7:30 am

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I could spend a whole day wandering Asan Tole and not run out of things to see. Ingredients that are difficult to procure back home are commonplace and dirt cheap here. Makes the most gourmet of supermarkets look like a joke.

Rarely will you find more colors than in cuisines where spices are a primary feature, and Nepali cooking thrives on them. Cardamom, saffron, turmeric, anise, cumin, cinnamon - their exotic names run off the tongue beautifully. Large blocks of Himalayan rock salt sit in sacks, their pinkish crystals giving off an unassuming, almost exquisite charm. Food is so fascinating even in its raw form.

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