Namaste, or should we say Slàinte Mhar!
Who would have thought that Nepal, the land of the mighty Himalaya and a small, remote island on Scotland’s wild Atlantic coast have a “food & drink” connection.
Well, they do as a “wee dram” of whisky from the Isle of Jura and the traditional Nepali snack Sukuti Sandheko are a winning combination as far as Abhi, our Operations Manager in Nepal, is concerned.
Not just any old blended whisky either. Abhi is somewhat of a connoisseur of single malt whisky.
And not just any Sukuti Sandheko will do either. It has to be Abhi’s own sister Anurama’s Sukuti Sandheko.
Actually Abhi and several of his friends get together at his home in Kathmandu every now and again and become the unofficial “single malt whisky appreciation society of Nepal”.
When this happens Anurama prepares several Nepali snack dishes for Abhi and his friends to enjoy, but the one they love the most is Sukuti Sandheko! It’s very, very tangy and very, very “moreish”!!!!
Sukuti translates literally as “dried meat” and this tasty traditional snack can be found throughout Nepal and with some regional variations too, particularly with the dried meat element. We’ll be telling you more about Sukuti and how you can get dried meat to make this tasty treat later.
It’s a pretty simple dish to cook and as with all simple dishes, using the best quality ingredients is key.
Sukuti Sandheko is often served around Dashain time, but any time is good with this very tasty snack.
We’re using Anurama’s tried and tested recipe and if there’s a secret ingredient to this traditional Nepal food recipe then we reckon it must be “love” as Abhi tells us that although he too likes to cook this dish himself, Anurama’s is always the best!
Whilst Abhi enjoys the smokey, peaty flavours of an aged single malt whisky from the Isle of Jura to accompany Anurama’s Sukuiti Sandheko (or is it the other way around?), you can easily and quickly make this delicious treat at home and serve to your friends as a starter with whatever tipple you fancy, as part of hors d’oeuvres or as a table nibble.
Later in our series of Nepal food recipes we’ll feature other snack foods too, which you could combine with Anurama’s Sukuti Sandheko.
So, here’s Anurama’s yummy Sukuti Sandheko recipe…..
ANURAMA’S SUKUTI SANDHEKO RECIPE
Preparation time – Approx 20—30 mins
Cooking Time – Approx 5 mins
Serves– 4 persons
100g dried meat (see further below for more about this)
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic
Ginger (a piece around 10g will do)
2 teaspoons of cooking oil (e.g. vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon spoon of mustard oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed powder
- Soak the dried meat in warm water for about 10 minutes, then strain the water completely and hand shred the meat.
2. Heat the cooking oil on a medium heat and fry the dry meat for about 2-3 minutes
3. Slightly roast the tomatoes over a flame (or in a pre-heated oven) and then peel the skin off the tomatoes.
4. Make a paste combining the garlic and the ginger
5. In a separate bowl, put the fried, shredded meat, garlic and ginger paste, roasted & peeled tomatoes, add in 1 tablespoon of cumin seed powder and 1 dessert spoon of mustard oil.
6. Mix all the above ingredients thoroughly (preferably by hand)
7. Leave for about 15-20 minutes to marinade (although the longer the better)
And there you have it…a tangy, tasty snack to enjoy with or without the distinctive flavour of a single malt whisky.
About Sukuti/Dried Meat
In Nepal various dried meats are used. Most often water buffalo “buff”, mutton/lamb and in the Himalayan areas yak is often used. Venison is also used, although this is usually the preserve of high ranking army officials stationed in isolated, forested regions.
The drying process varies. High in the Himalaya, where the air is already much drier and colder than the lowlands the meat would be hung over a fireplace and thus have a more smokey flavour.
In other areas the locals simply dry the meat out in the sun.
Or you can buy it as Abhi does. His “go to” place being a grocer hidden away in the Jhamsikhel area of Patan.
OK, so you don’t live in Nepal and not surprisingly the man who runs Abhi’s favourite backstreet grocery store doesn’t have an online store either. But, don’t let that deter you from making this fun dish.
It’s pretty easy to find dried meat in most large supermarkets where it’s sold as “Biltong” or “Jerky”.
Better still (and depending on which country you live) a quick search on Google and you might even find Dried Himalayan Yak meat can be readily sourced. Just be careful that it’s for human consumption quality and grade, as it’s also available as a dog treat too.
We found this source for dry yak meat on Etsy although there were several others too.
Likely you’ll also find specialist online retailers of dried meats too.
Here’s one we found in the UK:
Instead of “buff” you can readily use beef and mutton/lamb as well as venison should also be be pretty easy to track down via the internet.
We found quite a lot of choice on Amazon
Generally speaking aim for the best quality dried meat you can (price is usually an indicator of quality).
In fact why not try making this dish using a different meat each time?
Oh…..and if you’d like to find out more about the whisky Abhi prefers to enjoy with his sister’s Sukuti Sandheko, here’s a link to the island distillery’s website.
Gratuitous, shameless advert time! Check out our website by clicking on the image below to discover lots of ideas for an adventure in Nepal.