Today Bob and I ventured to Nepal. To be perfectly honest, I really didn't know what to expect as far as taste goes. Of course, I got grossed out reading about some of the cuisine and, yes, Nepalese people do eat yak,
but I can't exactly waltz into Fred Meyer, Winco or Safeway and order a loin of yak (can you butterfly that, please?). Then I breathed a sigh of relief to read that a lot of the people of Nepal are vegetarian, but then, of course, Bob being the carnivore that
he is, I knew that I had to keep searching to find something not too bizarre that happened to have meat in it. So on the menu tonight: Payajra Dhulo Masu
White Rice, my own creation that I shall call Swiss Chard, Nepali Style and Nepali Spiced Tea
and to round off the meal, I added pickled cherry peppers and baby dills.
I had to share this picture I snapped a couple of mornings ago because it amazes even me! It was one of those few sunny days we had and when I woke up at 6 am, the sky was blue and it was great. Fifteen minutes later, the fog rolled in, as you can see, and
an hour later, it was gone again. I love this picture!
I found this beautiful bunch of red chard yesterday at the store and I knew I had to incorporate it into this Nepal meal somehow, some way...I've been a little under the weather lately and I know I could use the iron and Bob definately could, so this was something
that, to me, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Nepal is a landlocked country in southern Asia that borders China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Kathmandu is the largest city and also the capital. Eight of the ten highest peaks in the world are in northern Nepal, including Sagarmantha,
or Mt. Everest, as it's better known. There are over 240 peaks that are more than 20,000 feet above sea level.
The majority of Nepalese people practice Hinduism. About half of the population live below the international poverty line of $1.25 (US dollars) per day. There are five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. In a land once covered by thick forests,
deforestation is a major problem with resulting erosion and degradation of ecosystems.
Of course, Bob had to deal with our beloved little vulture while he was trying to eat his Nepalese dinner...Sasha!
On a side note, I was complaining the other day that I couldn't believe that I always lose my lighter in my little purse all the time, so Bob and neighbor Bob went all out and bought me that I cannot possibly lose...can you believe that?!?!?! Looking on the
bright side, I won't have to buy another lighter for probably 10 years either!
The problem I ran into was that the mango chutney called for tamarind paste. I looked and couldn't find it (this seems to be a weekly problem for me) so I used tamarind nectar instead, I figured I could just reduce it down and still get that tamarind taste
anyway. It all worked out for the good, this chutney was delicious!
A typical Nepalese meal is dal-bhat-tarkari
is a spicy lentil soup, served over
(boiled rice), served with tarkari
(curried vegetables) together with
(pickles) or chutni
. Meals are traditionally eaten while seated or squatting on the floor, although urban restaurants have tables and chairs. A large mound of
or a pile of roti
from the India blog? It's a grilled flat bread) is served on a
a rimmed brass or stainless steel plate about 12 inches in diameter. The rice is surrounded by smaller mounds of prepared vegetables,
, pickles and sometimes curd, fish or meat. Soup-like dal
or vegetables cooked in sauce may be served in separate small bowls, to be poured over the rice. Food is eaten with the right hand only, for obvious reasons, although the left may hold a glass or a cup. The right hand is rinsed before and after eating.
Here is that chutney or chutni
after it was done, but before it was chilled...super good!
This is the Payajra Dhulo Masu,
or curried meat. I used ground turkey in this and the turkey soaked up all that good spice taste and it was wonderful...not spicy, heat wise, but spicy in regard to all the different flavors going on
in it. I made this ahead and reheated it for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
The Nepali Spiced Tea...LOVE IT!! I'll be making this a heck of a lot more often now...I love chai tea and that's what this reminded me of only it's great because I made it myself. Bob didn't care for it, but we don't count him, he doesn't like tea at all...super
weird, if you ask me!
Swiss Chard, Nepali Style...I used that bunch of wonderful ruby red chard, canola oil, fenugreek seeds, sliced onions and garlic. I've never tasted fenugreek before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I do like them and I will use them more often in different
things. This was Bob's favorite dish of entire meal.
And, keeping with tradition, but not having a thali
, I used Corelle and put the
in the middle and surrounded it with the other dishes. I also added baby dills and sweet cherry peppers because the Nepalese eat a lot of different pickles, so I had these in the fridge, so I used what I had on hand.
And here is the dinner complete with the spiced tea! I'm on my second cup as I write this...I'm glad Bob doesn't like it, I don't have to share...LOL!
It happened again, neither person that I emailed sent me anything back, so Bob and I picked countries again. He picked Panama and I picked Vietnam. We had 61 people vote and 32-29, the majority of you want to see Panama next week. (How come every time I say
that I have Van Halen's 1984 album running through my head? LOL!)
This week the charity I want to mention would be the ASPCA. You all know me, I'm all for the animals! They do a lot of good things out there for our four-legged friends.
In a three weeks we'll be celebrating the half-way mark of this Around the World in an RV project. Bob and I are getting together a gift-box for one of you loyal lucky readers, and it will have a bunch of little do-hickeys in it. So between now and then,
in a couple of sentences, leave me a comment and tell me a couple of things: which has been your favorite country so far and why. We'll pick the best one on week 26 and let ya all know who gets the loot! This is our way of saying THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!
Until we meet in Panama next week...peace!!