A taste of Nepal in Kolkata


Thakali cuisine—transitional between Himalayan and lowland cuisines—is eaten by Thakali people living in Thak-Khola Valley, an ancient and relatively easy trade route through the high Himalaya. This cuisine is also served in inns (bhattis) run by Thakalis alongside other trade routes and in Pokhara and other towns in the hills of central Nepal, that were said to offer the best food and accommodations before the great proliferation of facilities catering to foreign trekkers.


Hard chhurpi cheese made from yak milk


Very few Thakali own their own yaks, so butter made from the yak milk is usually purchased at the market, along with other staples like rice, tea, lentils, sugar and spices. After butter is produced, a hard cheese called chhurpi is made with the buttermilk.

Thakali cuisine is less vegetarian than Pahari cuisine. Yak and yak-cow hybrids locally known as Jhopa were consumed by the lower castes. All castes eat the meat of local sheep called Bheda and Chyangra or Chiru imported from Tibet. Meat is sliced into thin slices and dried on thin poles near the cooking fire. Blood sausage is also prepared and dried. Dried meat is added to vegetable curries or sauteed in ghee and dipped into timur-ko-choup which is a mixture of red chili powder, Sichuan pepper, salt and local herbs. This spice mixture also seasons new potatoes, or eggs which may be boiled, fried or made into omelets.

Thakali cuisine uses locally grown buckwheat, barley, millet and dal, as well as rice, maize and dal imported from lower regions to the south. Grain may be ground and boiled into a thick porridge that is eaten in place of rice with dal. A kind of dal is even made from dried, ground buckwheat leaves. Grain can be roasted or popped in hot sand (which is then sieved off) as a snack food. Thakalis also follow the Tibetan customs of preparing tsampa and tea with butter and salt. Ghee is used in this tea preparation and as a cooking oil otherwise.

Since most Thakali people were engaged in trade, they could import vegetables, fruits and eggs from lower regions. A large variety of vegetables were consumed daily, some—especially daikon radish and beetroot—dried and often prepared with mutton. Soup prepared from spinach known as gyang-to was served with a pinch of timur-ko-choup. Apples were introduced following the arrival of foreign horticulturists and are now widely enjoyed.


Blue Poppy Thakali :

Situated in Sikkim house in Kolkata, this is the most authentic place to experience nepali cuisine. Starting from Khutto ko Aachar to complete thalis, they’ve got it all. Also an absolute hotspot for pork lovers !!!

So head out and enjoy !!!

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All