Daal bhat is the main staple food of the Nepali. It is actually a combination of two dishes that are usually eaten together.
Daal is lentil soup. The lentils most often used and favored by the Nepali are the yellow, green, and black varieties.
Lentil soup is nutritious and tasty. The method for its cooking has been passed down from generation to generation in Nepal.
Bhat is regular boiled rice, the staple food from which the Nepali obtain a huge part of their nourishment – or, at least, their satiety. Many consider bhat the central component of daal bhat.
If you happen to visit a Nepali family, you would most likely see daal bhat as part of their lunch or dinner.
If you visit a Nepali market, you would be sure to see achar being sold in many stalls.
Achar is a variety of pickled vegetables that is often served with other Nepali dishes to “cleanse” the eater’s palate. The ingredients of achar can be sliced radish, ground tomatoes, diced and boiled potatoes, and ground coriander.
There are also other ingredients that can be added to achar to enhance its flavor.
Among all the achar varieties, the mango achar is Nepal’s favorite.
Achar can be bought by the bottle. Restaurants also often serve achar as a side dish.
Momo is a Nepali dish that can be purchased both from street stalls and restaurants.
Momos are dumplings that are filled with a minced meat mixture. The mixture includes vegetables and other ingredients that add flavor to the dish.
When buying momos, you can request to have them either fried or steamed. Be careful when eating momo, as the meat filling might be too hot if you bite right into it.
Momos can be eaten either as a snack or a meal. They can be eaten in the morning or evening. The flexibility of this dish as a quick bite or as a filling meal makes it a favorite among the Nepali.
Roti is a flatbread, very similar to the Indian chapatti. Its primary ingredient is wheat flour or rice flour, which gives roti a light and slightly sweet flavor.
This flatbread is prepared similar to pancakes: the viscous batter is poured onto and cooked in a flat pan.
Cooking time for roti is very short – usually just a couple of minutes.
Roti can be bought from street stalls, but restaurants also often carry this bread in their menu. Similar to how it is consumed in India, roti in Nepal is often eaten with other dishes such as curry, Nepali daal, or tarkari.
Tarkari is a curry of several vegetables, which include potatoes and bell peppers.
Rich and spicy, the sauce of tarkari goes very well with the smooth texture and taste of the vegetables.
Tarkari is a Nepali favorite. In fact, it is usually combined with another Nepali favorite, the daal bhat, thus forming the complete meal of daal-bhat-tarkari.