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Nepali food, which is simple and subtle in flavor, is prepared by using unique blend of common ingredients and spices. Commonly used flavoring ingredients are garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, bay leaves, black pepper, chilies, onions, cilantro, and scallions. Also, distinct Himalayan flavors are derived from the use of such unique spices as Timur (Szechwan pepper, commonly used in marinades and achars) and Jimbu (Himalayan herb, used fresh or dry), found only in the Himalayas. In addition, most dishes are flavored with mustard oil, clarified butter (ghee), and sometimes Yak butter. Because of harsh conditions prevailing in the highlands of the Himalayas, foods are preserved by dehydrating or fermenting staple ingredients during their growing season. Examples include Sukuti (dehydrated meat) and Gundruk (fermented vegetables). A typical full-course Nepali meal would include an appetizer, a vegetable or lentil soup, two or more vegetable and meat preparations, and an achar or chutney, served with roti (flat wheat bread), steamed rice or rice pilaf, supplemented with a local beverage, such as yogurt drink (lassi), beer or liquor, and followed by a dessert and tea.
Steamed dumplings are very popular and are usually prepared with friends
and family as a sort of party. They are filled with fragrant spices, herbs,
ginger, and meat. Similar to some dumplings served in China.