Guide to cooking Nepali food

Written by: Uday Sharma Neupane (CLP Nepal)


(Yellow lentils) rahar ko daal

  • ½ cup yellow daal 1/2tsp ghee ¼ tbs turmeric powder
  • 1and ½ tsp salt 4 cups of water ¼ tbs cumin powder
  • 1 tbs ginger garlic paste 1 pinch jimbu
  1. Clean/ rinse the daal.
  2. Put in daal, salt, turmeric, cumin powder and ginger garlic paste and ½ tbs ghee or oil in a pressure cooker and cook for 10 – 15 mins.
  3. leave the pressure cooker for mins and open it
  4. put 1 tbs of ghee / oil in a frying pan , when the oil is heated then put 1 pinch of jimmu in it. Then put that in the daal .
  5. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

Boiled rice (Bhaat):

  • 1 cup rice 1and ½ -2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  1. Clean/ Rinse rice 2 times with water
  2. Put 1 and ½ cup water for 1 cup of rice . (The amount of water used will vary depending on the kind of rice, Basmati and brown rice absorb more water than short grain white rice. Cook by one of the method below. To test, remove a grain or two and bite into them. There should be no hardness in the center, If rice is not quite tender, replace lid and cook another 2-6 minutes.)

Note : for the fluffiest ,least sticky rice ,bring the water to a boil before adding the rice to the pot ,then cook for the recommended amount of time.

  • Saucepan Method: Put rice, water and salt in the pot with tight –fitting lid. Bring to boil, stirring once or twice as water starts to boil. Lower heat, cover and cook about 12-15 min.
  • For brown rice or about 30 min for brown rice without removing lid or stirring . Remove from heat. For drier rice fluff lightly with a fork and let stand in covered pan about 10 mins to steam dry.

Chicken curry (Kukhurako massu)

  • ½ kg chicken 1 and ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 large onion ½ tsp tumeric
  • 1 green pepper 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 tsp cooking oil 1 tbs ginger and 1 tbs garlic paste
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste ¼ tsp cloves
  1. Chop onion and pepper into slices .
  2. Place about 4 tsp cooking oil into frying pan and add onions. Cook covered but starring occasionally for 10 minutes till it gets brown .
  3. Add 2” pieces of chickens to the pot stirring constantly, turmeric, ground cumin, ginger garlic paste and cloves with a little water .Add to the onions and chicken and stir.
  4. Add enough water to the pot barely covers the chicken about 1cup (too much water will make your curry to soupy). Bring to boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is tender .Add green pepper about 15 minutes before chicken is done. Salt to taste . serve with rice.

Mushroom and paneer

  • Cottage cheese ( paneer).
  • 200 gm paneer
  • 200 gm mushroom
  • 4 onion chopped ½ tsp gram masala
  • 1tspcrushed ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  1. Heat oil into frying pan and dip paneer until brown and take it out from the frying pan.
  2. Heat oil into frying pan adds slice chopped onion cook until brown. And add mushroom and fry it until the water dries.
  3. Put ginger and garlic paste and other gram masala spices And stir progressively and let it cook for 5 mins.
  4. Add fried paneer and stir .
  5. Put fresh coriander for dressing Serve with rice or roti.

Cooked Tomato chutney

  • ¼ c garlic 2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 handful ginger (fresh) ½ c chopped onions 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 handful green coriander
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt 2 tsp mustard oils.

Heat oil. Add the above ingredients. cook at least 15 minutes. Serve with rice or roti.


(Unleavened flat bread)

  • 200gm wheat flour 1 cup water

Knead flour well with water. Put dough aside for 1 hour covering with wet cloth .Dough should be soft but not sticky. Form into small balls and roll out into chapattis with plenty of flour. Heat an iron griddle and put on chapattis. When the top surface of chapatti shows bubbles. Turn cook on the other side. Finish off by placing on hot cools for a minute so they rise well.