Tag Archives: Kathmandu

Golveda ko Achar (Grilled Tomato and Coriander)

Achar (pickles) are integral part of nepali and newari cuisine. It’s served with every meal as it always add that extra punch and flavour hit to rice, daal and curry.

There are so many varieties of achar. Some are made on daily basis with fresh produce meals, others are pickled and preserved as per my previous post of daikon radish pickle.

Nepali cuisine is all about celebrating fresh and organic produce. It’s simple cooking with best fresh vegetables, herbs and meats.

We go and buy fresh produce twice a day in the local market. The best seasonal produce (fruits and vegetables) are brought straight from farm at the market by farmers and they sell it direct to consumers. There are no stalls, vendors just lay their products in the basket in designated area of the market. It’s an instant pop up market for few hours in the morning and night.

Most people didn’t have fridges and buying and cooking fresh produce twice a day was norm.

I remember when I was about 8-9 years old, I used to go to these market in the mornings with my sisters. We used to bargain and buy all these beautiful produce. Even the memory of these markets enthralls me. The sight, sound and smell used to lift my spirits. I still cherish those memories.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a very simple yet it celebrates the fresh produce and brings out the best.

I made this achar for last night’s dinner along with black lentil daal, cauliflower curry and rice. It’s a classic flavours combination that I love to eat during cold winters in Kathmandu.
Here’s a nepali vegetarian meal I had last night.


I will share the recipe of cauliflower in future post but try this achar. It’s dead simple, rustic and goes really well with meat or vegetable curry and steamy hot momos.

5 small sized tomatoes
1 cup of chopped of coriander
4 dried chillies
Salt to taste
10-12 sichuan peppers

Heat oil in the pan and fry dried chillies until it’s black. Remove it from the pan and set aside.


In the same pan, put quartered tomatoes skin side down. You can use grill to roast the tomatoes or even open fire or charcoal. For added flavour char the skin of tomatoes.


Once the skin is charred, reduce heat to low and cook tomatoes for 10-15 minutes. The prolong cooking of tomatoes will extract water and concentrate tomatoes to enhance the flavour.


In a mortar and pestle, add fried dry chillies, salt, sichuan peppers, coriander and pound it to make a rough paste. ( you can use blender but I’m very old school and believe that grinding in mortar pestle gives it more flavour).



Add tomatoes and grind it with the mix to make a thick paste consistently. It’s ready to be served with your favourite meal even pasta.



Lai Kawaf (Daikon Radish with Goat curry)

This is one of classic and authentic curry dish that my mother used to make. It’s my all time absolute favourite curry dish. It’s a comfort food that goes very well with bowl of steam rice.

Normally we make it this curry with buffalo meat. Buffalo meat is the staple of newari cuisine. I love buffalo meat. It’s hard to get buff here so I substituted with goat meat.

I went to market last Saturday. I bought goat leg on skin. I love meat on bone and with skin. It is the best way to cook meat as it keeps meat moist, juicy and gives lots of texture. The slow cooked or braised meat on skin and bone is so good. The skin gets gelatinous and sticky and the marrow in the bone gives natural oilyness. I know here people don’t like their meat on bone and/or skin but you should try it, it’s just delicious. In Nepal, we chomp down every part of animal even offals. I have to admit that I love offal dish called Vutan. It’s definitely an acquired taste but if done right (like cleaning and poaching and frying) it’s so tasty. You can find these authentic dishes at local nepali restaurants.

I have to admit I love grocery shopping. It will sound crazy to you but when I see and buy all these great produce, I get excited with all these great ideas in my head of what I’m going to cook out of these produce. I go gaga for fresh herbs, green vegetables and I absolutely love tomato.

So when I bought this goat leg, I thought I will make a beautiful curry. Since it’s freezing here in Australia, this curry will warm your body and soul. The radish and potato soaks up the meatiness of goat and takes it to new height.

Here’s the recipe. Use pressure cooker to reduce cook time in half. If not, use thick based pot to slow cook for an hour.

