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Nepal Thali

nepali thali

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Are you planning to spend your holiday in Nepal? Do you want to know in detail about the delicious Nepalese staple dish? Are you interested in gaining knowledge about the importance of Nepal Thali, types of Nepal Thali, and side dishes? This article aims to provide you with detailed information about Nepali Thali.

Nepali Thali refers to a traditional Nepalese meal consisting of a variety of dishes served in a round platter. The Nepalese Thali is not only appealing to the taste buds, but it is also visually pleasing with side dishes such as white rice, chutneys, green leafy vegetables and meat. The dish is usually served on brass bowls and plates with various side dishes. The Nepal thali is a favorite dish among the Nepalese and is consumed during lunch and dinner everyday by almost all the Nepalese people. 

The name Thali refers to the metal plate on which the meal is served. The meal is also popular in regions outside Nepal such as North India, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab. However, each of the Thali in these various regions is distinct with its flavors and twists. The general idea behind a Nepali thali is to offer six different flavors, such as salt, sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and astringent, on one plate. By the traditional way of making a thali, a proper meal should be a perfect balance of 6 different flavors.

Due to its rising popularity, many restaurants across Nepal and around the world serve Nepalese Thali. The dishes are served on plates and bowls made of stainless steel featuring intricate designs and details.

The Importance of Nepal Thali in Nepalese Culture

Nepalese thali holds significant importance in Nepalese food culture. It represents Nepal’s culinary heritage and diversity. Nepal thali is a meal that is considered as a symbol of Nepalese hospitality and identity. Further, in the Nepalese household, serving Thali is a common way to show guests generosity and respect. Traditional customs and rituals also accompany it on special occasions.

How to Enjoy Nepal Thali

If you want to enjoy Nepalese Thali, the best way to experience it is in a traditional Nepalese household and restaurants in Nepal. Generally, you will be served the meal on a large plate with small bowls that contain different side dishes. In a traditional customary manner, the meal is eaten with bare hands. Before touching the food, wash your hands with soap and water. Then, it would help if you mixed the rice with the lentil and curry to create a combination of unique flavors.

We recommend you start with the mild flavor dishes and make your way gradually to the spicier dishes. You can pair the Nepali pickles with other dishes to balance the flavor and add a refreshing touch. You can also try drinks such as lassi to complement the meal. In Nepalese tradition, it is customary to remain silent while eating and to avoid any leftovers as a sign of respect to the host.

Side Dishes in Nepal Thali

Side Dishes in Nepal Thali

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Side dishes in Nepalese Thali are an essential meal component, complementing the main dish. Additionally, the dishes add to the overall flavor and texture of the meal. These side dishes are usually made with locally available ingredients. In this way, the side dishes in Nepalese Thali offer a glimpse into the diversity and richness of Nepalese cuisine.


Rice or bhat is short-grain rice commonly consumed in Nepal and other South Asian countries. It is considered a staple food of the Nepalese people and an integral part of the cuisine. Nepalese Bhat is renowned for its distinct flavor, aroma and texture.

It is one of the primary dishes in Nepal. Bhat is cooked by boiling rice with water in a rice cooker until it becomes soft. Nepalese people consume it every day during Lunch and Dinner because it is a good energy source. Bhat is usually paired with vegetables, lentils and curries in Nepalese Thali.


Dal is another popular side dish in Nepal and essential to Nepal’s Thali. The dish is made from lentils and is boiled with various vegetables and spices. Some common types of dal used in Nepal thali are yellow, black and red lentils. They are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, and iron.

Dal is known for its flavorful and rich taste, achieved through spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder. It is considered to be a popular vegetarian option in Nepal thali for those looking for a filling and healthy meal.

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable curry is a nutritious and flavorful dish in Nepali thali, which consists of several vegetables cooked in spice sauces. The preparation methods and exact ingredients depend on the region and culinary tradition. Common vegetables in vegetable curry include carrots, beans, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, peppers, and peas.

The spices used for the dish is made with various herbs and spices, such as chili powder, turmeric, coriander, and cumin. Additionally, some variations include tomato puree, yogurt and coconut milk to give a creamy texture to the vegetable curry. The dish can be paired with naan and other dishes as well.


