Try Your Hand At These Authentic Nepali Vegetarian Recipes To Get A Feel Of The Vibrant Nation
By: Priyanka Subramanian on Feb 27th, 2016

Like India, Nepal is also known for it's diverse cultures. If ethnic backgrounds are one of the contributing factors, food is another. There are over hundred different varieties in just vegetarian cuisine.You might be familiar with variations like the Nepali thali or the well known momo, but there is more to Nepal cuisine then just the regular suspects. In the article, we give you easy vegetarian recipes from the Nepalese culture, that you could try your hands on. They are spicy (more or less), and have a vibrant side to them, just like Nepal. While we are at it, if you are one of those who like spicy accompaniments with your meal try these pickles from Nepal, don't say we didn't warn you cause they are fiery.

Pickled Potatoes (Aloo Achar)
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Aloo achar is a popular, addictively delicious, refreshing potato dish of Nepal. There are many versions of it depending on people’s personal style and taste.


10-12 medium-sized potatoes

1/4 cup black sesame seeds (til)

2-3 green chillies (according to taste)

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

3-4 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 tbsp mustard oil

Coriander leaves

Salt according to taste


Boil the potatoes, peel them and cut them into approx 1 inch cubes.

Add sesame seeds in a pan and roast the till they are well roasted and crisp.

Remove the pan from heat and let it cool.

Grind the sesame seeds into a fine powder.

Add sesame powder, chilli powder, salt, turmeric, lemon juice and mustard oil to the potatoes and mix well.

Also add the green chilies by cutting them into long strips.

If the sauce looks too thick, you can add some water and if the sauce is not thick enough, you can add some mashed potatoes.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


Pumpkin Vine Tips
Image credit: Open Kitchen

The main ingredient is the vine from a pumpkin climber.  Although the pumpkin vines are not found commonly, this is a delicacy that needs to be included. This one is generally served with plain rice and dal. 


1 lb. Pumpkin vine tips, washed, peeled and cut

3 dried red chilies

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon whole timur (szchawan pepper)

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons clarified butter

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Salt to taste


In a non-stick pan heat three tablespoons of clarified butter.

Splutter fenugreek seeds, whole timur, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds until they turn dark.

Fry dried red chilies for 15 seconds till it turns dark.

Add garlic, ginger, ground pepper, cumin, and turmeric; fry for a minute or so on low heat.

Add pumpkin vine tips to the spice-mixture, and stir-fry for about two minutes. Salt it.

To the stir-fry mixture, add broth, and let simmer until the vine tips are tender and the excess liquid has evaporated off.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with rice.


Cheese-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
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The great thing about this dish is that it tastes as good when served cold as it does when served hot. It’s an easy to make recipe but looks exotic. Can be a tea time snack or as an accompaniment with rice for lunch.


1 lb. paneer cheese, crushed

1/2 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 green onions, finely chopped

1 cup cooked rice

2 teaspoons dill weed, minced

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

3 fresh red chilies, minced

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 head fresh cabbage

Salt and Pepper

For sauce:

1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic

1/2 in. ginger

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 cup broth or water

2 tablespoons clarified butter

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons green onions for garnish.


In a large bowl combine all ingredients except cabbage.

Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Until it marinates, core the head of cabbage, boil it salted water till it softens.

Separate it into leaves, and keep it in ice-cold water.

Remove the thick veins if necessary.

Spread a cabbage leaf on cutting board, place two tablespoons of filling, fold sides, and roll up.

Hold the loose end of the leaf with small bamboo sticks or secure with twain.

Repeat with other leaves.

Rub butter generously on the stuffed rolls and stack in a steamer.

Steam till the stuffing is cooked through, about 8-10 min.

Transfer the steamed rolls to a large plate.

For sauce:

In a non-stick pan heat two tablespoons of clarified butter, splitter mustard seeds.

Add onions and sauté till brown.

Add garlic, ginger, and chili powder, and fry for a minute over low heat.

Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper.

Simmer the tomato mixture until the sauce thickens up, about 15 min.

Transfer the stuffed cabbage rolls to the sauce and heat through, frequently turning, about 10 min.

Garnish with chopped green onions.

Serve with roti.


Black Lentil Deep Fried Patties
Image credit: The veg life

They are light and spongy daal patties that resemble small flat pancakes. This is best served fresh, but can be stored overnight. Traditionally, these patties are also associated with religious and ceremonial occasions.


