Nepalese Dining Guide

Regular everyday Nepali food is very healthy, nourishing , practical and surprisingly tasty. However, during many festivals foods can contain an elaborate assortment gourmet delights. The typical daily food for most people consist of “Dal Bhat” which consists rice (Bhat), lentil soup (dal) and vegetables in curry (Tarkari) and/or meat (Masu) and a small amount of pickle /sauce (Achar).

Eating Habit
Main Meal: In most part of country, especially rice-growing areas, Dal Bhat is eaten twice a day. Generally, the first meal of the day is eaten from about 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. and the second shortly after sunset around 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. During weekends (Saturday), the first meal is obviously eaten little bit late.

Snacking: Snack such as bread, chuira (beaten rice), roti (flat bread), curried vegetables, milked tea and other snacks are also generally eaten in between the two big meals.

Diversity: Nepal’s food is as diverse as the country itself. Many ethnic groups have their own specialties which might or might not be widely eaten. Some examples are Chatamari, Daar, Phapar Ko roti (Bukwheat Bread), Salted Tea etc.

Eating Method
More or less all Nepalese eat with their right hand, though urban eateries and some young urban youth have already embraced silverware. Food may be served in a metal plate divided into separate compartments called “Thal” or simple plate. Nepali food is eaten in a typical way. For example: Dal Bhat is eaten in following way. At first, Dal is poured over the rice if the Dal came in a separate bowl. They are separated in chunks with your fingers. Then a bit of Tarkari and/or Achar is added for each chunks. Everything is eaten together in a chunk with the right hand.

Dal, Bhat and Tarkari – translated as Lentils, Rice and Curried vegetable. It is the main staple diet of most Nepali people.


Chatamari – (Newari) food resembles Pizza or Dosa (south Indian). rice flour flat bread cooked over heat with toppings such as minced meat (with or without some vegetable), egg, sugar or no toppings. 

Choyla -(Newari) grilled /roasted spicy meat. usually eaten as appetizer with liquor

Gundruk – dried and fermented green vegetables leaves. when made to soup gives a slightly sour, slightly tangy.

Kwati – (Newari) soup with many beans. a festival specialty

Momo(cha) – (Newari) a dumplings filled with minced meat (usually buffalo in Nepal, Turkey elsewhere), served steamed or fried. very popular appetizer, afternoon snack or evening meal.

Samay Baji – (Newari) beaten rice with roasted meat, smoked fish, boiled-then-fried egg, black soybeans and diced ginger.usually a ritual food co

Sekuwa – grilled meat usually made from mutton, duck, chicken, buff, wild boar.

Sel – donoght-like shaped dessert/snack made from rice flour

Sukuti – spicy dried meat roasted over a charcoal fire.

Alu Tama – Potato made with bamboo shoots.

Takhala – (Newari) Jello of meat soup served cold. 

Wo and Bara– (Newari) flour patty made of lentils with or without meat/egg topping. used in ritual or festival or used as snack.

Meat Dishes

Alu Tama – Bamboo shoot and potato.

Dal – lentil soup usually eaten with rice. most popular lentils usued as dal in Nepal are black, red and yellow.

Sag -  Green Vegetables – Spinach, mustard greens or broad-leaved mustard. A standard accompaniment to plain rice for lunch or dinner.

Masu – meat with spices (curry) and gravy. usually served with rice. Most Nepalese eat chicken, mutton. Some eat buffalo and pork. Almost no one eats cow. Killing cow is prohibited in Nepal

Bhat – steamed rice

Tarkari – any vegetable or group of vegetables in curry, usually broth. can be made in thousand s ways.


Achar – a sour, spice or seet pickle. can be made in thousand ways. the most poplar are made of ground tomatoes, sliced radish, ground coriander, boiled or diced potatoes.

Sanya Khuna – (Newari) hot, spicy, salty jellotype food made from fish soup.



Juju Dhau – popular creamy curd from Bhaktapur. Juju literally means ‘‘king”.

Sikarni – curd mixed with dried fruits. 


Rakshi – liquor (can mean local liquor)

Thon (Newari) or Chhyang (Tibetan) – the milky white beer/liquor made from fermented rice.

Tongba – a popular liquor in the hills. made by pouring hot water into a pot of fermented millet and drunk with a bamboo straw.