Local Cuisine: What to Eat on the Annapurna Trail

By Glorious Himalaya on March 2, 2024 in Trekking

Trekking on the Annapurna Trail is not just about the views of the beautiful mountains, immersing yourself in challenging terrain, and experiencing cultural immersion. And what better method of indulging yourself in local culture and tradition than experiencing the taste of different regional cuisines? Today, we will discuss some of the best local cuisine and what to eat on the Annapurna trail that is healthy, hygenic, and better for your trek.

Annapurna Trail, either for the Annapurna Base Camp trek or Annapurna Circuit Trek, is one of Nepal’s best but most challenging treks. You must pay attention to your food and drink to avoid falling ill and having fun during your adventure. Paying attention to food doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the delicious local meals. However, there are particular food and drink items that you should avoid, like alcohol, coffee, raw red meats, etc, which are the cause of dehydration or indigestion.

So let’s get into it.

Introduction to Nepali Cuisine

Nepal has a diverse geography, cultural traditions, and agriculture that influence its cuisines. Nepalese cuisine includes some everyday staple items like lentils, rice, meat, and vegetables, as well as different spices like chili, turmeric, and coriander, which add taste, flavor, and depth to the cuisine.

In the city areas, trekkers can get a variety of Nepalese and Western dishes, but as you climb altitude and reach the remote settlements, the menu starts decreasing. During those teahouse stays, you will mainly only taste local Nepali cuisines. Here are some must-taste local Nepali cuisines that will last a long time in your tastebuds and memories.

Must-Try Local Dishes on the Annapurna Circuit Trek Trail

Dal Bhat

Dal Bhat is Nepal’s national dish. It is the most common food that Nepalese people consume daily for lunch and dinner. The dish comprises Bhat (Rice), Dal (Lentils), Vegetables, and Pickles. Sometimes, vegetable curry is replaced with meat.

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Dal Bhat is served with local ghee, pickles, mints, and green vegetables. It is wise to avoid meats at high altitudes as they are not fully cooked, which might impact your health.

Momos:

Momos are another trendy food on the Annapurna Trail. They are Nepal’s unofficial national food pretty quickly. Almost all Nepalese people love eating Momos during lunch, break time, or dinner. Momos are prepared by combining three ingredients, generally veg or non-veg. Green vegetables like cabbage, onion, etc., are used in veg ingredients, whereas in nonveg fillers, meats of chicken, mutton, etc.

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Apart from fillers, you will also have to prepare momo wrappers. Finally, mix the fillers with the momo wrappers and cook them. They are delicious but not as effective if you want to eliminate hunger.

Thukpa:

While trekking at the high altitude of the Annapurna Trail, you might want to have something hot and tasty. Thukpa, a kind of Tibetian soup, is fantastic for keeping yourself warm and pleasing your taste buds. It is a traditional dish prepared in every tea house in Nepal. It has different flavors, such as noodles, meat, and vegetables.

Thukpa in Annapurna trek Nepal

Thukpa is a comforting dish for high-altitude trekking, especially during freezing temperatures. It is still trendy among trekkers who don’t prefer harsh colds and is cheaper than other dishes.

Gurung Bread:

Gurung Bread is another delicious dish that is quite popular during high-altitude teahouse trekking. It is a direct alternative to the local Dal, Bhat, etc., as you can quickly eat it with tea, coffee, or vegetable dishes. Just like Thukopa, Gurung Bread is also a unique dish made from the Tibetian culture. Generally, these breads are served for breakfast; you can also eat them for lunch and dinner.

gurung Bread in Annapurna Nepal

Gurung Bread has a distinct sweet and sour taste, so it is suitable for breakfast with tea or lunch with vegetables and meat.

Yak Cheese:

Yak Cheese is the trademark and the special dish of the Annapurna Trail in the Himalayan region. It is perfect for changing the taste of your tongue due to its dense texture and delicious flavor. Some trekkers might find its smell disturbing, but those who love cheese will love its taste and texture. They are also used in other dishes like sandwiches, snacks, and burgers and are served by melting the cheese into the local Dal, Bhat, and Vegetable dish.

Where can you find local Nepali cuisines during your Annapurna Trail?

Teahouses and Lodges

You will generally stay at local teahouses or lodges during your Short Annapurna Circuit Trek. During your stay, you can find local Nepali cuisines like Dal, Bhat, Momos, Dhindo, Yak Cheese, etc. You can share your local dishes with other trekkers during your teahouse stay.

Ask for Recommendations:

You can also find different local Nepali cuisines from the recommendations of strangers, websites, or even your trekking agency. When you enter any pubs or hotels for lunch, dinner, etc., always ask for their local dishes and if they have anything special.

Be Adventurous:

Step out of your comfort zone and try new dishes you may not have encountered. Nepali cuisine is diverse and flavorful, with various dishes to suit every palate.

Stay Hydrated and Energized: Besides sampling local dishes, stay hydrated and energized by drinking plenty of water and snacking on trail mixes or energy bars throughout the day.

Final words

Hence, these are some of the best Nepali cuisines you can taste during your excursion in Annapurna Trial. Many often go on excursions to experience the mountains, remote villages, and dynamic terrains. During your trek, you will get different local dishes from local daily Dal Bhat to cozy and warm Thukpa.

It is always wise to check what you want to taste before your trek; however, sometimes, you order local cuisine without researching and wait for its flavors to hit your tongue. There are some lovely dishes local dishes that you will keep in your memory for a long time.

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