Born and raised in a family with different traditions and food culture often very contrasting, my love-affair with new and different food culture grew when I was very young. I even don’t remember how young I started cooking and helping my mom in the kitchen. My parents have different food cultures, for e.g. in my mother’s culture, alcohol (aila) is regarded holy, offered to god and a must for occasions/festivals…. whereas in my father’s culture, drinking alcohol is prohibited and socially unacceptable. We siblings have adopted and enjoyed both the food culture…. you can often see an amalgamation of both of these cultures and traditions in our home.
In this blog, I share recipes including recipes from my friends and families and information of the Nepali foods, especially on Nepali ethnic foods. Nepali cuisine is much more diverse than you think. Every communities and ethnic groups have their own way of cooking and delicacies. I intend to promote these diverse traditional ethnic cuisines enjoyed for centuries by different ethnic groups and communities in Nepal, and provide information on Nepali food culture, herbs/spices that are used in Nepali cuisines including best local places to eat.
Beside cooking and exploring food culture, I love to grow vegetables and fruits. I ride bicycle for daily mobility. I belive that bicycle can transform our urban space, and significantly contribute to solving many environment, economic and social problems we are facing today. I am also involved in different environmental initiatives/projects, especially on air pollution, sustainable cities, sustainable urban transportation and climate change issues. – Prashanta Khanal
Gundruk is probably the most popular and loved food in Nepal. It is very authentic to Nepal and enjoyed by all ethnic communities in Nepal from terai, hills to mountains. It is dried fermented leafy vegetables, made generally from mustard green leaves (rayo ko saag), radish leaves (mula ko saag), cauliflower leaves (cauli ko paat). In Nepal, when we have excess leafy vegetables before winter, they are lightly smashed, put in clay pots for a week or more to ferment, and later sun-dried, which can be store for a year or more. The fermentation process helps in developing very peculiar smell and tangy flavor. It is also source of minerals and vitamins during winter and dry season when leafy green vegetables are hard to grow.
Gundruk sandheko, Gundruk ko acchar, Gundruk Bhatamas or Gundruk ko jhol, how do you like it? …I have named my food blog after this peculiar fermented authentic Nepali food.
If you have recipes and information about the food enjoyed by different ethnic groups in Nepal, please share with me. I would be more than happy to feature in this blog.
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Note: All the pictures beside the one provided with photo courtesy are taken by Prashanta Khanal. If you are using one of them, please provide photo credit as Prashanta Khanal/thegundruk.com!