Unusual & unique But tasty Nepali dishes: – Nepal’s cuisine has always been overshadowed by the influence of Indian cuisine. Nepal’s cuisine is much more than that: because of its location, it has also received influences from Chinese and Tibetan cuisine.
In addition, the relative isolation of its different ethnic communities added to the geographical variants of the country explain the development of culinary habits. That change considerably from one region to another, from the fertile Kathmandu and Pokhara Valley to the steep mountains, home of the Sherpas.
So the Nepalese cuisine has the uniqueness in itself. Here are some of the food items that can only be found in Nepal which seem to be unusual to the foreigners’ bit normal to us.
8 Unusual, Unique, Weird But Tasty Nepali Dishes, Foods, Snacks & Cuisines Items
Kachilaa ( Newari /Nepalese: कचिला) is unique Newari meat speciality that consists of raw minced marinated water buffalo meat.
Sanyakhuna (Newari: सन्याखुना) is a special type of gelatinous food prepared and consumed mainly by the Newars of Nepal. Buffalo stew is made with bones for extra flavor (removed later) and gelatinous skin with attached meat is preferred. A good proportion of water (soup) is preferred.
The spices are added. Some of the soup is taken from and juice from local citrus (jhamsi in Newari), which tastes like lemon but with a mandarin flavor is added for more flavor.
Finally smoked dry fresh water fishes are fried and added. It is cooled to make a lavender meat jelly that is called sanyakhuna. Sanya means dried fish and khuna means broth.
Sapu Mhicha ( Newari language: सपू म्हिचा, “gut bag”) is a special dish composed of tripe leaf buffalo stuffed with bone marrow. It is cooked and fried. Sapu Mhichā is a specialty Newari cuisine of the Kathmandu Valley and is prepared on special occasions.
The delicacy is one of the dishes which is served to honor son in law when he goes to his wife’s parents’ house for festival dinners. It is served a short time after the main course and before dessert. Water buffalo leaf gut is cut into small pieces and separated layers to form bags. Diced bone marrow is stuffed into the bags.
The opening is retracted and tied with a piece of wire to close it. The bags are then baked and fried. The eater puts the entire Sapu Mhichā in his mouth and bites it, leaving the end tied between the index finger and thumb. In this way, the molten bone marrow stays inside the mouth as it gushes as the sac is torn.
Swan Puka ( Newari language: स्वँपुका, “Fried lung”) is a delicacy in Newar cuisine of the Valley Kathmandu in Nepal. Swan Puka is goat’s lungs filled with spicy and boiled pasta, sliced and fried. The dish is traditionally served at special dinners and parties. Today, Swan Puka is a menu specialty at local restaurants and upscale restaurants.
The goat’s lungs are filled with spicy mass through the trachea. The mass is forced into the lungs by a pump or by squeezing a small plastic bag filled with the liquid mixture into the opening. The lungs are lightly tapped to facilitate filling.
After the lungs are completely filled and no more the beater can be pumped inward so that the trachea is bent and tied with a piece of rope to prevent the contents from spreading outward. The lungs are then boiled, sliced and fried.
Thwon (Nepal Bhasa: थ्वं) is a type of beverage alcohol. It is prepared at festivals and special occasions by the Newars. It is made from rice. This is a kind of Beer Country. Generally, it can also be called beer rice. There are three types of Thwon: Red, White, and Brown.
The red variety is closer to wine. The white variety is thicker in consistency and can be very sweet in comparison to the red one. The variety of brown is thicker. Generally, this type of Thwon is made from corn and will only be used for winter drinking only. This type of Thwon is called Taku Thwon in Newari language. This drink is very closely related to Newars culture. It is an indispensable part of Newari rituals and parties.
Dhindo (Nepali: ढिँडो) is a meal prepared only in Nepal. It is prepared by bringing hot water into a boiling pan and adding flour while stirring the mixture continuously. It is the major meal in various parts of Nepal and Sikkim and Darjeeling regions of India.
Dhindo is traditionally prepared from buckwheat or corn but wheat, cornmeal is common as well. In fact, one can make Dhindo of any grain as long as its ground in flour as the recipe is simple. The utensil of choice is “Phalame Tapke” (Iron pan). A narrow iron spatula is used to stir the thick mixture and is called, “Dabilo” (दाबिलो).
