Pizza is the most common Italian food that we can find in Malaysia, other than pasta. Everyone loves pizza, it is flavourful and can be shared among friends. Pizza is often deemed as the perfect dish for any sort of hangout sessions or parties. When there is a large crowd involved, there will be pizzas for everyone.
However, there is a type of European pizza that is somewhat similar to our traditional pizza. Yet, it is not commonly found here. It is called Chatamari. Chatamari is also known as the Nepali pizza. This is not only because it was first created in Kathmandu, but also because of its special round and flat shape that looks like a mini toast pizza.
Chatamari can be seen at roadside stalls in Nepal, and it has become a popular street food as well.
Origin Of Chatamari
Chatamari is actually like a rice crepe in Nepal. Since it is known as Nepali pizza, you may have guessed the origin country of this particular bread. This dish is a traditional speciality in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Often, in Nepal, Chatamari is eaten during festive seasons and special occasions, including New Year and weddings. It can be served as a main course or a snack too. In Nepal’s culture, Chatamari is popular as a snack and appetiser in restaurants.
However, for their occasion of Puja, which is the praying rituals for Hindu gods, Chatamari has no toppings on the surface. It is only served plainly with the rice crepe.
If you are a small eater, you may get one of these to fill up your belly. Since the invention of Chatamari, this popular dish has ventured across the globe. It is widely known in European countries as well.
What Does Chatamari Consist Of?
Since it is a sort of pizza, you may be expecting flavourful and meat toppings on it! This is somewhat true, but instead of usual flour dough, Chatamari is made of rice flour. Therefore, the Chatamari base itself is referred to as rice crepe.
It is then topped with savoury ingredients, such as eggs, beef, minced meat or lamb. Chatamari is a simple dish that anyone can make. However, the flavours and spices used are different from Italian pizzas.
Usually, for regular pizzas, we often add all kinds of herbs including rosemary, thyme, oregano and salt and pepper to enhance the flavour. Instead, for Chatamari, the spices used are more suited for oriental flavours, such as cumin, ginger, garlic, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and more.
For a vegetarian version of Chatamari, this type of pizza does not have any meat toppings. Often, people will add in coriander, onions, chickpeas, leafy vegetables, capsicums, tomatoes and more.
Since Chatamari is made of rice flour, this Nepali pizza is not traditionally baked in an oven like the traditional ones. Chatamari is usually cooked on top of the stove on a hot pan. It is best to slow-cook the entire pizza with a low flame to bring out the flavours from the toppings.
Where To Find Chatamari?
Chatamari is not common in Malaysia, in fact, I have never seen this in any restaurant before! But all is good since Chatamari does not require much ingredients and hassle, you can cook this on your own and create your version of Nepali pizza. The ingredients used for Chatamari is relatively easy to find in any grocery stores in markets.
If you are lazy to head out for food hunting, go for foodpanda instead! Foodpanda offers wide varieties of cuisines, and it delivers right to your doorstep. Dine with foodpanda today!