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Breakfast in Nepal happens closer to lunchtime than the typical breakfast hours. Despite the varied ways of living across the landlocked country, heavy, nutritious meals aren’t considered the right way to start the day.
In areas most influenced by tourism and guests from all around the world like Kathmandu and Pokhara, breakfast is more readily available. These meals better match the more commonly known ideas of breakfast with bread, sausage, juices, and sunny-side-up eggs. But in local households, breaking the night-long fast with a hefty nutritious assortment of food is unheard of. That comes a few hours later.
If you’re living in a Nepali household, expecting breakfast to be the biggest meal of the day will often lead to disappointment. The day begins almost without exception with a cup of tea. We’ve told you time and again, Nepal is a country full of tea lovers. It doesn’t matter if the breakfast is being made and served in a rich or a poor household, the tea is the only rule.
With a thick frothy, an almost soup-like cup of Nepali chiya prepared with awesome spices like ginger and cinnamon, the first cup of tea is a breath of fresh air. There’s no missing the bed with a cup of tea served by a Nepali hand. It instantly wakes you up. Since this breakfast delicacy is such a beautiful experience, Nepal Tea Collective added Nepali breakfast tea to its collection. It’s won many hearts and is many people’s favorite.
I loved the Nepali Breakfast Tea! While it was not as strong as other breakfast teas, the flavors were out of this world fantastic! Drinking the tea is like wrapping yourself in a comfy blanket as you watch and savor a slow, beautiful sunrise. Warm, happy, gentle and very tasty. Love the spices blended with the tea
- Heidi Enge
The first cup of tea is often a delectable delay as the real breakfast is prepared. The real breakfast, without fail and exception, in many regions of the country will be daal bhat- a combination balanced meal consisting of white rice, lentils, green vegetables, curry, and pickled paste. This meal that often time looks like a peaceful mandala on the plate will get you up and running for the many chaoses of the day.
The same combination is also served at night time for dinner. The dish is so well-balanced and full of nutrients that it’s common to wake up content and relaxed– with no real hunger, to break the night-long fast. This is where a quick cup of Nepali breakfast tea comes in handy to bring momentum to the morning and get the conversations going and flowing.
You’ll often find people grouped up around tea stalls and kiosks chatting away as they wait for the shopkeeper cum chef to cook up a few side dishes to go with their conversation and their cuppas.
It’s difficult to make this list without drooling and without running the risk of writing ourselves into a never-ending array of mouthwatering dishes. Because what doesn’t go with a beautiful Nepali breakfast tea? We’d argue everything goes with a good cup of tea.
But here are a few dishes that have become a crowd-favorite in Nepal.
Sel roti is a traditional Nepalese ring-shaped sweet rice bread commonly found fresh and piping hot in the quiet alleys of Nepal. While, it used to be a delicacy mostly prepared during Dashain and Tihar, widely celebrated Hindu festivals in Nepal, the love for the dish has made every morning in Nepal nothing short of a celebration. The dish is popular throughout Nepal and among the Nepalese diaspora throughout the world. The bread is made from a batter of rice flour mixed with water, sugar, ghee, and spices. The batter is then deep-fried in cooking oil and served with cup of warm milk tea!
We cannot think of a better way to start the day!
Another option, more readily and widely available to match with your tea is a plate of chanaa tarkari. These small plates of curried vegetables are served across Nepal. There are no fixed recipes. The ingredients are a varied combination of sauteed chickpeas, onion, potatoes, eggs, and chilies.
While sel roti is definitely the most popular of the rotis in Nepal, there are other kinds that are served throughout the country. One of the lesser-known delicacies in central cities like Kathmandu is a Terai favorite Bhakka. Rice flour shaped and steamed in a mud-dish and served with tomato and chili paste is light and spicy and super feisty! It packs a punch and makes you run over to your day’s next task!
Another variation of bread is T-momos. They’re a filling-less dumplings served with curries or on its own. Popular among the Tibetan and Buddhist communities, these Nepali breakfast meal is light, fluffy, and easy on the stomach. Take a short walk to the monkey temple and add this delicacy to your favorite cup of tea!
While the snacks and meals add to the experience, Nepali mornings are nothing without their breakfast teas. Try and start your day the Nepali way with a moment to yourself and a cup of tea.
Make it a Nepali breakfast tea from Nepal Tea Collective and let us know the infinite knowledge every dawn has to offer.