Nepali Chukauni: Yoghurt-Based Potato Curry To Pair With Batuk
Image Credit: Tamalapaku

With potatoes being a key ingredient in many Nepalese dishes, it comes as no surprise that the country dishes out yet another offering – this time, a yoghurt-based, tempered potato salad of sorts, called chukauni. The closest parallel to draw with this dish would be the thechwani from Himachal Pradesh, closer to home and this cooling dish is typically eaten with fried lentil doughnuts called batuk. Although this combination might seem a bit odd at first, the tanginess from the yoghurt perfectly complements the bland potatoes and tempering of spices, making it a luscious and creamy recipe everyone should try.

The chukauni is a dish that finds its roots in the Palpa district of western Nepal – a place famously known for the handcrafting of traditional dhaka textile and national cap of the country, called the dhaka topi. This hilly region filled with looms was also the starting point of this summery yoghurt-based recipe, which is often consumed as a mid-day meal. While you might not find yourselves with the time or patience to fry lentil doughnuts on most days, you can still enjoy the chukauni with a bowl of steamed rice and a bit of pickle on the side.


Image Credits: SBS


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  • 2 large potatoes, boiled
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ¾ cup fresh yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • ½ tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt, to taste


  • Pulverise the sesame seeds to a coarse powder and add it to the yoghurt and mix well. Dice the potatoes and combine with the yoghurt mixture and sliced onions.
  • Add the minced ginger-garlic, green chillies, red chilli powder, chopped coriander and lemon juice before seasoning with salt and using a spoon to fold everything together.
  • Heat the mustard oil in a small pan and once it reaches smoking point, temper the fenugreek and mustard seeds before adding the turmeric and transferring the hot oil to pour over the yoghurt.
  • Mix everything well and check seasoning to adjust, if necessary. Serve with rice, puris, paratha or batuk.