A bit of Nepal in Shoreline - the Everest Kitchen

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mohan Gurung. Photo by Bernard Ouellette.
By Victoria Rhoades, ND

It was September 1993 when Mohan Gurung first came to America from his native Nepal. He had dreams and hopes, not the least of which was to get a visa for his wife to join him here. In Nepal, he worked in the emergency room of a hospital and his wife was a high school teacher. They were both busy professionals.

It was eight long years and a lot of paperwork and visits to embassies before she arrived in Seattle. He soon found that working in the medical field involved a long licensing process, and working as a medical aide was frustrating, knowing that he could be doing more to help people. And helping people is a passion of his.

He thought for a long time about how he could share his knowledge with others without expensive certification, and he took his cue from a very old saying in the medical profession: “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food” (Hippocrates). This philosophy, more simply stated, is that what we eat has a profound impact on our overall health. This is why he decided that it would be simplest to open up a restaurant, and Everest Kitchen, on Bothell Way, opened up seven years ago.

Interior of Everest Kitchen. Photo by Bernard Ouellette.
In addition, he works with the local Nepali community. He founded the Nepal Seattle Society, which works to help preserve Nepali culture for those who now live here, as well as provide support services when needed. This nonprofit organization can be found online.

Another dream of his is to teach others how to cook. As a doctor myself, I know how profoundly important diet is, and that dietary changes are most successful if someone knows how to cook foods in a healthy way that preserves nutrients – also in ways that are easy, fast, less expensive, and most importantly, that taste good. I applaud his goal and hope that he is successful in his endeavor to teach cooking.

Palungo Saag, Basmati Rice, and Vegetable Momo, Photo by Bernard Ouellette.
Nepali food – especially the classic dish of dal (lentil soup), bhaat (rice), and tarkari (seasonal vegetables) is sustaining, high fiber, and nutritious, while being both inexpensive and tasty. Granted, it has a high amount of carbohydrates, but the complex carbs and fiber make it healthier than a meal without fiber. Many is the time that this simple meal has helped me get to the top on a steep climb! 

While it is true that some of the food on his menu is higher in sugar and fat, a good portion of it is less so. 

Mohan is working to add symbols to his menu to identify which foods are higher in fiber and nutrients, as well as foods that certain people may want to steer towards (for example, dairy free foods for those who are lactose-intolerant). This will make ordering easier for many people.

Mohan and his wife, now both US citizens, happily live in the area and she teaches at a Montessori school on Mercer Island. He has two grown children. His daughter lives in San Jose, California, and his son lives and works locally.

He says “Namaste” (traditional Nepali “hello”) to all who come to Everest Kitchen for a meal. Namaste, Mohan!

Everest Kitchen: 14561 Bothell Way Northeast, Shoreline, WA 98155; 206-440-0321

Victoria Rhoades, ND, practices in Lake Forest Park, and loves to eat dal – it’s very tasty. I can cook it for myself, but I love Mohan’s recipe.


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