Indian cuisine, distinguished for its wide variety of spices, has garnered a large following across the United States and appears well-entrenched in the American restaurant market. Largely undiscovered, however, are the lighter and subtler flavors of its northern neighbor, Nepal, which is nestled in and around the jagged peaks of the Himalayas. Madisonians are offered a rare opportunity to sample the culinary traditions of this distant kingdom at three locations throughout the city, including Himal Chuli.

Head chef and owner Jamuna Shrestha emigrated from Nepal to Madison in 1975, shortly after her brother accepted a teaching post at the University of Wisconsin. The recipes of her Newar-speaking ancestors were introduced to the city when Shrestha founded Himal Chuli in 1986 at its present location at 318 State St. Along with 14 family members, Shrestha now operates two other Nepali restaurants in Madison, including Himal Chulií