Papad is a light and crispy snack, a popular accompaniment to Nepal Thali. It is made from several ingredients, such as rice flour, lentil flour and chickpea flour. Papad has a crispy texture and unique flavor, which can be eaten as a snack or an appetizer. The side dish is often served in Nepalese Thali with pickles, yogurt-based dips and chutneys to enhance its taste.


Nepali dahi is a staple ingredient in many Nepalese cuisines. The dish is made by fermenting buffalo milk, which gives its unique taste and creamy texture. Dahi (Curd) is commonly used in dishes such as raita and lassi.

Additionally, it is used as marinade meat-based dishes, such as chicken tikka, to tenderize its texture and add flavor. Dahi is a popular side dish in Nepal thali and is eaten with rice, curry, and sometimes alone. It is consumed because it is a rich source of calcium and protein and is suitable for gut health.

Nepali Pickle

Nepali Pickle, or achar, is a condiment in Nepalese thali, made by preserving fruits or vegetables in a mixture of salt, oil and spices. Some common vegetables and fruits used in Nepali pickles are chili peppers, coriander, tomato, lemon, etc. The side dish adds flavor to Nepal thali and is paired with rice and other side dishes.


Nepalese Thali is a traditional meal consisting of several dishes on a large plate. One of the primary components of Nepal’s Thali is meat, which is served in several forms. Some of the commonly used meat in the Thali is goat and chicken. You can enjoy the delicious variety of meats by pairing it with rice, dal, vegetable curries and chutneys to add flavor.

Types of Nepali Thali

Types of Nepali Thali

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Nepali Thali is one of the famous traditional platters of authentic Nepalese cuisine. The Thali is a unique combination of several dishes with distinct flavors. It is a must-try meal if you are visiting Nepal and interested in exploring Nepal’s culinary and cultural diversity. Besides, Nepal thali comes in different variations based on the culture and region of Nepal. Some of the renowned variations of Nepal thali are as follows:

Mutton thali

Rice or Dhendo, daal, dahi, seasonal vegetables, sukuti curry, salad, papad, pickle, mutton, naan and gulab jamun.

Fish Thali

Rice or Dendo, daal, fish curry, seasonal vegetables, dahi, salad, pickle, papad, naan and gulab jamun.

Chicken Thali

Rice or Dehendo, pickle, seasonal vegetable, salad, papad, dahi, daal, chiken, gulab jamun and naan.

Veg Thali

Rice or Dhendo, daal, saag paneer, seasonal vegetables, salad, pickle, papad, naan and gulab jamun.

Why You Should Try Nepal Thali while Visiting Nepal

Nepalese thali is one of the must-try cuisines while visiting Nepal as it offers an authentic and unique culinary experience. It reflects the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity. Tying the Thali is an excellent way to taste the richness in flavors of Nepalese cuisine. Additionally, Nepalese thali is a balanced and healthy meal that provides energy and essential nutrients while exploring the country.

Trying out the variety of Thali available in Nepal allows you to experience the local traditions and flavors, which offers you a deeper insight and understanding of Nepalese culture. Besides, enjoying the Nepalese Thali in a local restaurant and household with a traditional Nepalese setting is an opportunity to connect with the locals and experience their hospitality.

How to Eat Nepali Thali?

Nepali Thali is a traditional meal that showcases the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Nepal. It is typically served on a large platter or plate, with a variety of dishes arranged in small bowls or katoris. Here’s how you can eat Nepali Thali:

Start with the rice: The rice is usually placed at the center of the platter. You can take a small portion of rice using your fingers or a spoon and place it on one side of your plate.

Add the curries: The vegetable and meat curries are usually placed in the katoris around the rice. You can take a small amount of each curry and place it next to the rice.

The lentil soup: The lentil soup is usually served in a separate katori. Mix a small amount of soup with the rice and curry.

Yogurt and pickle: Yogurt and pickle are served in small bowls or katoris. You can take a small amount of each and place it on your plate.

Finish with salad: The salad is usually served as a refreshing accompaniment to the spicy curries. You can take a small portion of the salad and eat it at the end of your meal.