Radish can be substituted with turnips or zucchini if you are not big fan of cooked radish.

Ingredients ( Serves 8)

1 kilo of meat (goat leg cut into chunky curry sized pieces)
1 onion
2 medium sized potatoes (cut into cubes)
1 regular sized daikon Radish (cut into cubes)
1 stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of garlic paste
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala (I used BMC meat masala that mom sent from Nepal)
2 tablespoon of oil
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Salt to taste

Put the cooker on heat and add oil. When oil is hot, sauté onion until golden brown. Add goat meat and fry to seal and brown the meat. Add potatoes and the spices, except for garam masala. Let the spice cook for few minutes. Add 500 ml of water or stock and cook it for 30 minutes until meat is tender. Add daikon radish and garam masala and cook it for another 10 minutes. It’s cooked when meat’s falling off the bone and the skin is sticky and gelatinous.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.







Black Lentil patties topped with mince meat and egg (La woh)

This is one of the most authentic newari food at its best. Newari cuisine is epitome of culinary delights. The recipe are very authentic yet simple. The recipes are mostly based on fresh ingredients like buffalo meat, fresh vegetables, herbs, legumes and spices.
The recipe I’m about to share is one of the popular newari dish. If you are a vegetarian, you could make the lentils patties without meat and egg. Traditionally woh (lentil patties without meat and egg) are used for sagun. Sagun is basically a newari ritual where you bless a person who’s going to embark on a journey or for achievements, birthdays or any auspicious occasion. Sagun starts with puja (ritual involving putting vermillion and rice grains with flowers to pray to hindu god) of Ganesh ( hindu god) and then of the person who’s receiving a blessing. It’s followed by giving boiled and fried egg, dried whole fish ( kunya) , woh, yogurt and spirit called aila (homemade alcoholic drink made from rice or millet and look and taste like tequila).


There are few variations of this recipe you could try. You can alternatively use mung beans. Mung beans are healthier and full of nutrients and easy on stomach. You can also add chopped onion and coriander to lentil mix to add more flavour and texture.
With mince, instead of adding it as topping, it can be mixed through the mix.

I’m posting this authentic recipe inspired by a very famous local shop in Patan called Honacha. It’s a small local shop with a rooftop dining serving best of newari cuisine like lawoh, chhoila(grilled spicy buffalo- will share recipe in future post), piro aalo (spicy potato) and much more. It’s a family business which has been running for generations. It’s always packed with locals as it’s cheap and tasty. I quite like the rooftop dining as you can enjoy the view of Krishna mandir (temple) and durbar square and munch down all these delicacies. I miss the spicy, hot dishes so much that I try to recreate these recipe at home. I’m a food enthusiast and love discovering new recipes, cooking and eating it especially Nepali cuisine. As I previous mentioned my hubby is from different town. He has tried few newari dishes but he doesn’t know about these local jewels where you can get mind blowing food. I tell him about all these local places where you can get great food and I’ve promised him that I will take him to all these places when we go for a visit ( we haven’t been back to our place as a couple yet).

Let’s get started now.


250 grams of Black lentils ( you can get it from indian grocery shops. Get the ones where skin has already been removed, trust me so much easier if it’s skinless)
250 grams of mince ( buffalo if available, if not I use lamb mince)
Eggs (one for a patty)
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger paste
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic paste
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of asafetida

Soak lentils overnight. Rub the lentils to take the skin off and wash it in the water. The skin will float on the top so drain it and repeat the process until all the skin is washed off.
I used the skinless lentils which I soaked for overnight and then washed it under the tap until the water runs clear.

Blend it with half a cup of water to make a fine paste.



Pour mix in a bowl. Add pinch of asafetida, salt, cumin and ginger paste and mix through.


In a separate bowl , put mince and add ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli, salt, cumin and some oil and mix through. The mince is ready.


