A Nice Hot Bowl of Gundruk (Nepalese) in Bethesda

This is my first time seeing gundruk on a menu. At Maya Cuisine about a block away from Round House Theatre.

Gundruk is a soup made from an assortment of dried green leaves. The soup here comes out as a small, very thick and spicy bowl filled with a lot of chewy leaves and stems combined with soybeans, ginger, coriander and other spices. It’s a potent, very delicious concoction that is also very salty, but the rest of the ingredients hold up well to the hit of salt.

Along with the soup, I ordered keema naan, which came out a lot softer and fluffier than I would have thought. Nicely spiced keema made this a hearty treat. Was a great accompaniment to the gundruk. And the two together made for a filling, cheap meal.

From another website:
Gundruk is probably the most popular and loved food in Nepal. It is very authentic to Nepal and enjoyed by all ethnic communities in Nepal from terai, hills to mountains. It is dried fermented leafy vegetables, made generally from mustard green leaves (rayo ko saag), radish leaves (mula ko saag), cauliflower leaves (cauli ko paat). In Nepal, when we have excess these leafy vegetables before winter, we usually put them in clay pots for a week or more to ferment, and later sun-dried, which can be store for a year or more.


I never encountered grundruk in Nepal and that makes me sad because it sounds delicious and hearty; ie, right up my alley. I wonder if it’s eaten in the mornings. There were many mornings when a cozy bowl of soup would have been welcomed.

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we have quite a few Nepalese places in the DC area, and it’s the first I’ve heard of it. Maybe the website I quoted is overly enthusiastic?


We’re heading to DC in mid-February for our now-annual trip. I’m going to try to work in a Nepali meal if the guys are amenable.

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I’m wondering what the color comes from? That is a deep, dark, rich-looking stew. Yum.

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Gundruk is a unique find! Tried it for the first time too – that spicy, salty kick was something else. Paired it with keema naan, surprisingly fluffy. Definitely a filling and budget-friendly combo. Cheers to discovering new flavors!


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Welcome to Hungry Onion!

So… you went to Maya Cuisine in Bethesda?


The place to go for Nepali food is Royal Nepal in Alexandria, VA

One of my favorite meals is their buffalo momo, the yak chili (though careful, it is incendiary), and the crispy okra. In addition, their whole fish is really fine. Definitely worth going out of your way for.

And just so you know, I could probably get some folks together in your honor, though it sounds like you have a built-in group of your own.


The dried leaves were that color…

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My eating cohort consists of my husband and an unadventurous (in terms of food) 9-year-old. Not exactly HO caliber. :laughing:

Thanks for this kind offer but we have limited time and of touristic plans. If we eat slightly better than last year, I will consider our trip to be a victory.

Gundruk are the fermented (usually mustard) greens themselves — Similar to chinese pickled/salted mustard greens. I think what you had is gundruk ko jhol/jhor, which is a bit of the greens and other things made into a soup (jhol = water / watery gravy / thin curry).

Do they have tingmo on the menu? Might be a better match in its blandness and spongy texture for the salt and intensity of the soup. Almost exactly like Chinese steamed bread (shaped slightly differently).

I usually order Thukpa at a new-to-me Nepali or Tibetan places (plus momos) — the unadorned flavor of the soup (there’s no curry-ness to it) is a good benchmark of the cooking. Plus, delicious!

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If he likes dumplings of any sort, he’ll enjoy momos!

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Maya Cuisine does not bill themselves as Nepali, and the menu is mostly not. Alas, no tingmo. Or thukpa… But I will now be on the lookout for those, so thanks!

Makes sense, especially in a non-south asian area. Though the green chicken soup mentions Nepali herbs, and momo and jhol momo are usually giveaways of someone of Nepali or Tibetan heritage in the back :grin: (though they’ve got several dishes, so it’s probably just them catering to what sells around there rather than what their heritage is).

You might enjoy this article:

And this one:

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Thanks so much for the recipe. I am not sure what access I have to gundruk, but I do have some Armenian aveluk in the pantry, so I might start out with that… will provide a good sour component.

Enjoy! And share pics.

It’s lovely that different cultures have similar food traditions such that ingredients can be mixed and matched to arrive at a taste one is in seeking so far away from either source!

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You lost me… I don’t think they have tacos.

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