Use your hands: Nepali Thali is traditionally eaten with hands, but you can use a spoon if you prefer. Using your fingers, mix the rice, curry, and lentil soup to create a delicious blend of flavors.

Enjoy: Once you’ve finished assembling your plate, it’s time to enjoy the delicious and authentic flavors of Nepali cuisine.

Best Places to Try Nepal Thali in Nepal

You can find Nepal thali in most of the restaurants in Nepal. In major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan, numerous restaurants specialize in Thali. One such example is Bhojan Griha, a popular outlet for travelers to enjoy and experience authentic dining. The restaurant is renowned for live music performances and its famous Newari Thali, which is considered to be one of the specialty dishes of the Newar community.

Another food establishment that serves Newari Thali is Krishnarpan. The food is accompanied by cultural shows that highlight the tradition and history of the Newari community. Apart from Kathmandu, the lakeside district, Pokhara is also renowned for its restaurants that serve authentic Nepalese thali.

Outlets like Moondance restaurant near the lakeside are one of the best places for you to enjoy the delicious Nepalese thali and its varieties. Besides, you can also enjoy the Thali from local vendors and restaurants, which offer an affordable and authentic experience.

You can also stay in a homestay to immerse yourselves in the Nepalese culture and to enjoy the authentic Nepalese thali. The locals prepare the Nepal thali by using local and fresh ingredients.

There are many places to try Nepal Thali, which ranges from high-end restaurants to local restaurants and cafes. Regardless of the venue, it is an excellent way to experience Nepal’s rich and diverse culinary heritage and connect with the local culture and people. To make it easier for you to experience the authentic Thali experience, we have listed the best restaurants where you can try Nepal thali.

Pokhara Thakali KitchenCentral Lakeside, PokharaAsian, Nepali, Vegetarian Friendly
Thakali KitchenThamel, KathmanduAsian, Nepali, Vegetarian Friendly
Yala Cafe  Kwabahal, Thamel, Kathmandu CafeFusionHealthy
The Harbor RestaurantLakeside, Gaurighat, PokharaNepali, International, Mediterranean, European
Mustang Thakali Chulo  2nd Floor, Chibahal Thamal Chowk, KathmanduItalian, Indian
Asian Tea House  Lakeside Alley, Pokhara Asian, Nepali, Vegetarian Friendly
Atithi Satkar RestaurantAmrit Marg, KathmanduIndian, Asian, Nepali
Paleti Bhanchha Ghar Restaurant & Bar  J.P. Road Thamel, KathmanduAsian, Tibetan, Nepali
Mint Cafe and Restaurant  Hotel Earth House, KathmanduNepali, Chinese, Indian, Cafe
Fewa Lake Restaurant and Bar  Basundhara park lakeside, Ambot, Lakeside Pokhara-06Bar, Pub, Nepali  

After experiencing the delicious Nepal thali, travelers are enticed to explore more of what Nepal has to offer. One of the best ways to explore this enchanting land is by trekking through its picturesque mountains.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek and Manaslu Circuit Trek are two of the most popular treks in Nepal, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience breathtaking scenery.

To ensure a successful and enjoyable trekking experience in Nepal, we recommend the service of the best Nepalese trekking company and travel agency. These companies offer experienced guides, porters, and well-organized logistics, ensuring that trekkers have a safe and comfortable journey.


What is Nepali Thali?

Nepali Thali is a traditional meal that is popular in Nepal. It typically comprises a variety of dishes served on a large platter or plate. The Thali includes a range of items such as rice, lentil soup (daal), vegetable curry (tarkari), meat or fish curry (masu), pickle (achaar), yogurt (dahi), and salad (kachumber).

How to eat Nepali Thali?

You can eat the Nepali Thali with your right hand, using your fingers to mix the rice, curries, and lentil soup together to create a flavorful blend.

What is traditional Nepali food?

The traditional Nepali food include Rice, Lentil, Vegetable curry, Pickle, wheat bread, meat etc.

What is Nepal’s staple food?

Dal Bhat is the staple food of Nepalese people, which is served with vegetable curry and lentil soup.

Which is the famous dish in Nepal?

Some of the most famous Nepali dishes are Dal Bhat, Momo, Sel Roti, Thukpa, Chow-Men, etc.