Heat pan on low heat. Put a teaspoon of oil in the pan. Take a small amount of lentil and make a ball in your hands. Use some water while shaping it into small balls so it doesn’t stick in your hands. Gently put it in the pan and with wet spatula spread it thin about 2 cm thin. Top it of with thin layer of mince on lentil patty and egg. Cook on a on gentle heat for 2-3 minutes and then flip the patty. Cook it for few minutes and and it’s ready to be served.
It is used served with buffalo meat curry gravy to enhance the flavour but can be eaten as it is. Will share a goat curry recipe in later posts. Till then enjoy this delicacy.





Mother’s Day: Tribute to my mom

Today it’s Mother’s Day . I’m very excited as this is my first Mother’s Day as a mother. I’ve already bought Mother’s Day gifts for myself and a cake too as hubby is not good with these kind of social events. So he gave me his card and I went on shopping spree buying Mother’s Day pressie. Bought myself 2 beautiful charms one of which is mother’s pearl charm and another one says MUM and a nice robe. I hope hubby was taking notes so that he knows what to do next year.

I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy last year. It was the most amazing and surreal experience of my life. I know it’s a kind of cliché when woman says child birth is most amazing, significant and indescribable joy and experience of their life. I used to feel the same way but now I know better. It’s true. Being a mom changes your perspective of life. I can go on and on about this immeasurable joy, but maybe in my next post.
In this post, I want to pay tribute to my mom ( whom I call maa). As being a mom now, makes me realize how precious my maa is and how much I love her.

Needless to say, I’m on maternity leave at the moment. My daily routine is caring, spending and loving my lil bub. When he’s asleep, I do get to indulge by watching TV or surfing the internet. I was watching morning show today. There are lots of promotion and advertisement on telly for Mother’s Day. One of the network is doing makeovers for working busy mom. The mom who was getting makeover had five sons. They nominated her for a makeover as she’s been too busy looking after them that she had ignored herself. I thought that was the sweetest gift the sons could have given her to show their love. It just reminded me of how much of a supermom my maa is.

My maa had a tough life. As a child, she didn’t have a mother to look after her as she passed away when my mom was a baby. But my grandfather remarried and brought home a nasty stepmother. She didn’t cared for her. My maa used to tell us stories about how she didn’t even had food to eat. Due to these hardships, she started working at my dad’s business when she was about 12-13. That’s how they met and fell in love.
Due to being of different caste ( caste
system is big deal in countries like Nepal), they had to elope as my father’s family was not ready to accept my maa. They were kicked off from family home and stripped off from family inheritance.

My mom and dad had to start off from zero. They struggled to feed the family of six daughters. My dad started his own business and they were working 18 hours a day to put food on the table and a place to call home. They went through such hardship sacrificing their youth to raise a family and give us a better life. My elder sisters used to help out with the family business and they used to look after us too. They made sure that we got good education so they enrolled us into boarding school. Not only it is a big deal to give daughters an education, on top of it, we were sent to boarding school to get the best education. I remember we were the only 3 girls who went to this prestigious English medium school from our area. Our neighbors used to be quite jealous of that and used to fill my father’s ears saying why does he bother getting us education, once they marry they will be caring for in-laws not the parents.

My parents never waiver from their commitment to give us a better future.

My family business took off and started bringing lots of profit around the time when I was 7-8 years old. My parents were still putting all their effort into making our business grow.

My maa was juggling with looking after 6 daughters and helping out with the business. She never had time for herself. No vacations, no pampering, no me-time. Her only breaks were few family visits to temple. We did once went to India for few weeks but that was also a business visit.

Then I never understood how much it takes to just give and give and never ask for anything in return. She never complained, never made us feel how tough life she’s been living. When it was not us demanding her time, she had to care for my dad. Cooking, cleaning, caring for us and dad took all the best years of her youth.

2 years ago my dad passed away suddenly. It was very shocking tragedy for my maa. Suddenly she’s all by herself and lonely. She doesn’t know what to do with all the time she has. She’s still coming into terms with the fact that my dad is not there anymore.

