Let’s Go Eat Dhedo – Nepal’s Forgotten Staple

20 Apr

Contribution by Sneh Rajbhandari

Dhedo khaana jaam” (Let’s go eat Dhedo)

Changes in diet patterns have led to an increase in malnutrition in the mid and far-Western parts of Nepal– traditional and nutritious meals of dhedo (a thick doughy mixture made of buckwheat, millet, or maize) are quickly being replaced with bhaat (polished white rice grains).[1] One of my friends just got back from a trip to Dadeldhura (a district in the far-western region) and he stressed how eating rice has become part of one’s status quo – people take pride in sharing how many meals of rice they can afford to eat in one day. What they don’t realize is even if they are eating more meals a day, they are not getting the required nutritional content, as vegetables and lentils are found in small quantities, shadowed by a mountain of rice in the middle.[2]

Having grown up in the city, dhedo was as foreign a concept to me as injera. It was only something that I knew of from vague references by my parents, and a name that provided a romanticized image of rural-hilly life. A quiet reminder of the charmed village life and the nutritious food needed to carry out daily laborious tasks in difficult terrain, the meal has slowly made its way to local restaurants in the inroads of the cities and served to locals and foreigners alike. Dhedo has a somewhat doughy texture and has no flavor of its own, but tastes delicious when dunked in a bowl of chicken curry, vegetables, or lentils.

My last dhedo khaana was at the Mona Lisa Thakali in Pokhara, a city in the Mid-Western region of Nepal, served with black lentils, a spicy (local) chicken curry, greens, spicy potatoes and fermented radish. Much healthier than daal-bhaat (lentils and rice) and a truly filling meal, we need a major awareness campaign to encourage families to go back to eating this protein-rich food item, rather than eating disproportionately high amounts of white rice in their daily meal intake. If you are in Kathmandu, or Pokhara, or traveling via road around Nepal, be sure to try this meal, which will keep you going for hours and leave you satiated with its earthy flavors mixed with savoury curries.

[2] http://aldeninnepal.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html


One Response to “Let’s Go Eat Dhedo – Nepal’s Forgotten Staple”

  1. Rock May 17, 2017 at 1:16 AM #

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