Menu: Nepal

There’s nothing quite so wonderful as preparing food for friends, especially when there are special requirements. For our Nepali Global Table I was tasked to prepare an entirely vegetarian meal so I could share it with my vegetarian friend, her daughter, and husband.  I loved it! This “constraint” (which I use very loosely as I eat vegetarian much of the time) meant that I got to look through Nepali recipes with a vegetarian filter. Ironically, this opened my eyes to many dishes I might not otherwise have noticed if I’d felt the pressure of cooking some sort of meat dish. The timing couldn’t have been better – many people in Nepal live a vegetarian lifestyle.

This “constraint” also meant that I learned something new that i might not have come across otherwise: being vegetarian in Nepal means no meat or egg (although milk and cheese are fine). Who knew?

Home amid the rice. Photo by Julesair. Winnowing Rice in Nepal. Photo by KenWalker.

What sounds good to you?

Vegetarian Momos [Recipe]
These small dumplings not only have an adorable name, but they taste fantastic. Filled with cabbage, carrot, onion, turmeric, and ginger, each bite is a lovely window into Nepali food and, as you make each crease, you’ll slow down to a simpler time.

Vegan Spiced Yellow Split Peas | Dhal Bhat [Recipe]
A daily staple in Nepal, Dhal are any kind of pulses like split peas or lentils and bhat is rice. While relatively straightforward to explain (and make), this is in fact a vegan dish of subtle complexity and great health benefits. Inside you’ll find golden turmeric, ginger, tomatoes, and more.

Crystal Crunch Fudge | Besan Burfi [Recipe]
Pistachio and cardamom perfume this ghee and chickpea flour based sweet. Known for it’s characteristic crunchy texture and sweet, sweet flavor, Besan Burfi is a fantastic teatime accompaniment.

*All recipes and meal review will be posted throughout the week.


  1. Ruby Libertus says

    wish I would somehow be disciplined enough to be vegetarian. It is interesting seeing the English translation of the desert we ate growing up and just calling burfi.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Well.. I couldn’t call that an *exact* translation, just my silly name for it … it was hard to describe the taste and experience succinctly, but Crystal Crunch Fudge is the closest I could come 🙂 Such a neat dessert.

  2. John Goodenow says

    When I was a boy living on a farm (late ’50s), we had a Nepali exchange student (adult variety) live with us for about 6 months learning farming techniques and how to raise cattle, hogs and chickens. He tried to introduce us to yogurt, but I remember it as being sour milk. Soured me on yogurt for life. But he was fun to know.

  3. Brian S. says

    This is a guess but I’d bet that most people in Nepal eat vegetarian food most of the time. They are poor and can’t afford to kill one of their precious animals every week… or walk 5 days to the nearest town to buy meat (and they don’t have the money). I believe Nepal has had great problems with iodine deficiency in children.

    • Nepali Woman says

      I would like to say something here: Not only Nepali people who live in the remote/rural areas but even those who live in the cities do not eat meat every day w/every meal. Now I live in America and see people consuming so much meat….So I see problem every where. now I live in USA and see the problem here too…here many people can’t buy fresh fruits/vegetable..and there people can’t eat meat very often.

  4. Nepal peoples are very strong because they mainly vagitarian. However, they are vagitarian not because of their habit only. They eat vegitables because they can’t afford to buy their favourite animals. Though i take it positively.

    • Sasha Martin says

      In many ways eating vegetarian (or mostly) is healthier, so you are right, even if done by necessity it has positive results.

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