Food by Bal Krishna Shrestha: Buffalo meat salad
2019-01-01 12:44:05 -
Food & Drink


By Bal Krishna Shrestha


Here’s a dish you’ve likely never heard of before: an authentic Nepalese salad with ginger, garlic, fenugreek, lemon and spring coriander, and the star ingredient - buffalo meat.

The name ‘choyela’ comes from the Newari language, but the dish is common among many ethnic groups in the region, though it’s mostly prepared in Kathmandu Valley.

Due to increased communication and mobility, other parts of the country have been adopting and adapting it in recent years. If you can’t find buffalo meat (farmed by Toonsbridge Buffalo Meat in Co Cork), don’t worry: you can substitute with chicken, pork, lamb, turkey and even mushrooms.


Serves 8

800g lean buffalo meat

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1 medium onion, sliced

2 plum tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

75ml lemon juice

1/2 tsp black salt (available in Asian


1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp fresh ginger and garlic, finely


150ml oil (mustard oil preferred, but

   vegetable oil will do)

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

Trim the fat from the meat and cut into lengthwise strips.

Marinate the meat with half of oil, salt, and the ginger and garlic pastes, and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

When ready, place the marinated meat and plum tomato in a baking dish and grill on high, turning halfway through, until the meat is slightly browned on both sides.

Remove from the oven grill and leave aside to cool. Then cut the meat into cubes, crush or chop the tomato, and put both in a salad bowl.

Add the chilli, lemon juice, black salt, ground cumin, coriander, fresh ginger and garlic, and onion and stir.

Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan on medium to high heat with the fenugreek seeds. Cook till the seeds turn dark brown, then add the turmeric.

Remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot oil over the salad, and mix it well with wooden spoon.

Serve the salad cold as a starter and enjoy with any other crispy vegetable salad or with bread.

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