Set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, Nepal has more than 100 ethnicities and their influence reflect in the country’s cuisines. Nepal is an anthropologist’s and a food connoisseur’s dream which also happened to be one of Asia’s richest agricultural lands in back pages of history. Today, rice and a wide variety of vegetables and beans form the core of the local Nepalese diet. Most Nepalese are Hindu or Buddhist and though not strict vegetarians, they eat meat mainly as special treats or celebrative auspicious occasions.
One of the most developed cuisines in Nepal is that of the Newars, an ethnic group based in the Katmandu Valley. Widely referred as Newa cuisine, it is the most famous food variety in the country with over 200 dishes and offers both non-vegetarian and vegetarian. The non-vegetarian dishes primarily constitute the buffalo along with minced meat whereas vegetarian dishes are appetizing. An interesting twist is that vegetarian dishes can be prepared as non-vegetarian meals by stuffing meat in them. A few famous dishes of the Newari cuisine are Kachilaa (raw marinated minced meat), Takhaa (jellied soup), Yomari and Bara along with spicy pickles.
The dishes of Nepal encompass Khas or Pahari cuisine as well.The typical Pahari meal includes rice, lentil soup, lamb curry, vegetable curry, and fruits like mandarin orange, lemon, pear, bayberry, mangoes and khaffir lime. This staple meal is not only wholesome and filling after a whole day trekking, but is extremely nutritious and healthy.
Himalayan cuisine in Nepal is a popular one which is prepared at high altitude where the presence of winter is felt at its full bloom. To fight the bone – chilling cold, use of barley, millet and buckwheat makes integral ingredients of almost every dish of Himalayan cuisine. Big portion of rice, yak meat, yak butter and yak milk are another popular additions in Himalayan food. Few well known Himalayan cuisine items includes butter tea, red leaves vegetables, Nepali tea and Gundruk (fermented leafy green vegetable).
Another famous Nepalese cuisine making its way to develop its distinct culinary identity is Lohrung. This cuisine makes the best use of its locally found ingredients which is abundant in Eastern region of Nepal. This cuisine is best known for its dishes such as Sel roti, Chamre Yangpen, Dibu, Saruwa, Mahi (butter milk), Rakshi (rice-wine) and so on.
India being the next door neighbor in the south of Nepal, the people of the Nepal and India share culinary traditions with one another. It’s not surprising that cooking techniques and methods are similar in India and Nepal. But there are distinctive differences in technique, spices, flavors and presentation.
Nepalese curries are generally based on tomatoes, not yogurt or coconut milk, as in India. Nepal also uses fewer and milder spices than Indians. A standard Nepalese masala (spice mixture) contains cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, fenugreek and jimbu, an aromatic grass that resembles chives. Hotness comes from chilies or a berry called Timur, similar to Szechwan pepper. Dal Bhat is often considered the national dish of Nepal. Almost identical both in name and preparation to Dal Bhat in India, the dish is curried lentil soup (Dal) and rice (Bhat). Where Indian food tends to utilize more spices, Nepalese food is milder on the heat but favors a more sour/tart flavor profile.
Northern neighbors, China and Tibet has brought much popularity to noodles, bamboo shoots, soybeans and “momo”. Nepali cuisine share many elements with that of China and Tibet especially with the onslaught of Tibetan refugees in the 1960s. Momos which works as both snack and main course is the most popular street food in Katmandu. Hot steamed momos on cold rainy days with the whole family crowded in the kitchen has become an enjoyable and favorite tradition in Nepal.
Aside from the home-grown cuisine, foreign cuisines are not hard to find in Nepal. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Mexican and Continental are readily available at affordable price in the streets of most tourist hot spots of Nepal – thanks to the large multi-cultural expatriate community and over-flowing tourist traffic.
Each internship is individually customized, designed and organized with consultation with the Intern, taking into consideration of personal circumstances such as objectives and preferences on the following arrangements. While culinary science may have a wide-ranging disciplines such as many regional cuisines, bakery & confectionary, beverage & mixology, hospitality management, food safety regulations, the internship will focus in the following areas below,
Nepali Cuisine, Indian Cuisine, Thai Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine, Foods and Spices, Restaurant and Catering Management and Nepali Gastronomic Culture.
