Cooking like a local in Nepal


Enjoying the local food of your expat country is great, but learning to cook the dishes yourself is even better. Please share what it's like cooking like a local in Nepal.

What are some of the most popular local dishes that are easy to prepare?

What are the most common ingredients used in dishes in Nepal? Where can you purchase them?

Is there a specific technique or a secret ingredient to master the local cuisine?

Are there resources available to teach you to cook like a local (classes, websites, etc.)?

What are the advantages of learning to prepare local dishes in Nepal?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Many guesthouses and NGOs have cooking lessons. They usually teach mo;mo cooking. When the average meal is $3 it's really easy to get out of the habit of cooking.

The dal bhat is the standard. Nepali eat this 2 times a day. It's curry, either meat or vegetable, rice and lentil soup and sometimes pickle/sauce. Either you love it or you don't like it, at all.

All the food is picked or killed the same day, but the refrigeration is not always good, so it's best to avoid meat. If you do cook the meat you will need to tenderize it somehow, even if it's chicken.

The aloo paratha is a flatbread stuffed with potato. This is simple to make and excellent when it's served with ju ju dau, King Curd. This is a sweetened yogurt, really delicious.

For foods to avoid and for more information on staying safe in Nepal take a look at this post. … nepal.html

If you are overseas, you can learn how to cook any Nepali dish on the internet. Just Google it. If you want ideas, just go to Foodmandu and look at the menus and Google any dish you see.

In Nepal, if you cook, you have to worry about germs. Anything you wash is automatically germy and will get you sick. I put my clean pan on the burner with my metal utensils in it and let them get too hot to touch and then let them cool down. This gives me a clean pan and clean utensils to eat with and prepare food with (metal knife and paper plate for preparation.) I cook everything in the pan so any germs are killed. I only use water from the blue jugs that has also been boiled in my hot pot.

I don't worry about a recipe. I just microwave any meat thoroughly to kill any germs. Then, I fry any vegetables (eg.: onions, garlic, mushrooms). I add the meat to the veggies and add water. I add uncooked rice, spices, and top up with water and let it cook for 30 minutes. This cooks the rice and kill any germs. This makes 4 - 6 meals. It is different every time.

For variety, I cook spaghetti and add the bottled sauce. Also, I like fried egg sandwiches.

I have oatmeal and hygienic raisins for breakfast and popcorn for snacks.

I have given up on the idea of much variety while living here. The country is just too germy and dirty.

Although, if I stay here a couple of years or more, I will build a fortress of cleanliness.

Could not agree more with everything Madagascar wrote. Peero is not at all my taste. In truth, I've never been able to stomach it. What I did was to hire a Tamang lady who came in to fix me lunch 6 days out of 7 and, while there working for me, also prepared dinner. This way, at evening time, all I had to do was to conveniently warm up the food she had prepared. As for meat, that's correct. Refrigeration is simply inadequate here. Besides, I could never eat goat meat because I always found the meat to be too tough, and never touched pork in two decades, after seeing how they display that bloody pig's meat in butcher shops with blood running everywhere.  With no beef being available in local shops, I used to buy it frozen (imported from India, of all places) at Bhatbhateni store on saturdays. Harder to find it there or anywhere in Nepal nowadays. So of all the meats on the nepali market, chicken is about the only decent one, at least for my personal choice and taste. So chicken meat soon became my one and only regular staple, force majeure. Fish, same thing, frozen - or canned - from Bhatbhateni..or nothing. No other choice. 
After some time of her working for me, I also sent the Tamang lady to 2-3 cooking schools so she learned how to fix european dishes which suited me best. 
I still marvel at how nepali people can eat dhabhat and rice two if not three times a day. I could never get used to it. I need a variety of food. One day, meat (read chicken), another day spaghetti, another day, veggies only, another day eggs maybe, and another day crepes or homemade soup or something different like that.
But rice 2-3 times a day, 20 times a week kind of thing, no! Nepali people have told me they never feel their stomach is "full" unless they eat rice. But that's because they are used to it. I've often wondered if eating so much rice day in and day out for so many years, does not ultimately affect peoples' health adversely? On reading up on the subject, I note "white rice contains a very low amount of sugar, as a carbohydrate, is well known to cause "a spike in blood sugar".... I'm no doctor but I think I'll stick to varying my diet, by eating healthily as many veggies and fruit as possible, limiting meat to once or twice a week, no more, than that etc. As for white rice, ONCE or TWICE a week is good enough for me. Why take a chance on blood sugar level going up? and who knows, ending up with diabetes? I can fully understand and will accept the fact that less well off people may have to eat rice because it is a cheap staple, and therefore don't have the choice we in the west may have. But then, when I see the rich and well off of Nepal (Brahmins and other high caste people) also eating so much white rice 2-3 times a day (when they don't have to, and could eat something else), I just wonder?? A bit baffled on that one!

