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Nepal, although small in terms of geography, it is huge in terms of culture, people, religion, tradition and in terms of biodiversity. In Nepal more than 60 ethnic groups live with their own culture, tradition, dressups and the food habits. Newars from Kathmandu alone enoy 84 varity of food spices in various festivals. Here we are to explore their recipe and enjoy the food. We just dont learn something but make the best friends.
ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
Newar or Newa are the indigenous people living in Kathmandu valley. The language of Newars is Newari. They have multiple ethnicity, race (Mongolian, Aryan, Austro-Dravidian) and faith within the community united by same language.
The Newari language is called Nepal Bhasa which has its own 10 script. Nepal Bhasa, is of Tibeto-Burman origin. Newars are very rich in culture and traditions. Newari foods are very delicious and famous all over the world.
Food is very important part of the ritual and religious life of the Newars. The food items served to the guests during festivals and feasts have own symbolic significance. Different sets of ritual dishes are placed in a circle around the staple rice flakes to represent and honor different sets of deities depending on the festival or life-cycle ceremony.
We can classify Newari meals into three main categories
1) Daily meals (ja),
2) Snack (baji)
3) Feasts (bhoye).
The meal consists of rice (ja), dal (ke) and vegetable (tarkari). Same meal is eaten morning and evening. If one can afford, meat (la) item is seen on the side of Newar’s regular meal.
Newars prefer to eat snacks in the afternoon. It generally consists of flattened or bitten rice (baji), eaten with such items as roasted and curried soya beans (musya), fermented mustard leaves (gundru), or curried potato (alu tarakari). They also have some meat (la) and home- made liquor (thon) with it. Baji is called chiura in Nepali.
Another main category of food is served at feasts (Vo'ye). In this meal also beaten rice (baji) is the main dish. At feasts various preparations based on buffalo meat are served along with curries of vegetables and pulses. Home-made liquor (thon) & wine (aila) is served along with the food. Generally, feast meal is concluded by serving curd, sugar and fruit (sisapusa). Pieces of betel nuts and cloves are also served at end of the meal.
Kwati (soup of different beans), Kachila (spiced minced meat), Choila which is water buffalo meat marinated in spices and grilled over the flames of dried wheat stalks, wo (lentil cake), paun kwa (sour soup), stuffed lung (Bhutan), fried liver (swon), fried tongue (Mey cha), (Takha) tripe stuffed with bone marrow and (Sanya Khuna) jellied fish soup are some of the popular festival foods. Dessert consists of dhau (yogurt), sisabusa (fruits/Vegetables) and mari (sweetmeat). Thwon and aila are the common alcoholic liquors that Newars make at home.
At meals, festivals and gatherings, Newars sit on long mats in rows (Suku). Typically, the sitting arrangement is hierarchical with the eldest sitting at the top (right hand side) and the youngest at the end. Newar cuisine makes use of mustard oil and a host of spices such as cumin, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, mint, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chili and mustard seeds.