Countries with the Most Similar Food to Nepal

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with similar food to nepal

The Country Food Similarity Index is a statistically-based attempt to quantify how similar the food in one country is relative to another. By comparing the weight of raw food ingredients used in each country, a score is assigned that reflects the degree of similarity between the respective countries. The methodology is exactly the same for each country studied. 

5 Countries with the Most Similar Food to Nepal

Nepal’s cuisine is a testament to its rich cultural heritage, diverse geography, and indigenous traditions. The four countries with the most similar food are also located in South Asia. These countries tend to eat a lot of rice and relatively little meat.

  1. India is another country where the majority of the population is Hindu. Like Nepalese, many Indians adhere to a vegetarian diet. As a result, dishes without meat are abundant in their cuisine, making use of various grains, legumes, vegetables, and dairy products. The food in both countries features warm stews and curries, often prepared with a blend of earthy spices.
  2. Bhutan and Nepal are both landlocked countries that are located between China and India. In addition, the Himalayas run through these nations. Ema datshi, a popular Bhutanese dish made from cheese and chilies, finds its parallel in Nepal’s love for chilies and dairy-based dishes. Some variations of Aloo Tama include cheese and chili peppers as well.
  3. Bangladesh and Nepal consume a lot of rice and lentils. Additionally, the practice of preserving foods through techniques like drying and fermenting is common in these nations. Curries are an important part of both cuisines as well. However, one big difference is that freshwater fish are more commonly eaten in Bangladesh, since it is located on a large river delta.
  4. Pakistan is yet another country on this list that borders the Himalayas. The influence of Mughal cuisine on both countries is evident in the intricate spice blends and the prevalence of kebabs and curries. Although Pakistan’s cuisine may be more meat-centric, they both have a shared appreciation for robust flavors. Both cuisines incorporate a variety of pickles and chutneys to add tanginess and flavor to meals.
  5. Bahrain is an Arab country, however it has many immigrants from South Asia. As a result, many of the region’s dishes are commonly consumed there. Dishes like biryani, kebabs, curries, and various types of bread are commonly enjoyed in both Bahrain and Nepal. South Asian groceries are also prevalent in the country.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Nepal

5 Countries with the Least Similar Food to Nepal

The five countries with the least similar food to Nepal are primarily in two different locations: Sub-Saharan Africa and the South Pacific. The agriculture in these countries is significantly different, as staple ingredients like rice, potatoes, and wheat are more commonly consumed in Nepal.

  1. Micronesia is a group of small islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It relies heavily on seafood, tropical fruits, and root crops as a result. The country’s relative isolation has limited its exposure to foreign influences. Micronesian cuisine tends to focus more on the natural flavors of ingredients, with an emphasis on freshness and simplicity.
  2. Central African Republic is a former French colony that is located in the middle of Africa. Cassava and yam are two of the most commonly eaten staple ingredients in the country. These starches are used to create a diverse range of dishes that reflect the country’s cultural and culinary diversity.
  3. Solomon Islands is a Melanesian archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. Most of its people live near the coast, so seafood is common in the country’s cuisine. Sweet potatoes, yams, and coconuts are all popular ingredients in the food there.
  4. South Sudan is a landlocked country in Africa. Cassava and sorghum are the staple foods in South Sudan. South Sudanese cuisine tends to be more rustic and hearty, while Nepali cuisine is known for its delicate use of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables.
  5. Papua New Guinea is another Melanesian country on this list. Nepal’s proximity to the Himalayas impacts its cuisine. Dishes from the mountainous regions often include ingredients like yak meat, buckwheat, and millet, unlike in Papua New Guinea.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Nepal

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Nepal’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Buffalo, Freshwater Fish
Fruit: Mango, Banana
Vegetable: Lentil, Chili Pepper
Starch: Rice, Potato

Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.

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