Nepali cuisine is one of the healthiest in Asia because it is based on the complex integration of Ayurvedic medicine. Vegetables, herbs and spices are used according to the season and their benefit to the body. The root of our meals is a balanced combination of vegetables, pulses, grains and seeds.
It is a cuisine of geo-diversity too. For a country that only extends 885km from west to east and around 200km from north to south, Nepal has a unique geographical structure. Three regions, parallel to each other, define Nepal: the arid Himalayan high mountains, the middle hills – rich in green valleys, rivers and lakes – and the tropical grasslands of the Terai.
In the high Himalayas, 3,000m and above, small farming communities still grow crops and raise livestock using the inherited knowledge of their ancestors, who learned to deal with the weather and altitude. In the temperate climate of the high hills we grow cabbages, root vegetables and greens, while the sub-tropical middle hills have the climate for citrus fruit, peaches, apples, tomatoes and aubergines. Further south in the tropical Terai you will find mangoes, papayas, bananas, passion fruit, avocados, sugar cane and endless rice paddies.
Nepali people tend to eat two main meals a day and snack in between. This is because, traditionally, the fire was only lit in the morning and at night. Snacks are a way of life in Nepal and are one of the things I miss the most from home.