newari dishes

Must try Newari Foods in Nepal | Newari Cuisine

  • Anna
  • 20th Oct, 2020
newari dishes

Nepal is home to many weird and wonderful things that you cannot experience anywhere else. This includes beautiful locations, immersive cultures, and wonderful cuisines. It is a place that you must visit. Among many weird and wonderful things in Nepal, indulging in Newari cuisines is one of the most do things in Nepal.

Newari foods are a subset of Nepalese cuisine. It has developed over the centuries among the Newars of Kathmandu Valley. Newari cuisine is the most renowned food diversity that consists of over 200 dishes. 

Spend your valuable time exploring Newari dishes then go through our list below. Time to explore some rich in flavor and authentic foods.

What is Newari Food?

Newari Foods are the dishes made by Newari People, a group with their own unique and rich culture. This food is derived from ages-old Newari culture. The most famous one is Samay Baji (सम्य बजी). It consists of beaten rice(baji), Mari, fresh ginger and garlic, cooked and marinated meat, dried fish, spinach, savory lentil patties, & Ailaa- a local white wine. This includes various spices as well.

Photo of Samay Baji In Indra Jatra.

Samay Baji

Here are the lists of must try foods from Newari Dishes:

1. CHOILA

Cholia

Choila is one of the simplest meat dishes of the Newari people. It is roasted buffalo meat mixed with some spices. The meat is first roasted in an open flame and cooked to perfection. It is then cut into smaller pieces before mixed with various spices such as salt, chili powder, cumin powder, fried mustard oil, etc. This Chopped meat is thoroughly mixed and served on a plate with spring garlic and coriander as a garnish. It is a simple yet delicious Newari food that is extremely popular between locals and foreigners alike.

2. YOMARI

YOMARI

Yomari is a unique sweet dish made of rice flour dough, molasses sugar(chaku), and chopped dry fruits (optional).

This is another simple yet unique Newari food that doesn't require many ingredients. You need a steamer, some rice flour, and some molasses. The preparation method is straightforward as well. You have to knead the rice flour into a dough, shape it, fill in the molasses and steam it. Mainly prepared during Yomari Purnima in Newari culture but is available at different Newari food joints all over Kathmandu Valley. The filling inside the Yomari with chaku but khuwa (mawa), meats also used as fillings.

As a side note, this dish is also taken as a token of love in Newari Communities. This is because the festival Yomari Purnima is related to this dish since this festival is equivalent to the day after Newari Valentine. Along with this, the name of this special Newari Dish literally translates to the bread of Love. Yomari combines Yoma, meaning "someone whom we love," and Mari meaning "bread."

3. KACHI LAA

KACHILA-Must try Newari Foods

The name of this Newari dish literally translates to "raw meat."This dish is raw minced meat mixed with various spices and then served on a small plate with alcohol. While this is the intended way to consume Kachi Laa, it can also be blanched and served in larger quantities. This is one of the most popular foods in Newari communities, especially during drinking sessions.

The minced meat is thoroughly mixed with mustard oil, salt, chili powder, and cumin powder to prepare this dish. Also, a little amount of garlic and ginger is added as per the taste. If you want to try Newari Foods in Kathmandu, you must not miss out on this old, simple, and wonderful dish of the local Newari people.

4. SAPU MHICHA

sapu mhicha

Sapu Mhicha is a delicious dish if you like a bit of a fatty and a savory taste. Although this dish does look a bit weird, it is one of the best Newari foods you can have in Nepal. To prepare this dish, you first need to extract the bone marrow of buffalo. After that, the bonemarrow is mixed with various spices and then packed in the stomach lining of the buffalo. Once this is done, it is deeply fried and served. This dish is not easily found. However, if you are lucky enough to taste this meat, you will feel the melty taste of bone marrow. The mixture of various species amplifies the flavor which bursts into your mouth. This makes you satisfied with the form inside. 

It is crunchy outside with gelatinous inside that explodes in your mouth flavors. Although not a rare dish, you still won't find it in any random Newari food stalls. Besides this, you also need to ask for this dish specifically. However, once you find Sapu Mhicha, all your effort will be regarded generously.

5. CHATAMARI

CHATAMARI-Must try Newari Foods

Chatamari is one of the simplest Newari Foods you can find in Nepal. In its base form, it is simply plain bread. To prepare this dish, all you need is to mix rice flour with water until it is a thick batter and cook it over a pan at medium heat. While doing this, don't forget to cover the pan with some cover. Leave it in the heat for a few seconds, and Chatamari is ready to eat.

