Many people often wrongly assume that Nepalese food is similar to Indian food and consists of “curry” and rice and many Nepalese restaurants reinforce this by serving Indian food to customers.
Most Nepalese people eat 2 meals a day at around 10am and 6pm with a number of small snacks and tea inbetween. Eating is always in the home and going to a restaurant is unheard of except in cities.
The most common food is dhal bhat which is a soup of lentils and spices and rice. A tarkari is added on top which is usually vegetables shallow fried with spices.
In the hills where rice is expensive the Nepalese substitute rice fordhedo which is a mixture of flour and water or butter. Dhedo is similarly eaten in Tibet.
There are also many snack foods which Nepalese people eat less often because they are expensive. The most common snack is called momo and is a meat dumpling served with spicy soup and a tangy tomato dip.
The most common custom in Nepal is jutho which translates as “contaminated” and requires people not to touch others’ food and drink with either their hands or their spoon. When drinking water for example, Nepalese people will not touch the bottle or glass to their lips so that others can drink from it also.
Another custom is the idea that the foot is ritually dirty and therefore stepping over food or pointing the soles of your feet is disrespectful.
Equally if somebody is sitting on the floor, when a Nepali walks past they will always crouch down to avoid their head being too high above – a sign of superiority.