Birthplace of Buddha and home to stunning Himalayan peaks, Nepal is also known for its unique cuisine and rich cultural traditions. Nepal is a landlocked country that had little contact with the outside world for centuries, resulting in a unique culinary culture that was not influenced by other cuisines. After opening borders in the 1950s, however, Nepal’s cuisine evolved to take on influences from neighboring India, China and Tibet. Those influences, combined with Nepal’s vast cultural and geographic diversity, result in a singular cuisine characterized by the simplicity of fresh local ingredients that are artfully paired with herbs and spices.
A Nepali staple is Daal-Bhaat-Tarkaari (lentil-rice-vegetable), found in many variations and flavors. It includes boiled rice accompanied by daal made from dried beans, lentils, or peas. A variety of fresh vegetables and leafy greens round out the meal. The use of spices is mild and subtle, but meals are often served with a side of spicy pickles. Meat, poultry, and fish are served only occasionally, mostly during celebrations.
Author Jyoti Pathak’s first cookbook Taste of Nepal won a Gourmand World Cookbook award for Best Foreign Cuisine Cookbook and showcased the foods and recipes of her native Nepal to a wider audience. This new cookbook brings the foods and flavors of Nepal alive with color photographs throughout, notes about important Nepali customs, festivals and holidays, and a collection of 185 recipes that spans traditional Nepali fare to popular fusion dishes, street foods and the modern Nepali table. Also included are helpful chapters on Nepali ingredients, utensils and cooking techniques and a glossary of Nepali-English words.