Wherever you go in this world, you will find some sort of special traditional local foods there. Every place and every country has its special type of traditional food that reflects many things about that place or country. Gundruk is one of these kinds of traditional foods in Nepal. It is one of the most popular and loved dishes in Nepal.
Like other countries, Nepal has many traditional foods that tell about different things about Nepal and Nepalese. In this article, we are going to tell you about Gundruk-one of the most popular traditional foods of Nepal.
If you are a Nepalese, then you surely know about it. So even either if you have heard its name or have eaten it, after reading this blog post, you will still be going to know at least some new information or fact about this traditional Nepali dish. Stay till the end of this article.
What Is Gundruk?
This is a traditional Nepali food that you can found in almost every household of Nepal. It has always been one of the most popular traditional Nepalese dishes. It is also regarded as one of the national foods of Nepal.
It is basically a dried fermented leaf of green vegetables. These leaves can be any green vegetables like Mustard, Radish, Turnip, Cauliflower, etc. It is mostly used to make Soup(Gundruk Ko Jhol), and Pickle(Gundruk Ko Achar).
It is a versatile food item that can be served both as an appetizer or a side dish, but it can also be made into a soup.
Due to the fact that it is a great source of minerals, it is especially important in rural areas of the country where people mostly feed on maize and tubers. During winter and monsoon, when vegetables are hardly available, it turns out to be a very good source of nutrition for Nepalese of the rural areas.
Since it is protected by moisture, it can be used for months, even for a year, and more once it is prepared and made.
Though Gundruk is very authentic to Nepal and is enjoyed by almost every ethnicity of Nepal, it is widely popular in the hilly and mountain regions of Nepal than the Terai.
How To Make Gundruk?
Since it is a very traditional dish of Nepal, it is made completely with the traditional way. And this traditional way of making it has helped to maintain its originality.
As you know Gundruk is a dried fermented green vegetable made up of leaves of mustard, turnip, radish, cauliflower, etc. It is mostly made in the months of October and November, as it is the time in Nepal when the fresh leaves of radish, mustard, cauliflowers are available in larger quantities.
Process Of Making Gundruk:
Now follow these steps to make Gundruk made of leaves of mustard, radish, or cauliflower. It’s very easy to make Gundruk but it takes a long time almost a month to get the best quality of it.
- Once the leaves are collected, you can allow these leaves to wilt for one or two days in the sun, and then shred them with a knife or sickle.
- Not only the leaves, but you can also sometimes use roots of the plants too (only if they are small; big root makes it chewy) to make better quality Gundruk. You can mix roots of radish with the leaves and smashed them together. Don’t make it too small while smashing.
- Put those smashed pieces of stuff into a wooden or glass jar very compressed. Closed tightly the mouth of the container. Put it in a safe and sunny place. It may be placed under sunlight. Don’t open the lid often (let it ferment like kimchi).
- After few days let’s say 10-15 days, check the acidity (sourness), you can know if it is ready from its strong smell. And then keep them in sunlight to dry. This is the traditional way of making Gundruk. After few days take it off the sun and taste it. If it tastes sour, you are done.
Gundruk prepared in this way is tastier, more flavorsome, and more acidic. Now you can mix it with any vegetables and eat it or you can make Gundruk Ko Jhol or Gundruk Ko Achar from this. These two are the most popular dishes that are made from Gundruk.
Gundruk Ko Jhol(Soup)
It is a soup that is made using Gundruk as the main ingredient with soybean(bhatamaas). This is the most popular dish that is made using Gundruk. It is mostly consumed in the Winter season so that people can eat hot soup during wintertime. In the Himalayan region of Nepal where there is cold throughout the year, people prefer consuming this special soup most of the time. That’s why it is also known as Himalayan Soup because of its popularity more in the Himalayan region.
Gundruk Ko Achar(Pickle)
It is another popular and loved dish in Nepal. It is mostly used as a side dish with the national food of Nepal Daal Bhat and Tarkari. It is also used as an appetizer. The sour taste and texture of fermented Gundruk make this dish mouthwatering and flavorful.
Here are some benefits of eating Gundruk.
- It is rich a rich source of minerals. So it provides a good amount of minerals to the body. Either you eat its soup or pickle, it will help you.
- Fermentation and sun-drying of greens enhance the nutritious value of vitamin C and D without destroying the original health benefits.
- It also adds digestive properties and enhances appetite.
Gundruk And Nepalese
By far, you must have come to know that Gundruk is a very authentic and auspicious dish among Nepalese. It can be also informally called “National Curry”. It is loved and enjoyed by people from the Mountain region to the people from the Hilly and the Terai.
Not only people living in Nepal like this traditional dish but wherever in the world there are Nepalese, it is liked by them all. Its estimated production in Nepal is about 2000 tons, and most of the production is carried out at the household level. This is what it means to Nepalese and Nepalese households.
It is said that Gundruk is originated in Kirtipur, Kathmandu. It is believed that when Prithvi Narayan Shah attacked Kirtipur for the unification of the Kingdom Of Nepal, then the people of Kirtipur hid the leaves of green vegetables. And after some time when they took out those leaves, this dish is supposed to come in origin since then. Though there are no texted documents or some proof that prove this fact, it is believed so.
There is no doubt on the fact that Gundruk is one of the most loved, auspicious, and popular dishes for Nepalese living all over the world. The significance of this dish can be noticed in different Nepali pop-culture. With time, even being one of the traditional Nepali dishes, the popularity of Gundruk seems to increase day by day instead of decreasing.
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Q1. What Is Gundruk?
Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable that is very popular in Nepal. It is one of the best traditional dishes in Nepal.
Q2. What Does Gundruk Taste Like?
Gundruk has a strong acidic and fermented taste and a varying degree of sourness. Though its taste differs from person to person who makes it.
Q3. Is Gundruk Good For Health?
Gundruk is a good source of minerals. So, it provides minerals to the body.
Q4. What Is Gundruk Called In English?
There is no English word that exactly gives the meaning of Gundruk. But it can be described in English. Since it is a fermented leafy green vegetable, in English Gunruk can be called as “Dish of fermented and dried vegetables”.