1 cup Black lentil

1 table spoon ginger paste or ginger juice

1/4 tea spoon asafetida (Hing)

1/2 tea spoon Cumin Powder (Jeera)

Oil enough to deep fry

Salt to taste


Soak black lentil in water overnight or until the black coating is easily removed. 

Remove black coating by rinsing with water. 

Grind into a paste with minimum water. 

Add all the spices to the lentil and mix well. 

Heat the oil for deep fry. 

Make a patty shape out of lentil in a plate. Make a hole in the patty like that in donut. 

Carefully put it in the hot oil and cook golden brown in both sides. 

Serve hot.


Masaura and Potato Tarkari
Image credit: Whats cooking

The curry of masaura and potato is one of the popular and most desired traditional vegetarian dish in Nepal. This is another easy-to-make recipe but delicious all the same. It is a spicy dish which blends perfectly well with the steamed rice.  


4 cups split black lentil, presoaked overnight 

3 cups finely chopped onion, scallions, radish, cauliflower 

1 teaspoon asafetida

1 teaspoon red hot chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon curry powder

Salt and Pepper

1 cup water  


In a blender, combine soaked lentil, water, salt and pepper to for smooth paste. Reserve the paste in a large bowl.

To the lentil paste, add chopped vegetables and all other ingredients; mix thoroughly to incorporate all ingredients.

Make  balls of the mixture and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Allow sun-drying until the ball are completely dehydrated.

Food dehydrator can be used instead. Store the dehydrated lentil balls in air-tight container. 
For Tarkari:


 3 cups masauras 

1 cup potatoes, diced 

1 cup chopped onions 

1 cup chopped tomatoes 

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 teaspoon garlic paste 

1 teaspoon ginger paste 

1 teaspoon chili paste 

1/2 teaspoon turmeric 

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 cup whole cream

1 cup broth or water

6 tablespoons oil 

Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)  

In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat three tablespoons of oil and fry masauras until golden brown.

Reserve in a large plate. To the same sauté pan, add the remaining amount of oil.

Fry cumin seeds until dark.

Add chopped onions and turmeric and fry until lightly browned.

Add potatoes, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and fry on low heat for ten minutes or so until potatoes are lightly browned cooked half way.

Add garlic, ginger, chili and cumin powder and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add browned masauras to the potato mixture followed by tomatoes, broth and cream.

Cover and allow simmering for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked tender and a desired consistency of the stew has been achieved.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed rice. 


Mustard Greens Bhutuwa
Image credit: Whats cooking

Another popular dish from the Nepalese cuisine, served as a side or mixed in various meat items. Mustard greens also known as Sarson in Hindi is a green that can be prepared in several creative ways.


1 lb. mustard greens, washed, peeled, cut into small pieces (spinach also can be added) 

3 dried red chilies 

1/2 teaspoon jwanu seeds (lovage seeds, optional) 

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds 

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 teaspoon whole timur (Szechwan pepper) 

1 tablespoon garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon ginger, minced 

1/2 teaspoon turmeric 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 

3 tablespoons cooking oil 

1 cup fresh dill, chopped 

Salt to taste 

In a non-stick pan heat three tablespoons of cooking oil.

Splitter jwanu seeds, whole timur mustard seeds, and cumin seeds until they turn dark.

Fry dried red chilies for 15 seconds until it turns dark.

Add garlic, ginger, ground pepper, and turmeric; fry for a minute or so on low heat.

Add mustard greens to the spice-mixture, and stir-fry for about two minutes.

Salt it. Increase the heat to high; cook the mustard greens until wilted and the excess liquid has evaporated off. Do not overcook the greens.

Garnish with chopped dill weed and serve with rice.


Eggplant Bhutuwa
Image credit: Whats cooking

Is there any way eggplant cannot be delicious.  We are fans of aubergines and this dish just warms our heart. This is generally served with plain rice.


5 cups eggplant, cut into 1-in. pieces

2 cups potatoes, sliced

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup green onion, cut in 1-in. lengths

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon red chilies, minced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup yogurt

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup cooking oil


1 teaspoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)


In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch eggplant for a couple of minutes and transfer to an ice bath.

In a non-stick saute pan, heat oil and fry fenugreek and cumin seeds until dark.

Add potatoes slices, turmeric, salt and pepper and stir-fry until potatoes are well browned and cooked half way.

Add garlic, ginger and chilies. Mix well to incorporate into the potatoes.

Add blanched eggplant, yogurt and soy sauce and stir fry for five-seven minutes over medium-low heat until potatoes and asparagus are tender.

