. The main reason being there is no fixed tarkari and you can ask for anything vegetable for tarkari including baked and spiced potato, spinach, and even a mix of vegetables.
This will cost around 100Rs but you can add meat as well which will increase the cost by another 50Rs or 100Rs depending on the type of meat you include with choices being buffalo, chicken, dish, duck, pork, and lamb. As with most other dishes, you can find this dish in every Khaja Ghars but among them, Thaki Khaja Ghar’s are especially famous for their Dal Bhat Tarkari Regardless of where you go. On a side note, you can add sukuti, gundruk, sekuwa, and chowela as side dishes as well and they go very well with this dish set.
If you are still curious about the Newari Dishes we mentioned in the beginning why don’t you check it out here? Along with that, you can check out where to eat them cheaply as well on our list of “10 Best Places To Eat Newari Food In Patan Under Rs. 500“.