Tag Archives: Nepal earthquake

Nepalese Night

17 May

Homemade delicious naan

The opportunity to eat Nepalese food for the first time came unexpectedly. After finishing cleaning my piso (apartment), Reetu, invited me to her home that evening for homemade Nepalese food. She inquired as to whether I liked Nepalese food and what time I usually ate dinner. Although I am an adventurous eater when it comes to world cuisines, I had never tried food from Nepal, simply because we did not have any restaurants with that cuisine in the Central Coast of California where I lived. Truth be told, I could have sought out such food in my travels but I had a very bad experience with curry the first time I tried it, and have been put off by the smell of many curries ever since. So with the invitation, I thought I should live by my food motto, “I’ll try anything twice,” (except raw sea urchin.)


Reetu has a lovely countenance and I was particularly warmed by this generous invitation, given the difficulties she, her husband, and their male cousin, were having obtaining employment here in Altea, Spain. Usually I eat a late lunch and no dinner, but on this occasion I waited for the appointed dinner time. Her nine year-old daughter came to escort me to their place which is only a couple minutes’ walk.


After introductions to the two men, we spoke of a number of topics, including the recent devastating earthquakes in Nepal. In Nepal, they lived a short distance outside Katmandu, but owing to the conditions of the road, it took several hours to get to the capital city. Of course, their families were impacted by the earthquakes, with Reetu’s father-in-law taking ill and losing their family home.


By then it was time to eat. The first course was momo, a stuffed pleated dumpling, accompanied by a tomato curry sauce. They were delicious and I had no issue with my curry phobia. I thought that was the meal, but there were two more courses to come. Next was chicken which had been marinated in yogurt, tomatoes, onions, garlic/ginger paste, cumin and coriander, and then cooked. It was served with homemade naan, which was very similar to homemade flour tortillas I got in California and Mexico. They use the naan, like Mexicans and those in the know do with tortillas, by tearing off a small piece and picking up a piece of chicken with it. The last course was aromatic basmati rice, something I regularly make.



Nepali chicken and naan

As we dined, the family spoke with gratitude about the generous assistance of the Americans in Nepal’s disaster recovery. They also talked with pride about the character of the Nepalese who are kind, hard-working people. Both men are talented chefs, but with Spain’s high unemployment rate and seasonality of restaurant work, it has been difficult for them to find consistent employment. All four had excellent English, and when I asked, they confirmed that they are taught both Nepalese and English from an early age.


As I took my leave, I thanked them for the delicious meal and invitation into their home. Reetu’s daughter likes dogs, including my dog Pepper, so I invited her to come with her mother next time she comes to my house so she could play with the dog. I don’t really need a housekeeper, as I am single and retired, but I am glad to have Reetu.