Add diced tomatoes and green onions just before removing from heat.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice pilaf, accompanied by tomato achar.


Image credit: Food pleasure and health

This might be an alternative for a pizza, generally serve with alcohol and other spirits. Yes,  Nepalese cuisine is vibrant and so appealing to a whole cross section of people.


Rice Flour (3 cups)

Eggs (6-7)

Ground Meat (1cup from the packet)

Cilantro (4 table spoons, finely chopped)

Cumin-Coriander Powder (1/2 table spoon)

Salt (according to taste)

Oil (4 table spoons)

Shredded Cheese (4 table spoons)

Onion (1/2 medium size, finely chopped)

Red chili powder (1/2 table spoon)

Serrano Pepper/Green Chilies (1-2, finely chopped)

Schezwan Pepper/Timur Powder (1/2 table spoon, Optional)

Ginger-Garlic Paste (1 table spoon)

Turmeric Powder (1 tea spoon)


On a deep dish add rice flour, and a pinch of salt. Batter should be more on the thinner side but not very watery. 

On another deep dish, add ground meat, cilantro, onion, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, schezwan pepper powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste and 3 eggs. Mix well.

Heat one table spoon of oil and pour the batter. On top of batter, add meat mixture from step 2. 

Break a whole egg on top. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Do not flip. 

Add 1 table spoon of cheese at the end and cover for couple of seconds, before transferring Chatamari to serving plate.

Repeat the same process for remaining batter. 

Chatamari is done!! 

Source: nepalitummy


Gund Pak
Image credit: Dreams time

Gundpak is a very tasty and nutritious sweet. Nutritious as its main ingredient is a jaggery  that is rich in iron or condesed milk.  It is often eaten by new mothers and is used as a gift when they visit their relatives. Gundpak can be made at home in no time. 


Ghee-1 lb

Gundh (eatable gum)-4 oz

Whole wheat flour (gau ko pitho)-1 lbs

Brown Sugar (Sakhar)-1 lbs

Evaporated milk-200ml  

Milk powder-8oz

Sliced almonds-8 oz

Cardamom-1 table spoon 

Grated nutmeg (jai patri)-1/2 table spoon

Grated coconut-4 oz 

Pistachios (sliced)- 1 table spoon

Sliced almonds-1 table spoon


Turn the stove on and heat the pan 

When the pan is hot add Ghee onto the pan

As the ghee melts fry gundh in small portion (Gundh poops out like popcorn)

Take the gundh out from the ghee and set aside 

In the same ghee, fry wheat flour until it turns golden browns and gives sweet aroma

Add brown sugar on the flour and let it melt (keep it stirring)

When brown sugar melts, remove from heat and add milk powder, evaporated milk, coconut, almonds, nutmeg and cardamom and mix it well

Now add fried gundh which was set aside sometimes back

Spread teaspoon ghee in a plate and grease it 

Pour the mixture in the plate making smooth surface

Decorate with the sliced nuts

With the help of a knife cut the mixture in diamond shape and remove gently

Place in an airtight container to store

Gudh Pak is ready to serve you can enjoy it hot, warm or cold!


Sel Roti
Image credit: sherpasisters

Although Nepal is known for its spicy dishes, some of its desserts can not be ignored. Sel roti is a traditional bread from Nepal. It can be served as an evening snack along with milk or tea. 


Rice - 2.5 Pound (or you can buy instant rice flour from market)

Water or milk – Half liter (500 ml)

Ghee – 2 cups

Sugar – 2 cups

Cooking Oil – 1 liter

Wheat flour – one cup

Backing soda (Half table spoon)

Cardamom, cashew nuts


Wash and soak rice overnight, drain excess water.

Mix ghee and sugar and grind into fine paste. The paste should be fine and greasy (lesilo).

Continuously stir the mixture.

Cover it and leave at the room temperature for 1-2 hours to melt and mix all the ingredients

Heat pan with cooking oil. The pan should be deep enough to float sel and the base should be flat.

Watch for vapor/smoke from the oil or see the picking stick float on the oil.

Pour the not too thick batter as continuous ring into hot oil till they become brown/golden.

Confirm both sides are brown.

Store and rellish whenever you want.


Are you an adventurous foodie? Which of these would you try making? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

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Priyanka Subramanian
A girl who lives in a dream. She’s a film enthusiast who dramatizes everyday events as though she plays a character in a movie. Her song notes hit such a pitch that her neighbors think that her house is haunted. When it is leisure time, she does what she does best! Relish chocolates while reading her book.   Read more
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