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Chatamari

A plate of chatamari, Nepali crepe, with some sides of beans, potatoes, and meat from Kathmandu.

What: It’s sometimes called Nepali pizza, but that’s really only because it’s round, flat, and is served with a mixture of chopped-up toppings on the surface. But that’s really where the similarities end, as Newari chatamari and pizza are nothing alike in taste or ingredients.

If you really need a comparison to a European dish, chatamari is more like a French crepe: made from a batter of rice flour, eggs, and mixed spices (chili powder, cumin powder, ginger-garlic paste), and then fried on a flat pan and sprinkled with toppings as it’s still being cooked. The toppings can be anything from a simple cracked egg to minced buffalo or chicken meat, plus chopped tomato and cilantro (coriander) to add some freshness and zest. It can be served open and flat (resembling a pizza) or folded into halves or quarters—like a crepe. Here's where to try chatamari in Kathmandu.

Where: Newa Lahana (Kirtipur, 44818, map) is an institution, and commonly known across the whole of Kathmandu as the best place to go for authentic Newari food. The décor is simple; you sit on straw mats on the floor. Service is slow, and you probably won’t get everything you ordered (plus some things that you didn’t). But that doesn’t stop it from being a local favorite. There’s no better place to try a chatamari.

When: Daily, from around 11am-9:30pm

Order: The “rice flour crepe with buff,” as it’s listed on the menu here (Rs 150), is indeed folded over like a crepe. It’s stuffed with rich buffalo meat and onions and goes well with side dishes like those pictured: piro aloo (spicy potato curry), batmas (fried soybeans), and sukuti (dried meat). (Expect to pay Rs 60-80 for these small side servings.)

Alternatively: The Village Café (Pulchowk, Patan, 44601, map) does chatamari that look more like pizzas, as they’re left open and not folded over.


 

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