Despite being a small country, Nepal is home to around 123 ethnic groups. With such a great cultural diversity, it is not unusual to have equally different types of innumerable food. Here are some of the typical and authentic Nepali food.
Gundruk is a very popular dish of Nepal and has been around since centuries. It is fermented leafy vegetable and is usually prepared as soup or even as pickles. It can be seen in almost every household and the annual production of gundruk in Nepal is estimated at 2,000 tons. People usually prepare Gundruk at home by putting varieties of green leafy vegetables to dry on the sun. The dish is also regarded quite important, consisting of high amount of minerals. To prepare this fermented dish, fist of all the leaves are shredded and packed in a pot with warm water. This is left for about a week, after which the fermentation process finishes, giving its eccentric taste. It is then spread and left to dry in the sun, at about 18 degree Celsius. Then gundruk is ready to be prepared as soup or as pickles and usually eaten with rice, or also with dhido.
Dhindo is a very traditional food of Nepal, usually eaten in higher colder elevations. The dish is prepared by adding flour into hot water in a pan and continuously stirring the mix until it cooks with a maintained even texture. The flour used in Dhindo is usually prepared from millet, wheat, corn, or buckwheat. The cooking is done in pan with thick spatula to make the stirring process easier. The food is usually eaten with gundruk, dal, or with other soups. As it is quite sticky, the liquid helps in swallowing the dhindo. Dhindo has served as a very simple food sustaining the lives of many Nepali people throughout the generations, and serves as an example of a very simple way of living.
Masyaura are small nuggets prepared with various ingredients like the lentil with other beans. These nuggets are then used to make soup and then usually eaten with rice. Many kind of beans, potatoes, even spinach and yam is used to make masyaura. It is usually prepared in winter and kept in airtight containers to be consumed later on. The masyaura itself is really delicious and the soup made with it and adding lots of spices, tomatoes, garlic and onions is even better.
Kwati is a Nepali style soup made out of beans. Nine special types of sprouted beans are used to prepare this soup. It is an important delicacy in many special occasions and festivals. This soup is also eaten during Janai Purnima — the sacred thread ceremony — and the dish has many religious significance too. The most commonly used beans in this soup are black gram, green gram, chickpea, field bean, soybean, field pea, garden pea, cowpea and rice bean. The beans are soaked in water for three to four days to sprout them and soften them. Then they are boiled with various spices to make a thick soup.
Sel Roti is a very special delicacy usually prepared and eaten during various festivals. The dish is made of rice flour. The rice flour is first mixed with water, and then the mixture is fried while maintaining the round structure of the sel roti. Sel roti is also a very integral component during Dashain and Tihar — the major Hindu festivals in Nepal and offered to the visitors. The sel rotis are also exchanged and sent to families and friends living far away, and used as one of the special foods during auspicious ceremony like the wedding and pujas.