14 Nov 2017
8 min read
But here in Kathmandu that is not always avoidable because someone, at some point in time, in the past decided that that was how we should prepare this Italian dish, and everyone sort of agreed and followed that template from then on.
We, however, wanted to save you from the trouble of having to always eat those barely exciting, needlessly spicy and ridiculously oily spaghetti. So we went to Boudha, where a local eatery, Khawa Karpo, serves delicious spaghetti in a way that bucks the norm.
The first interesting thing you will notice about this freshly boiled spaghetti is that it looks pale like all foods without turmeric do to our Nepali eyes. And it’s not just the looks but the taste that is bland when it is served. And that’s the point. Unlike in many other places, here they simply boil the spaghetti and serve it steaming right out of the boiler instead of tossing it with other ingredients on a pan.
The part where Nepalis usually fry the spaghetti is completely omitted, for reasons to do with both health and palate. And as for seasoning it, even that is left to the diners. Well, in a way. The spaghetti is served on a bed of spinach and some tasty buffalo broth, savoury and all nicely seasoned. On top of the steaming pasta, they place a sizeable pile of cooked buffalo mince, from which the broth is made.
Now, you are to toss and turn the entire thing so that the flavours from the meat, broth and spinach infuse the dish. Salt, pepper and chilli are provided on the side, and you use either chopsticks or regular cutlery to mix everything together to combine all the spices and flavours on the plate.
The other interesting thing about this spaghetti is that there is only a slight bit of difference in both price and portion of its full serving and half serving. In any case, half a plate of this spaghetti is usually enough for one average person.
Because you’ll only be mixing all the cooked ingredients right before you eat, the spoonfuls of spaghetti you guide into your mouth present a nice mixture of textures—the mince meat’s, the spaghetti’s and the broth’s—which is not the case with the sloppy concoctions we are so used to. Once you’ve stuffed yourself, we’d advise you to order a cup of warm Tibetan tea, and let its goodness relax you before you take your leave of the place.