Food from Nepal: Chicken Reshami Kabab

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ May 27th, 2013. Updated on June 1st, 2013. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Nepali food.
Chicken Reshami Kebab from Nepal

Chicken Reshami Kabab from Nepal or is it something else?

Chicken Reshami Kabab

I first discovered this incredible dish back in 2008. You can see the original photo below. It amazed me. Tender succulent chicken wrapped in sugar string like candy floss.

Served with a mint sauce and naan bread it’s one of the nicest chicken dishes I’ve ever had.

The problem is I can find nothing out about this dish!! Read on …

My first encounter with Reshami Kabab in Kathmandu

I was randomly picking off new dishes from a popular local Indian/Nepalese restaurant in Kathmandu when I came across Reshami Kebab.

The waiter corrected my pronunciation, “Rash-eeee-me Kebab.” 

Okay, fair enough. Let me have one of those without the added vowels.

What arrived at my table looked like small portions of yellow hairy chicken!

The yellowed chicken was in fact covered with a candy floss like ball of sugar string. Not being overly fond of sweet dishes I had my doubts. But the truth was that Reshami kebab is delicious!

Chicken Reshami kebab covered in sugar string

Chicken Reshami kebab covered in sugar string from 2008

What does Reshami Kabab taste like

Once you’ve broken through the candyfloss like sugar string  the chicken underneath is some of the most tender succulent chicken I’ve ever had in Nepal.

I’ve asked how it was made and am told it’s marinated in butter, yogurt and masala. This explains the softness and subtle flavors.

What’s really unusual is that there are also little sprigs of coriander on the chicken. Normally in Nepal this is dried or already a part of a dishes curry. Something special was going on with this Kabab!

A return to Reshami Kabab

On my return to Nepal one of the first things I wanted to try again was this Chicken Reshami Kabab. The staff had changed though. And so had the decoration on my Reshami Kabab. The wild sugar string was no longer a big thick ball. It was all a lot smaller. I explained to the very nice waiter about the previous kabab and he went off to scowl at the chef. Even showing him the previous photo I had taken.

Three nights later and we came to the conclusion the new chef just couldn’t make the sugar string like the old one. The good news in all this is that the chef still made a really good Reshami Kabab in relation to taste. He really tried hard but  just couldn’t make the eye candy work as well!

What is Reshami Kabab?

Full plate of Chicken Reshami kebab

Full plate of Chicken Reshami kabab but does it have another name?

I know Nepalese kitchens misspell things on the menu. This is spelled precisely “Chicken Reshami Kabab”. I’ve not seen it anywhere else. An internet search brings up “Reshmi kabab” which is not the same thing.

If you’ve every seen a dish that looks like this please let me know in the comments what you think or know it to be!

Meanwhile if you ever come across a dish like this in person my advice is to eat it! Chicken Reshami Kabab by any name is simply delicious!!

 This is an additional article featuring Nepalese food

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11 Great responses to Food from Nepal: Chicken Reshami Kabab

  1. Derek says:

    Have you ever thought about posting the restaurant names? I see lots about food but not about where to find it!

    • You can find restraunts I recommend in Nepal travel guide. I’m not reviewing restaurants here, I’m looking at the food you can find in the countries I travel. I’m not reviewing the food either, just writing about it. If you travel to a country I’ve written about you’ll be able to see the type of food they have there and decide if you might like it or not.

  2. Palawan Martin says:

    Bizarre dish, Nepal begins to intrigue me too.
    Interesting that you use the European words for foods not American English ones ‘coriander’ etc why ?

  3. Jane says:

    It looks like hairy chicken! Weird.

  4. Anna's World says:

    If I were to guess. I’d say this might be a house special? Perhaps the first chef created it and that’s why nobody else can recreate the dish!

  5. Jan says:

    I like how it looks in the bottom photo. So colorful! I’d give it a try too.

  6. Auds says:

    That is a lovely looking dish. Thanks for the description, I might try and reproduce it for my next dinner party.