Heading East some 3700 km we land in Nepal. Again a place I haven’t been, but am told is beautiful and I am also blessed to have a friend whose hubby is from Nepal. Its nice when travelling from place to place if you know someone, or someone knows someone else who, can enlighten you with something they cook or can recommend. I have done this previously on a post, I believe we were in Iran. I spoke to my friend Fiona, who’s husband was happy to share with us a native dish that I am told he does or has cooked many times before. Fiona doesn’t eat meat so although she hadn’t tried it she said it always smells wonderful and is told it is delicious, so we will see won’t we?
Nepal is situated in the Himalayas( incidentally the mountains have at least 8 out of the 10 tallest mountains including Everest) and has a population of around 27 million and is approximately 57,000 square miles. It is a landlocked country in South Asia and the worlds 93rd largest country by area. Within the world itself it is the 41st most populated country. In the North we can find China whilst to the South, East and west we can find India. The country’s largest and capital city is Kathmandu
Hinduism is the main practice of Nepalis and it is practiced by approximately 81%. Buddhism is linked with the history of Nepal but stats show that it is only followed by around 9% of the population, followed by Islam, Kiratism. Christianity is followed/practiced by approximately 1.4%
A large portion of the population, especially in the hill region, may identify themselves as both Hindu and Buddhist, which can be attributed to the syncretic nature of both faiths in Nepal.
Although there were continual political challenges, this framework stayed in place, with the 2nd Nepali Constituent Assembly which was elected in 2013 in an effort to create a new constitution and in September 2015 a new constitution was agreed and Nepal as a federal democratic republic and creating seven unnamed states.
Now, Nepal is a country moving forward although with a low economy ranking of 145th out of a 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. There are still very high levels of poverty and hunger. However, they are making constant progress with a promise by the government to elevate their status from least developed country buy 2022…
The cuisine of Nepal has evolved from the geographic and cultural mixture, which has seen a combination of cooking/tastes developing based upon the soil, climate and ethnicity. Considerable amounts of the cooking is an adaptation of Asian cuisine, whereas other foods are a cross of Tibetan, Indian and Thai roots. Tibetan style dumplings with Nepali spices—are one of the most popular foods in Nepal these are known as Momo, and originally years ago were filled with buffalo meat, but today can be found stuffed with Chicken or goat and also many suitable fillings for vegetarians…More information for typical Nepalese food can be found here…A very interesting ready but far to much information to document. European influences have shown the Nepalese people about ice cream, pizza and loaf bread etc, initially introduced for tourists – why is beyond me as I love to eat local food when away – but now locals eat this food too.
Having asked my friend what her hubby would suggest we cook he came up with the following dish – which he has called “Mutton with beaten rice” which, I believe, by using Google have translated into Khasi ko Bhuteko Masu. Unfortunately as I didn’t get the recipe from the internet, I haven’t got a link to share but there are plenty of similar recipes out there if you wish to give it a go. You can otherwise contact me and I will let you have the recipe from my friend, I am sure they will not mind if I share. I will ask of course.
The process begins by toasting cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom and coriander seeds until golden in colour. WoW – the aroma is amazing and really does infuse the kitchen and sitting room with wonderful flavours.
They now need making into a fine paste, but we actually left them and then used a pestle and mortar, but you can blitz then in a grinder if preferred. This picture doesn’t actually do them justice, but they are very fine and still have a gorgeous aroma…
We used lamb pieces instead of mutton, but if you prefer the mutton stick with it. Dust the meat with flour, then gently fry the meat in oil – we used olive oil – until a golden colour. This you may have to do in batches. remove and set aside.
Heat the pan again with remaining oil and fry in the same pan, chopped shallots, ginger, garlic, and chilli.
When the ingredients are softened and golden add the tomato and tomato purée cooking for a further 10 minutes.
When ready add the toasted blitzed/pestled spices and continue to cook
add the meat back to the pan and mix and stir together and after around 10 minutes
Add water and continue to cook finally adding coriander or parsley.
Unfortunately we didn’t have any beaten rice as we were unable to source it and my friend didn’t have any in the cupboard so we served with boiled rice. This dish can also be served if you wish with a spoonful of yoghurt and fresh mint leaves…
The god who made the mouth will provide the food.
Family Verdict: Easily to put together and prepare and the aromas coming from each section as ingredients were cooked were amazing. Ian said for his own personal taste he would have preferred more sauce, but I thought it was lovely the way it was and would have loved to try the beaten rice, but maybe another time. The flavours from everything we had added were there and could be tasted… Rory didn’t like it, but it did have a kick to it. he tells us he likes chilli, but obviously not on this dish…. Here is hoping we can land here again just so we can try and cook something different again. Ideally it would be nice if Gokarna was to cook it for us and he and Fiona could join Ian and I for a whole evening of Nepalese food….
Contact me if you wish to try the recipe that was given to me and I will forward it to you… see you soon on the next stop