Several years ago, Bharat Lamichhane found himself newly immigrated to the United States from Nepal. In preparing to make the journey, he thought everything would be automatic in pursuing his American Dream. However, those dreams quickly turned into reality and he realized he would have to grind it out in order to make it. On his second day in the U.S. he got a job working in a restaurant as a prep cook.
During his time working in kitchens at several different restaurants, Bharat would spend his down time coming up with his own creations that reminded him of home. As he gave them to co-workers to try, they would regularly say “Bharat, these are amazing! You really should start something on your own.” Finally, Bharat decided he would pursue his own American Dream, and MahaArat Cuisine and Catering was born.
Lamichhane describes his food as a fusion. “I wanted to make something that everyone can enjoy.” Bharat said. “Here in Houston, people love American food and Mexican food. I wanted to sell something that was a take on Tex-Mex but with a blend of my Nepali culture.”
At MahaArat you will find items that resemble chicken and cheese burritos or quesadillas, but include Nepali spices and flavors. Everything is made with fresh and healthy ingredients, and cooked in avocado oil.
“I make my food as if I am going to eat it.” Bharat explained. “If I don’t see it as healthy and fresh enough to eat, I won’t give it to my customers.”
What started as a small operation is now a full time job for Lamichhane as he sells at 5 different Farmers Markets. He has been at the Westchase District Farmers Market for almost 2 months and loves it. For him, Westchase District is the perfect location and he loves the customers. He is now beginning to have regulars.
A new item for MahaArat that has been receiving lots of buzz is his homemade yogurt. These are a labor of love for Bharat. Making them in batches of 6-7 mason jars at a time, each bath takes approximately 6 hours to make and then another 12 hours to ferment. During the fermentation process, he must frequently check the temperature. The yogurt has to stay within a 5 degree range. If the temperature gets too high or too low, the batch will be ruined. His mango flavored yogurt is his top seller and he is currently working on developing a banana yogurt.
The name MahaArat is a Hindu term meaning mastery in a skill. Bharat hopes to continue to master the process of developing delicious fusion food creations that introduce people to the wonders of Nepali food culture.