6 Most Popular Nepali Vegetarian Dishes

Thinking about giving a visit to Nepal one day? If you’ll set foot in this beautiful country, try out their amazing foods as they have lots to offer for your palate. 

Are you a vegetarian? Don’t worry as there are different Nepali vegetarian dishes to choose from. Check out our recommendations below as they might be tailored to your interests. 

Famous Nepali Vegetarian Dishes

Grunduk

Grunduk is regarded as the national dish of Nepal. As a popular Nepalese dish, it is made by fermenting and drying several leafy vegetables such as rayo saag, mustard leaves, radish leaves, and cauliflower. These vegetables are wilted for a day or two and then stored in a tight earthenware pot  before they’re cooked or served.

This process allows the mixture to produce a sour product characterized by its dark brown color. Grunduk is one of the versatile Nepali dishes that can be served both as an appetizer or a side dish. Aside from that, Grunduk can also be served as a soup. 


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Grunduk is popular in rural areas of Nepal where most people feed on maize and tubers, as it can be a reliable source of minerals.


Dal Bhat

A staple dish in Nepal, Dal bhat is composed of rice (bhat) and lentil soup (dal) served with a variety of side dishes.  Dal can vary in color, depending on the type of lentils used. It can be either yellow or black in color. 

If rice is not available, you can use barley, maize, buckwheat, and unleavened bread roti as a substitute. Though a typical vegetarian dish, Dal bhat can also be prepared with meat and fish. 

Some of the famous side dishes that can be served with Dal bhat are Nepali tarkari (a vegetable curry), spicy chutneys, a crisp flatbread called padamu, South Asian achar pickles, stir-fried greens, and slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.


Masyaura

One of Nepal’s traditional dishes, Masyaura is made from sun-dried vegetable balls. The main ingredient of making the vegetable balls are lentils. It is then mixed with taro stems, black matpe beans, colocasia leaves, yam, cauliflower, spinach, or potatoes.

The mixture is then shaped into balls and dried under the sun for about three days. The dried products are usually stored in airtight containers. The balls can be cooked directly in hot cooking oil or mixed with other recipes such as soupy curries.


Kwati

Kwati is also a traditional dish in Nepal that is considered as a vegetarian festive dish. It is a stew made from different types of beans such as white peas, chickpeas, soya beans, mung beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas.

The stew’s flavor is enhanced by adding turmeric, ginger, salt, and ajwain lovage seeds. Kwati is popularly served during Janai Purnima, one of the most sacred and important festivals of Hindu religion. Kwati is also served on the festival of Guni Punhi, the full moon day of Gunlā which is the tenth month in the Nepal Era lunar calendar.


Arikanchan

Originally from Mathil and Tharu communities in Nepal, this traditional dish is made with a combination of taro leaves, black lentils paste, and a spice paste. The special spice paste is a mixture of different spices such as ginger, garlic, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and red chili powder.

Taro leaves are used to wrap the lentil paste and spices. The wrapped dish is steamed, then it will be cut into slices before it’s deep-fried in oil. During the season of taro (colocasia) leaves, Arikanchan is very popular in Nepal to create a different dish out of the leaves, aside from using it typically on curries. 


Tarkari

A spicy vegetable curry made from any combination of vegetables, Tarkari is a word to describe vegetable side dishes or curries in the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bangladesh. 

Preparation methods and ingredients may vary from other recipes, but this delicious dish traditionally includes potato, cabbage, carrot, green beans, peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Garam masala, a blend of ground spices originating from South Asia, is added to create this dish.


Must-Try Vegetarian Dishes in Nepal

Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia and officially called the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. This country is mainly situated in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, bordering Tibet of China to the north, and India in the south, east, and west. 

This diverse country has fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. They also offer some good food. That includes Newa Cuisine, Momos, Dhido and street foods

If you visit Nepal or its neighboring countries, make sure to check out their different dishes for that delectable and delicious experience. Aside from Roti and other foods, Nepal has so much to offer. 

There are different places that offer those vegetarian dishes listed above. All you need to do is to explore them. If in any case that you won’t be able to visit Nepal yet, you may try recreating the dish by looking for some recipes online.