It makes stirring easier. Dhindo is eaten by making a small ball with his fingers, dipping it in a cold liquid (lentil soup, meat soup, milk or gundruk) and swallowed. It is not chewed as Dhindo is made of corn, sticks between the teeth, and is hot at the time of consumption. Also, it is often served with chutney.
Butter Tea, also known as po cha, Suma cha ( “Stirred Tea” ), Mandarin Chinese: Suyou Tea or gur gur the Ladakhi language, is a drink of the people in the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan, India(particularly in Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh ) and Tibet .
Traditionally, it is made from tea leaves, yak butter, water, and salt, although cow’s milk butter is increasingly used given its greater availability and lower cost. Drinking butter tea is a normal part of Tibetan life. Before work, a Tibetan usually enjoy several bowlfuls of this drink and is always served to guests.
Since butter is the main ingredient, butter tea offers very caloric energy and is particularly suitable for high altitudes. Butter can also help prevent chapped lips . According to Tibetan custom, butter tea is drunk in separate small sips, and after each sip, the host fills the glass to the brim. Thus, the guest does not drain his basin; on the contrary, it is constantly topped.
If the visitor doesn’t want to drink, the best thing to do is to leave the tea untouched till it is time to leave and then drain the cup. This way the tag is observed and the host will not be offended. Butter tea is also used to eat tsampa by pouring over it, or by dipping tsampa into it and mixing well.
The concentrate, produced by repeatedly boiling tea leaves, will keep for several days and is commonly used in cities. The tea is then combined with salt and butter in a special tea blender and stirred vigorously before serving hot. Now an electric blender is often used. The history of origin of tea in Tibet dates back to the 7th century during the Tang dynasty.
However, it didn’t reach its universal status until around the 13th century, the time of the Shakya hierarchy and the Phagmodu kings. The highest quality of tea is obtained by boiling the tea leaves in water for half a day, achieving a dark brown color. It is then skimmed, and poured into a cylinder with sweet and salty Yak butter, which is then stirred.
The result is a purple liquid that is about the thickness of a stew or thick oil. It is then poured into tea clay, jars. Another method is to boil the water and add a handful of tea in the water, which is allowed to steep until it is almost black. The salt is then added, along with some soda if desired.
The tea is then strained through a horse-haired or colander in a wooden butter churn, and a large piece of butter is added. This is then stirred until the tea reaches the proper consistency and transferred to copper pots that sit in a brazier to keep them warm.
When a mixer is not available, a wooden bowl and quick stirring will suffice. Nowadays, when tea leaves, yak butter, and wood butter drums are not available, people often make butter tea using tea bags. Different types of butter available on the market and a blender for churn.
Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic drink commonly found in the eastern mountainous region of Nepal and neighboring Darjeeling and Sikkim. It is the traditional and indigenous beverage of the Limbu people of eastern Nepal. Tongba is culturally and religiously vital to the Limbu people of eastern Nepal.
Taplejung is the ultimate destination for drinking Tongba. Offering Tongba is respect for a visitor in Limbu people and should also have drinks on occasions and festivals. Tongba is actually the container that contains the fermented millet drink known as mandokpenaa ti. Mandokpenaa ti is prepared by cooking and fermenting whole grain millet.
Cooked corn is cooled and mixed with khesung (which is a source of mold, bacteria, and yeast). The dough is then collected and placed in a woven bamboo basket lined with green or plastic leaves, covered with a thick cloth. And allowed to stay in a warm place for 1-2 days, depending on the temperature.
The pastry is then packed tightly in a clay jar or plastic jars and the opening is generally sealed to prevent air from entering. After 7-15 days, also depending on the temperature, the fermentation is complete and the mass is converted to ti mandokpenaa. Ti mandokpenaa time is left to remain undisturbed in the pot after completion of fermentation leads to maturation of ti mandokpenaa. During the maturation of the flavors and the flavor intensifies even become more matured.
Traditionally, it is stored for about six months. It is consumed in a unique way: fermented corn is placed in a container, also traditionally called Tongba, and boiled water is poured into it to the brim. It is then left to rest for about five minutes.
Once the five minutes has elapsed then it is ready to drink. Thin bamboo straw with a blunt end, but perforated on the side acting as a filter, is inserted into the container to suck hot water and alcohol from the corn kernels. Warmer water is added as the tongba becomes dry, and the process is repeated until the alcohol is depleted.