I’ve invited my mom to Australia twice now. We are trying to give all her lost time and compensate for all her life long effort in raising us by taking her to all these beautiful places. She loved the beautiful beaches as she’s seen it the very first time. She was amused to see Opera house, Harbour Bridge, kangaroos and koalas. Now most of her daughters including me are living overseas. loves Great Ocean Road drive. She loved it so much that she asked me to buy her koalas and kangaroos as a souvenir. I was much happy to obliged and bought her half her suitcase full of it.

She also visited my sister in United States. She’s been to New York , Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C.

Seeing her this happy to visit all the new places gives me contentment of knowing that we are giving something back for all the love, nourishment, care and time a mother gives to her child.

I love my mom and on this Mother’s Day I thank her for my life and everything else.



Pickled Daikon Radish (Mula ko Achar)

It’s that time of the year here in Southern Hemisphere part of the world. The mornings and nights are chillier and it’s raining a lot. The winter is at our doorstep. This time of the year reminds me of hot and fragrant nepali tea (Chiya), foggy kathmandu mornings and glorious sun in the afternoon. Me and my mom used to get busy around the kitchen making preserved pickles with daikon radish, tomato, chillies, cauliflower, cucumber and many more. I love to make these as they are great accompaniment with rice, curries and lentils (bhat, daal ra tarkari).

The afternoon sun is ideal to dry these vegetables and the pickles after they are bottled. The cold mornings and nights helps to preserve it perfectly.

Now I’m here in a different part of the world and I still love to make these pickles in my kitchen. It’s part of my upbringing, my culture and heritage. And the taste that always remains favourite regardless of geographic boundaries.

It used to be hard to get these ingredients at supermarkets before due to us being a minority. As these ingredients are not Aussie cuisine staples, it was hard to find it 14 years ago. It’s a completely different story now. Due to major boom in migrations, it can be found easily on supermarket shelves to cater for these group. Also you can find lots of authentic grocery stores (Nepali) popped up in every burb where you can get your hands on these ingredients quite easily.

I’m sharing one of an authentic pickled radish recipe which is loved by most nepali. And it’s one of my favourite too.


2 medium size white daikon radish
1 clove of garlic ( cut in half)
10-15 whole fresh green chillies
1 cup of grinded mustard seed
Salt as per taste
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup of vegetable or mustard oil

Cut radish into 1 inch batons. If possible dry radish in the sun for a day or two. (If fresh radish is used, it will results in juices coming out of it and makes the pickles liquidy). Also oven can be used to dry and dehydrate.

When radish is dry, put it in a bowl with other ingredients. Add ground mustard, chillies, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Mix well.

Fill the mixture in a jar or two making sure it’s packed tightly. Seal the lid with a clear wrap and tighten the lid to ensure it’s air-tight. Leave it somewhere in warm and sunny area. The pickle will be ready in 5-7 days.







My very first post. Being a food lover, I was always going to start with food related topic.

Momo is one of the most loved, most eaten, most craved, most readily available and most known dish of Nepal. Everyone loves momo and cannot get enough of it. Especially on a rainy cold winter days of kathmandu ( my hometown), the hot momo with spicy achar (tomato sauce) is just divine.

The memories of walking past momo shops with a big stove and a steamer full of steaming hot momo in every nook and corner alleys of kathmandu is enough to make me drool. Those Rs.10 a plate for a dozen momo with soupy achars (famous jhol momo of Kathmandu) are one the best eats. You do have to pick these shops carefully. I always go for the known ones or busy ones as it ensures that the momos and mince meat are freshly prepared. As it’s so vigorously steamed, its quite hygienic, you just opt out of soupy achar.
My hubby is a foodie and momo lover. He can chow down momos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is from Pokhara. The momos are different in these two towns. He is used to momo served with thick sauce consistency achar and a consommé (clear soup made from bone stock).  Either way it is still our favourite dish. I believe all Nepalese will agree if we say it might as well be our national dish.

Here is the picture of my momo from last weekend. Enjoy.

Love from Oz
Mrs Grg