My Favorite Nepali foods!! Part 1.

  1. Dhidho, Sishnu and Gundruk.

One cannot emphasize enough about ‘Dhidho and Sishnu’ as an authentic taste of Nepal, without mentioning a quote of poetry from one of the greatest writer of Nepali Literature, Laxmi Prashad Devkota.

Haat kaa maila sun kaa thailaa, ke garnu dhanle? – (हातका मैला सुनका थैला, के गर्नु धनले )
Saag ra sisnu khaaeko besa aanandi manle! – (साग र सिस्नु खाएको बेस आनन्दी मनले)
Translation:  Sacks of gold are like collected dirt on your hands, what is one to do with all these wealth? 
It is better to eat nettles greens and cultivate happiness in your heart. ( reference- TASTE OF NEPAL blog 🙂 )

Dhidho is a traditional Nepali food.

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Nepalitreasureblogspot.com

Mostly served with sishnu(a form of thick soup) and gundruk(fermented leafy green vegetable). It can be cooked of corn flour(makai), millet flour(kodo) or buckwheat(fapar). The recipe is very simple, as it only needs flour. But the process of stirring it and making it into a consumable paste is tiring!( Believe me, I have seen my mom do it a number of times). And although, it pairs up with shishnu well (explained below), it can be served with chicken soup or tomato soup too. (Like, I prefer it with chicken soup, not sishnu.  Only a matter of personal taste, i guess 🙂 )

Similarly ‘Sishnu’, is basically nothing but a thick greenish soup. Prepared from sishnu leaves( commonly known as stinging nettle; as the name suggests, it has stingy leaves and stem), you would think it’s a wild plant when you first look at it, unpleasant and unpalatable to put into your mouth. And add to it, any painful experiences you have had being pricked by it, then it can be a ‘hard to digest cuisine’. Why did i say that? Well just for fun fact. In case you didn’t know, many Nepalese parents love whipping their children with sishnu leaves soaked on water, for their long lasting stingy effect. I tell you, it works better than ElectroConvulsiveTherapy for any kind of behavioral problems they are showing  😛

Gorkha-Sisno-Tipdai
tvannapurna.com

But, despite its notoriety, it is one of the most ‘favored dish’, among people of hilly and Himalaya region of Nepal. Taken as an medicinal  herb, this soup prepared out of  sishnu plant is believed to cure ailments such a Hypertension, Diabetes and bowel problems.

How do you eat something like that? Oh’ Don’t worry. Once it is prepared into soup, it will not sting or irritate your throat anymore. Infact, you will taste nothing but ‘how a soup is supposed to taste’. Now, Taste? you ask?  Depends on what flavor you add to it. Because, as you know by now, the soup on its original form only consists of sishnu leaves stirred in hot boiling water with a pinch of salt added to it. How do you want it, depends on your choice. My mom likes adding only onions, preferring it to be as bland as possible.(She is so fond of it, she had whole bush on our front yard!!)

sishnuleaves
youtube.com

Not everyone in Nepal, even in Hilly and Himalaya region have dhidho as their staple diet. Those in kathmandu may not even have tasted it,although a number of restaurants readily serves it in their menu. Because, Staple meal for us, usually constitutes ‘Bhaat, Daal and Tarkari’ that i will be writing about on my next blog, which is more easy to prepare and offers more variety in taste.

In summary, from the health point of view, ‘dhidho and sishnu’ constitutes healthiest ingredients put together and boiled. No additional element not even oil, unless of course you want to change the flavor. But from taste point of view, i cannot guarantee you will like it, unless you are a foodie like me and are interested on experimenting with your taste buds. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “My Favorite Nepali foods!! Part 1.

  1. The first time I had this green soup I was on a trek in Langtang district and it was my birthday so some friends collected huge amounts of nettles then spent a long time removing all of the caterpillars 😂😂. I was astounded how good it was but that may have been the rakshi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahha i don think Rashi is ‘green’. Green is definately ‘sishnu’. Nettles means ‘sishnu’. I love nettles soup too but not the way mom cooks it. She makes it into a thick paste. So instead of soup, it feels like putting medicines down the throat’

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Two Doctors and commented:
    Memories of a mountaineering trip into Langtang and the porters making nettle soup which looked like a thick green mess, but tasted fine. Another fine post from littlemissmonsoon, do visit her blog for more on Nepal.

    Liked by 1 person

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