Not your normal plate of bar snacks at the pub.
Mustang is a valley ringed with mountains in northern Nepal, where the cooking reflects the influence of Tibet. There are many fascinating vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu, but, alas, no yak.
The dish you see before you is bhatmas chiura as served at Mustang Thakali Kitchen in Jackson Heights, Queens. The name designates soybeans that have been toasted and incorporated into a salad dressed with mouth-searing quantities of yellow mustard oil, which also render the salad fragrant. Green onions are another strong flavor presence.
On the other side of the plate is chira, also known as beaten rice. The soft flakes are pleasant to chew on, but without discernible flavor. Chira is made by soaking, toasting, and then beating grains of rice flat.
One bite of toasted soybean salad, one bite of beaten rice, what could be better?
Mustang Thakali Kitchen
74-14 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, Queens
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