- Fall: September 2nd to November 30th – 90 days
- Spring: January 17th to April 16th – 90 days
- Summer: May 22nd to August 20th – 90 days
Select cities in Nepal upon consultations and recommendations.
Curriculum and Activities
Choices will be available in terms of the form of internship sought by the Intern such as focus area, class-room or on-the-job experience. Host institution and locations shall be confirmed based on consultations with the intern.
Depending upon sector preferences, internship host may be selected that best fulfills the objectives of and interest of the Intern. Wide range of culinary schools, event catering venues, hotels, restaurants and even private homes may be considered as host of the internship. Some examples of potential institutional partners are suggested as follows
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, Dwarika’s Hotel, Kantipur Temple House, Nepali Ghar, Far Pavilions, The Pavilions Himalayas, Thamel House, The Village Café, Nepali Chulo, Bhojan Griha, Him Thai Restaurant, Yin Yang Restaurant, Byanjan Restaurant, Bayleaf Restaurant, Lan Hua Restaurant, Sichuwan Chinese Restaurant, Pacific Hospitality and Culinary Academy, Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management.
A Master Chef or an expert in culinary science will be assigned to the intern as a mentor to advise and guide the internship in matters related to Nepal as well as the academic and professional substance of the internship.
Orientation Program – 7 days
- Homestay – 1 week
- Culture: “do-not” precautions / hygiene behavior / festivals / ethnic mapping / ethnic mapping
- Language: basic conversational Nepali / gender gears / status protocols
- Living logistics: getting around / shopping / electricity / internet / phone – mobile
- Talk Series: Asian Cuisines – Nepali, Indian, Chinese and Thai Cuisines; Nepal’s Foods & Beverages (meats, vegetables, oils and spices), Nepali Kitchen Features and Accessories, Nepali Eating Etiquettes, Nepali Festivals
- Consultations with internship mentor
|1||Orientation to Nepal and Internship/ Introduction to Mentor|
|2||Academic Host Institution -Kathmandu, mentor consultation|
|Move to apartment accommodation|
|3||Academic Host Institution -Kathmandu, mentor consultation|
|4||Host Restaurant: Newari – NepaliCuisine Kathmandu mentor consultation|
|5||Host Restaurant: Thakali – NepaliCuisine Kathmandu mentor consultation|
|6||Trekking Excursion – OutdoorExpedition Catering|
|7||Trekking Excursion – OutdoorExpedition Catering|
|8||Host Restaurant – Indian Cuisine,Pokhara, mentor consultation Move to apartment accommodation|
|9||Host Restaurant – Chinese Cuisine,Pokhara, mentor consultation|
|10||Host Restaurant: Thai CuisineKathmandu, mentor consultation Moveinto apartment accommodation|
|11||Host Restaurant: Nepali CuisineKathmandu, mentor consultation|
|12||Internship Report, mentorconsultation|
- Urban Housing:
Shared Catered Apartments – includes weekly cleaning and maintenance
Facilities – bathroom, kitchen with stove and refrigerator, washing machine, basic furniture and bed mattress, fan or heating appliances,
Utilities – electricity and water not included
- Rural Housing – includes weekly cleaning and maintenance, cooking and laundry
Facilities – bathroom, kitchen with stove, basic furniture and bed mattress, fan or heating appliances,
Utilities – electricity and water included
A getaway trip which includes visit to another part of the country with some sort of culture exposures and outdoor adventures. Exact dates and destination to be planned upon consultations.
Internship Cost: Full Package – US$ 7400
The cost covers airfare from the nearest international airport, airport pick-up and drop-off, orientation session, accommodation, all inclusive two weeks excursion, mentoring and academic consultations. Cost quote to be firmed up individually for each internship customized to intern’s requirements.
Internship Cost: Without Airfare – US$ 5900
Internship Cost: Without Airfare and Excursion – US$ 4200