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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The Kathmandu Valley is heaven for seasonal vegetables—immense cauliflowers, carrots, eggplants, beans, and cabbages in the winter; peppers, peas, tomatoes, spinach, and lettuce in the spring; squash, cucumbers, and many local vegetables without English names in the monsoon. Out in the hills the supply is limited to a few standards: potatoes, onion, cauliflower, giant radishes (mula), and various greens. The latter are often fermented and dried into a strong-tasting mess called gundruk, rich in vitamins, iron, and calcium.

Citrus fruits arrive in the winter: suntalaa and grapefruit like pomelo, plus mushy Indian apples. Spring brings luscious tropical fruits like mangoes (aap) with their sweet, sticky, bright orange flesh. The fruit of the milder-flavored papaya (mewa) is the color of orange sherbet; its black seeds are said to be a sovereign remedy for upset stomach. The addictive litchi appears in grape-like bunches in May-June: peel off the corrugated red skin to reveal the sweet white fruit, but beware of the large seeds. August-Sept. brings yellow-skinned guavas (ambaa), with their edible seeds and soft flesh, and more Vitamin C than oranges. The brown naspati appearing in the fall combines the flavor and color of a pear with the texture and shape of an apple. Bananas (keraa) are available year-round in at least seven varieties; unlike other fruit, sold by the kilo, these are sold by the dozen.


Nepali Recipes

Also check out our India page for additional recipes.

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This page modified January 2007