I, solemnly believe in the words of Robert Frost- Miles to go before I sleep and I shall take you on a tour with me through my journey to ....
Published December 3rd 2012
Spicy but not spicy
Do you feel like eating Indian cuisine but your body in unable to intake very spicy/hot food. Then, I have a perfect solution for you. Try Nepalese food at Gurkhas in Melbourne.
Nepal is one of India's northern neighbors so there a lot of cuisine and cultural similarities. Nepali cuisine has a unique taste of the Himalayas, as it is simple and subtle in flavor and is prepared by using unique blends 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.
The staple diet is dal (lentils), bhat (rice) and tarkari (meat or just vegetable curry) twice a day. It is a country with 80% Hindu religion followers so beef is forbidden meat, although one can occasionally find it. As Tibet and India's neighbor Nepali cuisine can be termed as fusion food. The Nepali momos (dumplings) are Tibetan dumplings filled with Indian spices, giving it a distinct taste. The staple diet includes various side dishes. One of these is the "achar" or pickle, which is made by mixing potatoes, sesame seeds, cucumber and other seasonal raw vegetables or tomatoes and dried fish.
Kukhra Ko Masu is the traditional Nepalese boneless chicken and goat curry. Unlike Indian cuisine Nepalis use minimum spices for their vegetarian curries and do not over cook the vegetables. Due to cold climatic conditions the year round, Nepalis eat raw chillies with their meal to generate body heat.
The cooking involves basic culinary techniques, such as currying (stewing), stir-frying ("Bhuteko"), grilling ("Sekeko" or "Poleko"), smoking ("Sukaeko"), deep-frying ("Tareko"), braising ("Usineko"), marinating ("Sadheko"), tempering ("Jhaneko"), and steaming ("Baphaeko").
Coming to the dessert section, the traditional dessert is sweet yoghurt but at Gurkhas one is able to find Indian dessert like Khir (Rice pudding) and flavored ice cream and so on. The Nepali spicy tea (Chiya) has a defining flavor of its own.
The décor at the restaurant is traditional. The food is served on copper plates emphasizing the Nepali tradition. The term Gurkhas is traditionally used to describe the Nepalese men who serve as soldiers in the armies of Nepal, Britain or India. Gurkhas Brasserie is one of the first Nepalese restaurants in Melbourne. When it was first opened in 1995 in famous Chapel Street in Melbourne, it had one main purpose: to serve the Australian public an authentic taste of Nepal.
A must try is Aloo Kopi (potato and cauliflower curry)
the minced meat used for momo in Nepal uses garlic paste, ginger juice, onions, salt and oil. the newar community have been found to have used cardamom, cumin powder. These spices are widely used by any South Asian countries. Why to dub them as Indian Spice?
Very interesting read, esp all the techniques and overlaps between Indian and Nepalese cuisine. I had never thought there'd be a Nepalese specialty restaurant in Melbourne. We recently had one opened in Delhi and one would expect them to be much more common here. Though I do find the Himalayan food a wee bit spicy. Like you mentioned, they eat raw chillies to generate heat. The food was laced with red chillies too which doesn't strike immediately but you can feel the heat later. But the food packs in oodles of flavour, no doubt about it. Gurkha's seems a must visit on my trip to Melbourne!