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Kuala Lumpur - Fabulous Nepali Cuisine at Khukri Restaurant

k
klyeoh Sep 16, 2012 03:50 AM

Named after the lethal curved blade used by Nepali Gurkhas both as a tool & a weapon, Khukri Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur's "Little Nepal" area (behind Kotaraya) serves up a fabulous selection of 100% authentic-tasting Nepali dishes.

My lunch set today ("Khukurako Masu Ra Bhat") consisted of steamed white rice, accompanied by:
- Jhuneko dhal, a very tasty bean curry made from tiny chickpeas (half the size of the usual ones)
- A strong-tasting "gundruk" soup ("gundruk" referred to fermented leafy vegetables gathered from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. It's Nepal's answer to Korean "kimchi" ore German "sauerkraut", except that "gundruk" is MUCH more strong-smelling, after being mashed, packed into earthenware jars, buried in the ground and left to ferment)
- a Nepali chicken (khukura) curry packed full of flavors. It's more robust and has a smoky taste compared to Indian curries.
- "Tama ko achar" vegetable-pickle salad
- "Dahi", yoghurt-like milk curd

I also ordered a platter of meat-and-vegetable steamed "momo" dumplings, which turned out to be utterly delicious. The skin closely approximates those of Chinese "jiaozu" ( 餃子) dumplings, but I loved the Nepali version more for its "cleaner" flavors and nice crunch from the leeks/cabbage filling which complemented the chicken/pork filling perfectly. Also, the intriguing thick, slight-spicy dip was absolutely fabulous.

The "momos' here was much, much better than those I'd tried in Nepali restaurants in Singapore. Whereas Nepali restaurants in Singapore catered to a mixed crowd, with a sizeable Nepali clientele thrown in, the Nepali restaurants in KL catered to an almost exclusively Nepali customer base, which probably explained its authenticity and larger menu selection. Utterly delicious food! I am definitely coming back here for more.

Address details
============
The Khukri
No.26 (First Floor)
Jalan Tan Tun Siew Sin (Jalan Silang)
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2072 0663

 
 
 
 
 
  1. p
    penang_rojak Sep 16, 2012 08:51 PM

    Ghurka food? Are they close to Northern Indian cuisine?

    9 Replies
    1. re: penang_rojak
      huiray Sep 16, 2012 10:43 PM

      Some of those diners in klyeoh's last photo don't look very gurkha-ish to me... ;-P

      Interesting-looking food.

      1. re: huiray
        k
        klyeoh Sep 16, 2012 11:23 PM

        huiray, I think you're referring to the Nepalis' physical appearance, right? Some of them have the Mongoloid/East Asian features and most probably from the Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Rai & Limbu ethnic tribes who're traditionally recruited into the Gurkha army corps. They originate from modern-day Tibet and Mongolia.

        The majority of Nepalis looked Indian (Indo-Aryan): the Chhetri, Bramhan, Newar, etc. which comprises 80% of the country's population. But the high-profile image of the East Asian-looking Gurkhas gave the world the image that Nepalis looked like that.

        The Nepalis in Kuala Lumpur are almost exclusively employed in the private security services industry. There are currently about 300,000 Nepalis living in Malaysia, the 5th-highest country with Nepali presence in the world (3 times the number of those living in the US). Comparatively, there are only about 9,000-10,000 Nepalis living in Singapore: half of them are Gurkhas serving in the Singapore police/army and their family members, the other half in private security firms. I had my first taste of Nepali food at the Gorkha Grill (Singapore's first Nepali restaurant) back in the early-90s - it's closed down and one of the founders went on to open Everest Kitchen (http://www.everestkitchen.com.sg/inde...).

        Interestingly, most of the Nepali security guards in my condominium complex looked like fair-skinned Indians, but the senior ones (supervisors) all looked East Asian/Gurkha-like. But socially, there doesn't seem to be any barrier to the different-looking ethnic groups mixing together here - at Khukri restaurant yesterday, you see a mixed crowd. I guess they are also bound together by their religion, mainly Hindus and with a Buddhist minority

        1. re: klyeoh
          huiray Sep 16, 2012 11:55 PM

          Yep - I was indeed thinking of "gurkha" as applied to members of those tribes you listed and as recruited into the Gurkha units of various armies around the world [including in Singapore :-) ].

          Nice write-up about Nepalis in KL.

      2. re: penang_rojak
        k
        klyeoh Sep 16, 2012 11:31 PM

        P_R, the momos are very similar to Chinese dumplings, but with a nicer texture - the addition of vegetables gave the meat filling a nice crunch.

        The curries were very Indian-like - liquid like South Indian curries, not buttery-rich like Moghul cooking.

        1. re: penang_rojak
          k
          klyeoh Sep 16, 2012 11:59 PM

          Photos from Singapore's Amber Restaurant on Serangoon Road (where I dined at last year) which served both Nepali and North Indian cuisine. Besides the "Momo" dumplings (which had chicken & scallions filling), I also ordered another Nepali dish, "Sekuwa", which was spicy grilled chicken, almost kebab-like in texture, but has a different taste which the menu explained was due to the use of mountain herbs in the marinade.

           
           
           
           
          1. re: klyeoh
            huiray Sep 17, 2012 12:23 AM

            It seems that "momo" is a "Newari cuisine" (Kathmandu) item within Nepalese cuisine...
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momo_%28food%29
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newa_cui...

            1. re: huiray
              k
              klyeoh Sep 17, 2012 12:45 AM

              Hey, I neglected to check these Wiki entries out - thanks, huiray. So, it *is* the same as "jiaozu" - I'd always felt these two morsels were separated at birth.

              BTW, did you read further down that first Wiki link in your post? Snickers or Mars Bar-filled sweet momos? Good Gawd!!

              1. re: klyeoh
                huiray Sep 17, 2012 05:31 AM

                Yes, I saw that. Ick. Definitely for 'mercan tourists who probably love that blast from "home". (I suppose lotus seed fillings or bean paste fillings would be impractical in Nepal? Can you tell I just came from that mooncake thread? :-) )

                1. re: huiray
                  k
                  klyeoh Sep 17, 2012 07:34 AM

                  LOL! 'Tis the mooncake season now anyway.

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