Published On: January 18, 2018 10:59 AM NPT By: Aditya Neupane

Nepali comfort foods for winter

Nepali comfort foods for winter

Hot, spicy, creamy and tangy foods are always welcoming in cold weather. They not only fill your tummy but also give you the much needed warmth in this chilling temperature. Though Kathmandu is a city developed from ancient Newari civilization, being the capital and a hot pot for people from different regions across the country has made the food culture here quite interesting.

Nepalis like to indulge in soupy, hot, spicy and nutritious comfort food during winter. The street-food stalls in Kathmandu can be seen bustling with customers awaiting hot and spicy dishes. Besides thukpa, mo:mo and laphing being the most common street foods, homemade curries like aalu tama, gundruk, quanti (mixture of beans) are the go-to bowls in winter. 

My City’s Aditya Neupane went around Kathmandu to uncover some trending comfort foods for this winter.

Morning beverage
It’s every Nepali’s ritual to have a cup of tea or coffee in the morning before starting their day. No matter where you are, a sip of hot beverage will definitely thaw your bones in this freezing winter season. Beverages like milk tea, coffee, mango tea, green tea and even a cup of warm lemon water is preferred. Moreover different kinds of spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, bay leaves, and basil and so on are used to make spiced tea. A big cup of hot chocolate with some marshmallows is also a delectable way to start your day. 

A bowl of warm thukpa, which can be eaten at any time of the day, will give you energy and warmth. Despite being a Tibetan food, Thukpa is famous in Kathmandu as a winter fast food. The main ingredient being noodles one can add any vegetables, meat and spices as per the taste in thukpa. A customer at Bento Café Barsha Rai expressed, “I am a huge fan of spicy food and noodles. Moreover, both of these are available in a single bowl of thukpa, so I love it during winter.” 

In most of the houses, mothers prefer to cook hearty curries and broths, and their recipes are easy to cook. Some of the popular typical Nepali curries are gundruk ko jhol (soup of fermented green leafs), quanti (mixture of beans) and aalu tama (potato and fermented bamboo shoot), among others. These homemade soups are the best way to beat winter blues. Talking about the types of food preferred in winter, owner and chef of Bento Café, Amit Manandhar said, “Tangy, hot and spicy foods are mostly preferred by the costumers in winter.” He suggested using tangy ingredients like lapsi (Nepali hog plum) tama and tomatoes to cook soupy meals at home as it provides relief from common cold.

Dry laphing and soup laphing are two types of laphings that are available in Kathmandu. Laphing initially emerged from Baudha area before gradually spreading to other parts of Kathmandu. It is one of the most liked snacks by youngsters, mainly during cold days. Winter days call for a bowl of soup laphing more than the dry one. Laphing is prepared by using a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, salt, chilli sauce, ginger and garlic. 

Jhol Mo:Mo
No matter what the weather is mo:mos are an all time favorite dish of Nepalis. The little balls of heaven are widely available in Kathmandu and they come in a variety of flavors. The most preferred mo:mo during winter is jhol mo:mo (soup mo:mo). Jhol mo:mo is prepared by adding steamed mo:mos over a pre-cooked soup. Bishnnu Maya Sunuwar, a customer at Bento Café, said the filling and softness of dough determines the quality of mo:mo for her. She added, “I can’t control myself when I see a beautifully plated jhol mo:mo” Mo:mos are available in almost all local eateries, street stalls and restaurants of Kathmandu valley. This dish comes in different flavors including buff, pork, vegetable, chicken and so on. 

nepali, comfort, foods, winter,

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