The Everest base camp is one of the most famous base camp treks in the entire world. It is mostly renowned for its picturesque landscapes but have you ever tried your hands on local and traditional Nepali food?
If not, you are missing out on a lot! In this article, we will be talking about experiencing traditional Nepali food in your next Everest Base Camp trek!
Dal bhat literally translates to lentils and rice and as the name suggests, Dal Bhat is a food platter/set which predominantly consists of Dal which is a traditional lentil based soup which is a rich source of protein especially for trekkers, bhat is rice, usually made by steaming, rice acts as a source of carbohydrates to keep your energy up in the trek.
The set consists of at least one kind of vegetable dry or gravy, vegetables are a source of other nutrients like iron, vitamins etc. It is accompanied by Achar, achar is pickle in Nepali. Sometimes the pickle may be freshly cooked/made or it could also be the one fermented for months and years.
If you want to opt for a non veg platter of dal bhat then you will get meat/fish/egg as your side dish. Oftentimes it is chicken or mutton gravy/curry. Or it could also be omelet or egg curry.
This platter is accompanied by a palate cleanser called Papad. Papad is a roasted/ fried cracker that you eat along Dal Bhat.
Usually this food platter also comes with Dahi. Dahi is a probiotic yogurt.
This Dal Bhat platter is a staple in Nepal and usually eaten regularly.
Momos are a kind of dumplings. Momo is extremely popular in Nepal despite it being linked with Tibetan origin, Nepal has embraced momo whole heartedly.
Momo is a dumpling made of minced fillings, the fillings could be made of vegetables, potatoes but if you are looking for non veg types, you will get chicken, buffalo, mutton, pork or yak fillings.
Momo is accompanied by a sauce made of tomato which is known as Momo ko achaar. The best kind of momo found in higher altitudes to combat cold weather is Jhol Momo. These jhol momos are cooked in hot soup, making it a perfect dish for cold weather.
Tibetan Bread and Thenthuk
The Tibetan influence in Sherpa Cuisine is significant. Along the tea houses in the trail, you will get delicious Tibetan bread. It is a dense snack made by deep frying the batter in fats and oils.
The Tibetan bread is accompanied by a stew called Thenthuk. This stew contains a thick and rich broth made up of vegetables/ meat and it contains chunks of veggies like potatoes, cabbage, onions and is also accompanied by small chunks of yak meat.
The bread can also be accompanied by Chiya, Chiya is tea, usually made by boiling milk and tea spices together. The culture of cooked tea is really popular in Nepal.
Thukpa is a hot served noodle soup. It also has its origin influence from Tibet but is widely popular in Nepal as well.
Thukpa is noodles made in thick broth and is served along with chunks of your choice of vegetable and your choice of meat in the same bowl. It also consists of a cooked bean called Chana.
Yaks are used for transportation up there. But the yak byproduct influence is also high, be it yak meat or yak milk.
Yak milk makes delicious yak cheese. Yak cheese has its own authentic texture and unforgettable taste, it is served as a snack or as a spread on bread. You can carry them with you and keep snacking on them.
Gurung Bread and Mad Honey
Along with Sherpas, reside the famous Gurungs in the Himalayas. Gurung communities are experienced in honey and honey hunting. They extract local honey from extreme conditions.
There is a kind of honey that is called “mad honey” because its taste is so delicious and addictive. This honey is often accompanied by a Gurung flatbread. This bread is made on an open flame.
This acts as a dessert for your taste palette.
Above mentioned are the most common kinds of food, you will get to try on your EBC trek journey, but this is not it! There are many food dishes waiting for you to try!