In the bustling streets of Indrachowk, food stalls and restaurants dwell in every nook and cranny. From panipuri of terai to the juju dhau of the Newari people, the streets of Kathmandu are full of these delicacies. This diversity in food is the hallmark of diverse people residing in the valley. Food is a tradition representing the very essence of different cultures of Nepal. Sometimes these traditional dishes are completely transformed as people add and delete the ingredients to suit their taste. These dishes might look familiar to you. Momos might look like the Chinese dumplings you’ve tried before or the chatamari might remind you of dosa but trust us they have their own Nepali twist to them.
Here are some of the foods you must try in Kathmandu:
Momos are every Nepalis favorite food. Every restaurant will have this on the menu. And the Nepalese will be quick to suggest you try it out. However, we would want you to take a more adventurous route and try sadeko momo. The already scrumptious, juicy dumplings are dressed with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander leaves, and topped with sizzling mustard oil flavored with Nepali spices. As tasty are the dumplings themselves, the added flavors of salty, hot, and sour will make it absolutely memorable.
The Newars of Kathmandu valley celebrate the end of the rice harvest by eating this tasty dumpling. It is made of rice flour dough with fillings of molasses, sesame, and thickened milk. This fish-shaped sticky sweet treat will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Nepali food is incomplete without dal bhaat. A combination of rice, lentils, and seasonal vegetable, dal bhat is eaten every day in Nepalese households. Thakali khana is a more upgraded version of the dal bhat. Traditional to the thakali people, this food includes rice, lentil soup, spicy fried potatoes, stir-fried spinach, meat curry of your choice, and achar. The rice can be substituted for dhedo which is a thick gruel of buckwheat flour.
Marinated with hot local spices, and then roasted in a natural wood fire, you can opt for Sekuwa if you miss barbeque from back home. It can be made with pork, lamb, goat, or chicken. This scrumptious snack can be further enjoyed with the Nepali Khaja set consisting of beaten rice, beans curry, and achar.
Best enjoyed during winters or the rainy season, this delightful dish will surely remind you of your mother’s chicken soup. Originally a Tibetan food, this noodle soup bursts with flavors of ginger, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. You can ask for the server to tone up or down the spice level depending upon your taste. This comfort food will surely satisfy you.
This dish is on the spicier side so be prepared to take the heat. There are multiple eateries serving this Tibetan dish on the alleyways of the valley. Served cold, this dish utilizes wheat starch and gluten. The starch is used to make the chewy wrap whereas the gluten is marinated with chilies, soy sauce, and vinegar. You can also ask the vendor to include noodles in the filling which adds a great crunchiness to the dish.