USA Nerd, You don't have to do all that. You are way over-doing it. I've lived here for 7 years and the last time I got sick from food was about 6 yrs ago when I had samosa for lunch and then took a couple more home for dinner. That was a really stupid thing to do. The guy probably used his dirty hands to put the samosas in the bag and then 4-5 hours later the germs had plenty of time to multiply.

I always dry the plates and cups, but there is no need to heat them. If they are dry there cannot be the kind of parasites to get a person sick. They are bigger amebae type critters, not virus.

I have a fitkiri/alum stone I use to sanitize my hands when I'm out having lunch. I don't usually eat the raw veggies on the plate and have my favorite restaurants.

I eat veg usually and make sure the food is hot. If you want to order something really safe try a veg sizzler. They literally put it on fire before serving it.

I have a small guesthouse with my Nepali family and in the 4 years we've only gotten 2 people sick and that was after the earthquake with all the shortages and problems. But the real problem was too many people in the kitchen and we cooked meat that night. I have my own reverse osmosis water filter just like the blue jugs.

I hope you relax a bit and enjoy Nepal. The food is an issue for me, too, but I still enjoy a lovely $3 lunch.

Cooking like a foreigner in Nepal
well i'm a fussy eater.i'm not partial at all to English food.In my humble opinion..bland,tasteless ,uninspiring,& extremely boring.So my eating habits,preferences are 'awkward' in other peoples eyes except my own.Yes..i like curry. typical UK Super market curries ,quick instant meals in a box,... There Not INDIAN there Pakistani!!!!forget it!..tastes like powder!wrong mixes of spices.i adamantly refuse to eat them ..super market 5 min to cook fodder..I've tried but..soon climbed out of my high chair and scampered away.,waving my dummy in the air.,searching for a farleys rusk!desperation leads to frustration..leading to sulks and more hunger..... Saved dieting though !
Fish..nope.curried fish ..i'm off.Even the smell of it cooking in the pot is just about tolerable..Anything cooked in a wine or beer..UGH...if i want the taste of wine,beer...I'll buy a glass or a pint..To mix/cook ,with beer etc ingredients for food.....uneatable!, for me..99% pub food a no no.Easily avoidable.But glass of beer etc is fine.Burp.Scrumpi..a delight. A real peel floating in it. dark brown..strong smell of apple...Delightfull. Burp.& very strong too,the genuine stuff.but..i rarely drink LOL.Ciser!..pear...rare but oh....sweet...Burp,burp.Drink in moderation & enjoy.well i do.But not to digress... FOOD!
Chipatti..Tasteless..but.but but BUT...
Add MADRAS curry powder to the flour.Presto..flavour.several different ingredients to add variety to the plain ol madras curry powdered bread butty here.
As follows.
onions,chopped hard boiled chucky egg,tomato spliced,lettuce,few green chillies,(warm) mashed potato, broad beans,Baked beans,Chips,Chicken breast,Turkey breast,...sweet corn,curried mince beef...choose your mix.A DIY awkward eaters delight ... taste buds. satisfied.Rice..Is BLAND.Brown rice is Ok though.
Why have flat round boring chipati, no flavour...Imagination here is the key!

                                                               a chucky curry no worry!
3 eggs hard boiled. cut in 1/2.If you want them Hot temp etc ..[add at the very end instead & finely chopped..]-now-Open the window & let the neighbours wonder what your cookin!

Make a paste;..couple of spoon fulls of coriander powder.add chillies..or paprika.some fennel seeds,cumin seeds,a little tumeric.some ginger,a garlic clove,few spoons of water. blender=paste the window wider..
Meanwhile..heat up some oil in a pan.fry some more ..fenugreek seeds,,fennel,add some cinnamon(if you want)..then add an onion.then add your paste.continue to cook for a few mins.add tomato or 2..etc.add water. salt to taste and a little lime juice if desired.
Ultra Large Chipati... Place all the grub in middle of it. Stretch it out. Spread out with a knife etc & ROLL it into a pancake...Seal/fold over the 2 loose ends etc..Now CHOMP slowly.delicious.a chucky roll...a snack,a meal...guests..just make more before they arrive etc.If they don't like,... tell them to take there toys & Leave!

Even just plain ol Masdras & flour mixed..Chips(French fries)...a delicious chip butty.tra lah.

Brown rice is nice with the Roll when eaten...add a beer.Burp.
if you haven'r any eggs.Drop a few seeds outside your front door.passing hen clucks madly.follows the seed trail.Grab hen.Close Door.Feed it..eggs produced in time!All you got to do then is purchase the remaining ingredients.If hen owner discovers the 'Hen kidnapper' after a few weeks.Return the now well fed fat hen to them .Keep the fresh eggs laid thought. Then leave a new seed trail again...another hen is bound to pass again..Use the smell of the chucky curry cooking as bait!
it says here in small print below...once posted your post remains EDIBLE for 1 hour.

We can discuss nepalese cooking all day long and that's fine. Some like it hot. The majority of foreigners do not. But to be talking about nepalese "cuisine" as the thread suggests is stretching it a bit far and to me, a complete misnomer. Cooking is one thing. Cuisine is an art and that's altogether different.