Now, you probably are more familiar with the fancy version of this dish. To prepare the modified version of Chatamari, you need to add toppings to the batter before covering it with the lid. The toppings are anything, ranging from eggs and vegetables to chopped meat. The modified version of this simple dish from the Newari people is known as Nepali Pizza because of the similarity in its appearance.

6. WO

Wo Must try Newari Foods

A delicious Newari snack that you can eat any time of the day. Wo is a lentil patty mixed with seasoning and garlic/ginger paste. For the preparation, lentil beans are soaked in water for a whole night. Then next day, it is washed several times and then ground in a grinder to make a thick paste. After this is done, it is seasoned with a bit of salt, cumin, and garlic/ginger paste, before being shallow fried in a pan.

Additionally, you can add eggs, meat, and other soft vegetables like spring onions and tomatoes to the paste after putting it into the pan. You will essentially transform this simple dish into a more tasteful and exquisite Newari cuisine by adding these toppings. You can find this simple gift of flavor from Newari people in just about every Newari food jints in Kathmandu valley.

7. LAKHA MARI

Lakha Mari Must try Newari Foods

Lakha Mari is a Newari sweet dish made of rice flour, rice flour, ghee, and sesame seed with other ingredients. Unlike how it looks, the recipe for this is relatively simple. You need to mix rice flour with some water, ghee, sesame seed, and some water till it becomes a thick batter. After that, you fry the batter in boiling sugar syrup. You don't need to make the twirling shapes for it to be a Lakhmari.

Lakha Mari is customarily given to guests of marriage ceremonies in the Newar community. However, you can eat this hard-to-bite but an equally delicious gift from Newari people on any random day.

8. THOW

THOW

To put it bluntly, thwo is simply rice beer. If you are an experienced traveler, you may find this drink similar to Hotr-Alank of Assam and Ludgi of Manali. You would be right since all three of these drinks are essentially the same. They are beers made from rice fermented via locally available yeasts. While the look and flavor of this Newari beverage may not be unique to the Newari culture, it is a typical and traditionally Newari beverage. This drink is vital to Newari People that a drop of Thow is fed to the baby during their Pasni (rice feeding ceremony).

The alcohol content in this local rice beer is similar to that of a beer. However, if you wish to get drunk, you can find variants of Thwo that can make you drunk quickly. Additionally, depending on your choice of taste, you can find both sweet and bitter versions of this alcoholic beverage from the Newari people.

9. AILA

AILA

If you are not satisfied with the alcohol contents of Thwo, then you should try Aila. This is a unique alcoholic Newari beverage made by fermenting the beaten rice and then distilling the alcohol from the mix. Because of this, the alcohol content in this Newari beverage is much stronger than its counterpart. On average, this Newari beverage has a similar alcohol content as vodka. However, depending on the number of distillations, it can be higher.

The general amount of distillation for this Newari beverage is three times. If you are lucky enough to find an Aila brewery, you might even get the chance to taste freshly brewed Aila. Because of all these reasons, CNN once mentioned Aila's “50 most delicious drinks in the world”.

10. PAUN-QUAA

PAUN QUAA-Must try Newari Foods

Paun Quaa is another name for sour soup, mostly consumed during social gatherings. This soup is made from hog plum (Lapsi). You first need to take all of its insides and cook it into a broth. Various spices are then added to the broth and cooked until thick in texture. There is a tradition where Newars mix alcohol in this mixture. The person who drinks this soup gets vigor and energy. They also said that the soup builds up your immunity power and helps indigestion.

Conclusion 

Whille this is not the list of all the Newari foods, the ones we have mentioned here are some of the most popular ones in Nepal. That said, did you notice that every single dish that we have mentioned here some of the simplest Nepalese food? None of the dishes we have mentioned here need exequisite preparation nor ingredients. They are simple, healthuy and can easily be enjoyed between friends and families. 

For those who are curious about why we have not mentioned Juju Dhau of Bhaktapur Durbar square, it is because it is not exclusive to Newari. Dhau is simply a curd and Juju dhau is just a brand. Although it is an extremely popular brand, the food is not unique. 

If you want to tastes these Nepali food, then you can easily find hundreds of Newari resutrants and Newari Khaja Ghars spread across Kathmandu Valley.  If you want to explore more of Nepali Foods, then be sue to try out some thakali foods in Nepal as well.

We hope you found this interesting and helpful.