Monsoon in Nepal is lighter and simply mesmerizing, as it spreads the vibes of pleasantness and freshness all around with the muddy aroma. Though the weather is initially hot, it cools down immediately with the downpour of cool rain and refreshing air, and instills any place with greenery.
The average temperature in Kathmandu ranges around 23-25 Degree Celcius during monsoon. Kathmandu valley offers both erratic rainfall and warm sunshine, which can heighten all your senses and please them simultaneously.
With the rains just around the corner, enjoying tasty food and snacks can be the favorite indulgence for many travelers. Monsoons are more cherished with delicacies, while Kathmandu has many flavors to offer. Be it enjoying rain in your favorite coffee shop in Thamel or Durbar Square area, or while strolling around the city, there are many dishes to satisfy your taste buds.
Here are some five food suggestions to try this monsoon:
- Thakali Khana: Kathmandu is rich in culinary where you can taste the cuisines of different countries. But when it comes to local cuisine, there are amazing varieties and the most popular one is Thakali Khana. Dal-bhat (lentil soup and boiled rice) is the regular meal of Nepal but to enjoy the authentic taste, one must try Thakali cuisine, originated by the ethnic Thakali people of mountain areas. It is a set of varieties like boiled rice, flat bread called as roti, or boiled flour known as dhido, lentil soup, at least two items of vegetable curry, fried or gravy meat, spicy pickle, curd and a spoon full of pure ghee. You can try the set for lunch or dinner in a quiet affordable price (around 5 USD), and can revise any dishes on request in terms of spice as per your choice. The dishes are cooked in a traditional way and filled with authentic taste. You can try this set in Thakali restaurants around the city or to name a few, Thakali Bhanchha Ghar, Bhojan Griha, Tukuche, Jimbu or Lete Thakali, Nilgiri Thakali Delights among others. The warm feeling inside and the cold feeling of rain outside combine to give you a perfect experience with Nepali Thakali food.
- Newari Khaja: Monsoon season makes you crave for a different variety of food. The combination of rain and Newari food prepared by ethnic Newari community of Kathmandu valley is sure to instantly improve your mood. Newari khaja is rich of varieties from beaten rice to buffalo meat items like Choyela and Sukuti, beans to potatoes, momos to Bara and Chatamari, spicy pickles to many more. Make sure to enjoy all the delicacies in small portions served as a Khaja Set. If not, you can choose the items separately as per own choice which will give you an all-round spicy feeling. Also along with the set, one can try the rice beer which is a home brew. If you are a sweet lover, try Yomari made up of flour and sweets. Newari Khaja is available in all the major chowks of the city, but you can visit to the typical Newari restaurants like Honacha in Patan, Newa Lahana and Sasa in Kirtipur or Newa Suhli in Harissidhi to enjoy mouth-watering Newari cuisines. The Newari food gives you an out of the world experience in any rainy day.
- Jhol Momo: When the weather is lovely, you feel like eating something good that perfectly matches with the climate. And jhol momo cannot be beaten by anything else for a rainy day. The steamed dumplings filled with good amount of meat and served with the perfect local tomato chutney can be the best food to try in monsoon. Momos with large amount of soup, locally called as jhol achaar, served in a bowl can never disappoint you in monsoon. The soup can be prepared in different styles but has tomatoes as the base ingredient. It gives a sense of chili and tanginess and has an authentic Nepali taste. You can enjoy momos of chicken, buff (buffalo meat), mutton or vegetables anywhere around the capital city with easy and faster service and in affordable price (around 2 USD). Jhol momos can be served as lunch, snack or dinner, where a plate consists of usually 10 pieces of dumplings. With the availability in every café, restaurant and street shops next door and favorite dish of almost all the Nepali people, it is regarded as the unofficial national food of Nepal by many. Momo has been a culture lately. You can also go for fried momo, open momo, chilly momo, kothey momo or any other kind.
- Kwati Soup: The word Kwati comes from the ethnic Newari language, which refers to a mixed soup of nine varieties of sprouted beans. It is a traditional Nepali dish which is consumed during monsoon, particularly during the festival called Janai Purnima which falls on August. Kwati has health benefits as it is regarded as a healthy food which can cure cold and cough. The varieties of sprouted beans like kidney beans, black and green gram, chickpea, soybean, field pea, cowpeaand rice beanare loaded with proteins, which is a storehouse of energy. Kwati soup is specially cooked with the addition of spices and seasoning like cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel and lovage seeds. The beans are mixed with cumin powder, turmeric, chill and coriander powder and a paste of onion, garlic and ginger. You can have the soup with rice, chapattis or soup alone in any traditional or Newari restaurants. Kwati soup can satisfy both your hunger and taste during the rainy season.
- Gundruk Soup: Gundruk is the one of the most popular traditional dishes of Nepali people. From the low plains to the mountains and hilly areas, gundruk is the authentic food enjoyed by people from all the ethnic communities. It is dry in nature and made up of fermented leafy vegetables, particularly from mustard green leaves and radish leaves in a household level. The fermentation process provides it a different kind of smell and tangy flavor. The food is rich in minerals and vitamins, and can be tried in the form of soup called as jhol or pickle known as achaar. It can be served with the main meal or as an appetizer or simply as soup. Gundruk soup (jhol) enriched with unique taste combined with the cool breeze and rain droplets can be a delightful experience. When it is raining, the feeling of hot, sour and spicy soup flowing down your throat heightens your mood immediately.