Plant-Based Himalaya: Vegan Recipes from Nepal

Plant-Based Himalaya: Vegan Recipes from Nepal

by Babita Shrestha
Plant-Based Himalaya: Vegan Recipes from Nepal

Plant-Based Himalaya: Vegan Recipes from Nepal

by Babita Shrestha


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The art of healthy cooking is all about loving yourself and spreading that love to those around you. It's even better when you can cook a delicious meal and also help protect the environment.

In Plant-Based Himalaya, Nepalese author Babita Shrestha shares 38 vegan recipes from her home country that she has been cooking and eating since she was very young, including mouthwatering grains, dal, curries, greens, sauces, and desserts. In addition to food, Shrestha introduces her beloved Nepal along with her personal goals for a plant-based diet: decreasing mass production and consumption of unhealthy processed food in plastic packaging.

Featuring 250 beautiful full-color photos, Plant-Based Himalaya is designed to inspire you to cook and eat exquisitely vegan home-style Nepali cuisine. Make it exceptional, and share it with your loved ones!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684351923
Publisher: Red Lightning Books
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Pages: 362
Sales rank: 629,903
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Babita Shrestha is the creative mind behind Vegan Nepal ( After becoming vegan in 2016, she grew even more passionate about cooking delicious and healthy plant-based meals. Born in Nepal's Bara district, Shrestha is a chef, photographer, graphic designer, and filmmaker with a BFA in graphic design from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. She splits her time between Lexington, Kentucky, and Nepal.

Read an Excerpt

Nepal is an ancient country of pristine landscapes in Southeast Asia, situated between India, Tibet, and China. Due to its wide range of geographical features, it is richly endowed with agro-biodiversity. Nepal is also a melting pot of various cultures, every group having individual traditions and cuisines.

The majority of Nepali citizens are directly involved in some form of agriculture. Although modern farming has been implemented in many places, some prefer to use ancient food-growing techniques that can be highly labor-intensive. For the last several decades, farmers in Nepal have started using more chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with the goal of producing more crops per year. However, organic methods are still favored by most of the locals, especially when farming to feed themselves and their families. I love that it is so easy to find fresh, seasonal, homegrown, farm-to-table vegetables and other produce all year round in Nepal.

The Himalayan region of Nepal covers about 15% of the country's total land area. It also has the smallest population of the three regions due to the cold weather and lower concentration of farmland. Himalaya comprises over 200 peaks that stand over 6,000 meters and includes the highest point in the world, Sagarmatha (now known as Mt. Everest). People of Sherpa descent are the indigenous ethnic group of this zone.

This mountainous region of Himalaya is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Nepal, and yet most of it continues to remain unexplored and uninhabited because of extreme geographical features and harsh climate. Home to some of the most beautiful and rare animals in the world, this region is also blessed with exotic flora not found anywhere else on this earth.

KWATI Mixed Beans

Kwati (sprouted nine-bean soup) is an auspicious Newari dish. It is prepared during the full moon and during the celebration of Janai Purnima, a Hindu festival when Brahman priests change their sacred threads. "Kwa" means hot and "ti" means soup in the Newari language. The spectrum of mixed beans blends to create a truly distinct flavor, paralleling the confluence of diverse cultures that embody Nepal.

COOK TIME ~ 30 minutes

Kwati bean: 2 cups
Red onion: 2 small
Tomato: 9 small

Sunflower oil: 2 tbsp
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric: tsp
Bay leaf: 2 leaves
Garlic: 5 cloves
Ginger: 4 slices
Cardamom: 6 cloves
Clove: 4 buds
Cinnamon: tsp
Fresh green chili: 3 medium
Cilantro: cup
Salt: 1 tsp

1. Wash mixed beans and soak overnight in 4 cups of water. Drain the water next day and put the beans in a cheesecloth or breathable cotton cloth. You can leave them on the countertop or refrigerator for an extra day to get more sprouts. Gently rinse the beans before you start cooking.
2. Boil the beans in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and teaspoon of salt.
3. Once the whistle blows, lower the heat and cook for 7 minutes more. Turn the heat off and let it cool down.
4. Heat another pan on medium and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Fry for few seconds and then add chopped onion, finely chopped fresh green chilis, and whole bay leaves. Fry until the onion turns golden brown.
5. Grind ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves with a mortar and pestle. Add to the pan with a tablespoon of water and mix it well.
6. Once the spices start changing color in a minute, add turmeric and cumin powder. Fry for few seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and rest of the salt. Mix together well and cover for 2 minutes.
7. Remove the lid and add the boiled beans. Stir and simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
8. Add chopped cilantro to the dish for extra flavor. Mouthwatering kwati is now ready to serve!

I prefer kwati with roti, but sometimes I eat it with rice and of course some golveda ko achaar on side.
When I'm in a rush, I soak kwati overnight and cook them next day. Make it a thick gravy if you are planning to eat it with roti.
You can also boil potatoes, carrots, or any other vegetables with kwati if you love the dish and want some variety. Sometimes I add more water to make kwati soup and have some salad on the side for lunch.

Mixed beans (kwati): kwati is mixed beans consisting of garden pea, green mung bean, cow pea, red kidney beans, chickpea (chana), soybean, black-eyed peas, black lentils, and fava beans. If you cannot find all of these beans, just substitute with what you have. Mixed beans will still tastes great regardless of the specific beans you use. As a last resort, you can always use the canned beans available at your local grocery.

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