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Dal Bhat

The Nepalese have a say­ing, “dal bhat power, 24 hour”. And it all makes sense as Nepal’s en­ergy-packed na­tional dish fu­els trekkers and sher­pas on steep treks through the Hi­malayas. The dish com­prises a mound of rice (bhat) served with lentil (dal) soup, a veg­etable or chicken curry, pick­les and greens. Espe­cially pop­u­lar in the moun­tains, dal bhat can be found ev­ery­where in Kath­mandu, and each res­tau­rant makes it slightly dif­fer­ently.


A tra­di­tional Ne­war dish, yoh trans­lates as “like” and mari as bread. Steamed rice-flour bread is stuffed to the brim with ground meat, or sugar and sesame seeds. Have it at Nan­dini Food Store, which serves tra­di­tional Ne­war cui­sine just steps away from Patan Dur­bar Square. These tra­di­tional Nepalese dumplings can be found ev­ery­where in Kath­mandu and be­yond. Our favourites – jhol mo­mos, served in broth – were at Byan­jan Bar and Grill in Pokhara, a 25-minute flight away.

Chips Chilli

An un­likely favourite, chips chilli is es­sen­tially potato (or chips) stir-fried with onions, gar­lic and pep­pers in tomato-based chilli sauce. Nil­giri Thakali Delights makes it best. The pota­toes are warm and fluffy, but stay crisp even when doused in sweet-and-sour tomato-based chilli.

Juju Dhau

The Ne­war “king of yo­gurt” is a rich, sweet, creamy yo­gurt made with fresh buf­falo milk and set in red clay pots. The por­ous pots al­low the liq­uid whey to drain away, re­sult­ing in a thick, firm cus­tard-like con­sis­tency. Have it at Bhak­ta­pur, where it is said to orig­i­nate.

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