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the appetizer:

Nepal's cuisine has been heavily influenced by climate as well as neighboring India. Typical meals include rice, lentils, pickles and curried vegetables.

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Nepal

Liquor

The finest alcohol is homemade stuff. Raksi is potent, exhilarating, and smooth as velvet; it's often mistranslated as "wine," but it's really grain alcohol. To test for good raksi, toss a small amount on a fire and see if it burns (braver or more drunken connoisseurs will dip their finger into their glass and set it aflame). Different grains produce different flavors: rice raksi is rich and smooth, kodo or millet is stronger and more fiery. Women of a household pride themselves on their liquor, and will put the most effort and time into making raksi for a big celebration like a wedding. At feasts and celebrations it's poured from the graceful spouted anti into tiny clay cups, an art which tests the grace and skill of the pourer.

Less potent is home-brewed beer of rice or millet, jand (Nepali) or chang (Tibetan), a whitish, thin drink with a refreshing sweet-sour taste. A variation served in mountain regions is tongba, fermented mash which is placed in a wooden container and mixed with hot water. Nepalis drink from a bamboo (or nowadays plastic) straw, sipping the liquid and avoiding the bits of millet; the hot water is refilled several times. Nursing a flask of tongba makes a pleasant pursuit for a cold evening.


Nepal

Nepali Recipes

Also check out our India page for additional recipes.

Back to the main Nepal page

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This page modified January 2007


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