Let’s Go To Kirtipur!

Last night I made a trip to Kirtipur with friends to celebrate the beginning of the Dashain holidays and my return from the Tarai with Newari food and aila (a clear Newari spirit). Kirtipur, a quiet suburb of Kathmandu, is home to Tribhuvan University, and is the place to go if you want to sample yummy Newari food and enjoy views of the hills encircling the Valley. I don’t remember the exact Nepali name of our favourite watering hole but it translates into English as ‘Newar Civilisation.’

Thwon and aila

For my readers outside Nepal, Newari food is possibly the most delicious of all Nepali cuisines. Meat features heavily – sekuwa (grilled meat – goat, buff or chicken) is my favourite but there all manner of other things that I’ve not been bold enough to try, such as bone marrow and heavily-spiced goat brains. Other staples are chatamari, a rice pancake with egg or mincemeat in the middle and piro aloo (spicy potato). Newari food is best enjoyed with thwon (rice beer), aila and talkative friends.

Last night the crowd at Newar Civilisation was in a festive mood as the Dashain festival has just begun, which means 10 days of playing cards, drinking, seeing friends and eating (if you are a man, that is. I get the feeling that most Nepali women just spend the festival in the kitchen). The atmosphere felt like a pub in London just before Christmas.

This is one of my all-time favourite places in Kathmandu to come to when I’m back in town and will be even better when the heat haze lifts and we can have clear views of the hills.

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4 Responses to “Let’s Go To Kirtipur!”

  1. JavaBeans Says:

    Just discovered the food eh? Been in Nepal long? Newari food is the only cuisine that qualifies as uniquely nepalese in my opinion … just love it. Nepali chef here in Melbourne makes newari food on request and its insanely delicious!

    Maybe I’m blind but I can’t find your profile … would be awesome to read a little background behind the writer…

    Cheers!

  2. how could you omit choela?? that is what MAKES newar food!

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