Chatamari: The Thin, Spicy Nepali Pizza You Ought To Try Once

It is common knowledge that ‘Pizzas’ were invented in Italy. However, similar baked breads with toppings of cheese, sauces and herbs have existed even in ancient times. In the camps of King Darius, back in 6th century BC, the Persian soldiers would bake flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields. Even after Italy established itself as the creator of Pizza, the snack was reimagined in various ways. Like the Chicago Grill Pizza, which was in fact, conceived in an American restaurant, and looked a lot like a pie than a pizza. This makes us wonder, does Pizza have counterparts in the East too? As a matter of fact, it does. Be it the Manakish or the Utappam, the concept of topping pieces of bread or crepes with a variety of toppings is fairly common in the East as well. With the rise in popularity of Himalayan food, we are also slowly and steadily exploring a world beyond dumplings and soups. Chatamari is Nepali delicacy, that in also referred to as the ‘Nepali Pizza’ by many.

In Nepal, you would find very subtle differences in the food habits and preparations of different communities. For instance, the Newari community of Kathmandu valley uses spices, green chillies, peppers very freely in their delicacies. Chatamari is one of the most beloved delicacies hailing from the Newari households. It is essentially a thin rice crepe, that comes with various toppings such as pork, green chillies, peas, carrots, and even cheese. The delicacy is prepared widely for special occasions or festivities. Because of its richness, it is not prepared or eaten everyday. On regular days, Newari food is a soothing and comforting mix of lentils, veggies and pickles.

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To prepare Chatamari, you first need to make a thin rice flour batter, and on a hot griddle, with the help of a ladle make a perfectly round crepe, which will act as a base of your Chatamari. Further, all there is left to do is add the toppings. Chatamari is distinguished on basis of the ingredients used. You can have vegetarian, egg, pork or chicken chatamari depending upon your choice. Combine all the toppings like meat, spices, ginger paste and eggs in one bowl and add on top of the crepe. Cook on medium flame, and if you wish, you can add some cheese and tomatoes on top, some cilantro for garnish would not be a bad idea.

Have you ever tried Chatamari? Or have tried making it at home. Here's a detailed recipe you can try.