Category Archives: Newari Food

Nepali New Year 2074 and Tasting Nepal

As I have mentioned before, Nepal follows a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar so Nepali New Year falls on mid-April instead of 1st of January. Bikram Sambat or Nepali Calendar or Nepali patro is approximately 56 years and 8½ months ahead of the Gregorian calendar. Unlike Gregorian months, the lengths of Nepali months are not predetermined, and change from year to year, varying from 29 days to 32 days. The year 2074 started yesterday as 1st of Baishak, 2074.

In Nepal, people celebrate Nepali New Year in many different ways. Please read this post to learn more about celebration of Nepali New Year in Nepal.

For us, in Australia, this year had been great as the New Year Eve fell on Easter long weekend so it is double celebration here. I will write more about about Easter long weekend soon.

Just want to wish everyone celebrating a

Happy New Year 2074!!!

To mark the occasion, on Saturday 8th of April, “Tasting Nepal “, a food festival entirely dedicated to Nepali cuisine was organized for the first time here in Sydney.

As there was to be food and entertainment, we decided to go and enjoy the festival.

The festival featured food and culture from various parts of Nepal including Momo, Sekuwa, sel roti, chatpat, puri, jeri, samay baji and many more varieties from various restaurants in Sydney.

But the highlight of the event was a stall of Bajeko Sekuwa, one of the popular restaurant chains in Kathmandu. The chef came all the way from Nepal just to join the event and I am sure he was not disappointed as there was a long queue for the sekuwa throughout the day.

Personally for me, the highlight was the pyramid of Samay baji displayed by Guthi Australia. Check out the video and see the detail yourself.

I was surprised to know that even AS hadn’t seen such a pyramid in Nepal before. For me, it was a yearly thing that they did in the temples near us.

As the number of Nepalese are increasing in Sydney, it was no surprise that the festival was busy. We had a great time with our friends and family as well.

Wishing all of you a very Happy start of new year once again from 3 of us.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for riding along this journey with me.

I appreciate all the love and support you guys have given me throughout the year and I hope you continue to do so this year too.

Till next time, take care

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Chhori’s first Tihar

Tihar, the second biggest festival for Hindus after Dashain, was from 28th Oct to 1st Nov this year. Please click here to know more about the festival.

This year was Chhori’s first Tihar celebration so I wanted to make sure she had a great memory of the celebration.

bhai-tika-12 bhai-tika-7

Tihar is celebrated for five days and here are some photos from our celebration this year.

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja

kaj-puja-2 kaj-puja-1

  • Kukur (dog) Puja

kukur-puja-2 kukur-puja-1

  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja

laxmi-puja-4 laxmi-puja-5 laxmi-puja-3 laxmi-puja-6 laxmi-puja-2

  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

As my parents are here this year, it was great to have a whole family celebrating Mha puja.

mha-puja-3 mha-puja-4 mha-puja-1 mha-puja-2

  • Bhai Tika

Chhori does Bhai tika to my nephew. It was so cute to see these little ones performing the ritual.

bhai-tika-15 bhai-tika-14 bhai-tika-13 bhai-tika-1 bhai-tika-9 bhai-tika-16 bhai-tika-4 bhai-tika-5

Hope everyone celebrating had great Tihar too.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Newari Gwaramari

In Kathmandu most of us have happy memories of eating Gwaramari and tea for breakfast during cold winter months.

In Newari “Gwara” means round and “mari” means bread so Gwaramari literally means round bread but to people who have eaten it, it is not just ordinary bread but a very yummy one with a distinct flavour.

I was craving for some Gwaramari for a while so I decided to try making it with a friend. It took us a few attempts to get it right but I am very happy with the end result. It tasted really good.

Ingredients

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 300 ml water
  • 500ml vegetable oil (for deep-frying)

Method

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander and salt.

Nepali Gwaramari (2)

  • Add water slowly stirring continuously to make a thick paste.
  • If you have time, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight otherwise for at least 2 hours.

Nepali Gwaramari (3)

  • In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. The oil is hot enough, if you drop small amount of batter and it quickly rises and becomes brown.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, take a table spoon of mixture and place it gently on the hot oil. The dough will puff up and rise to the top of the pan. You can add multiple balls at the same time.

Nepali Gwaramari (4)

  • Fry them until golden brown.
  • Take it out and use paper towel to soak the extra oil.

Nepali Gwaramari (1)

  • It is best served hot with some Masala tea.

Take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Jwano ko Jhol (Thyme Seeds Soup)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Jwano ko Jhol is a traditional Nepali soup which is given to new mums to increase their supply of milk. I wasn’t very sure about it before but I now swear by it.

Jwano ko Jhol  (1)

Initially when I started drinking it, I had an over supply of milk so I needed to decrease the amount I drank. Then after a while when I stopped drinking it completely, I could feel the supply of my milk went low as well. So I started drinking it in again but in small amount.

Jwana ko jhol is also believed to have lots of health benefits like helping to heal the wounds, relieve body aches and help with cold and cough. Thyme also has potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium for the well-being of our body.

The soup is very easy to make.

Ingredients for 2 cups of soup

  • 2 tea spoon Jwano (Thyme seed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tea spoon of fresh ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tea spoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 ½ cups water

Method

  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add ghee when hot.
  • When ghee is melted, add jwano, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste and salt and stir them together.

Jwano ko Jhol  (2)

  • After about a minute once you smell the ginger garlic flavour add water and let it boil for a few minutes.

Jwano ko Jhol  (3)

  • Jwana ko jhol is now ready to serve
  • Enjoy!

Take care everyone till next post.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Dahi Chiura Ceremony

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my baby shower but I was waiting for my parents to arrive from Nepal to do a traditional baby shower, also known as Dahi chiura ceremony in Nepali or Dhau-baji in Newari.

In this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.

My parents have arrived in Sydney now so I am extremely happy as I will have a helping hand to look after the little one for the first few months. I could not imagine how I would have managed if they were not here.

Last weekend, my parents along with the help of my brother and SIL organised the Dahi Chiura ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with the ladies all wearing saris.

Dhai Chiura (14)

My mum made Yomari and sagun (bara, boiled eggs, chicken and fish) for the occasion and bought some sweets, fruits and cakes as well. They also bought clothes for me along with jewelleries as well as things for little one.

Dhai Chiura (5) Dhai Chiura (4) Dhai Chiura (3) Dhai Chiura (1)

It was a family affair with just me, AS, my parents, brother, SIL and my little nephew.

Dhai Chiura (15) Dhai Chiura (2)

For the ceremony, my mum followed the followings steps, if anyone wants to know. It might be different for different cultures but I believe the basic will remain the same.

Dhai Chiura (6) Dhai Chiura (7)

  • The ritual started with my mother worshipping Lord Ganesh in the Sukanda. She put tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt and flowers on Lord Ganesh..
  • Then she put tika for me and AS.
  • Then she gave us the gifts of fruits, sweets, clothes, and jewelleries.
  • This was followed by Sagun and then the main event of dahi chiura, where everyone feeds me dahi chiura.
  • Everyone was given Sagun and sweet as well after this.
  • Thus the main event of dahi chiura is was conclude.
  • Cake is normally not a traditional inclusion for dahi chiura but we had one so I and AS cut the cake together

Dahi Chiura (12) Dahi Chiura (13) Dahi Chiura (16)

For many reasons, the dahi chiura ceremony is one of my favourite celebrations for our coming daughter.

Dahi Chiura (9) Dahi Chiura (10) Dahi Chiura (11)

In addition to normal family dahi chiura, the pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. I had invited many of my family and friends who were pregnant to my place and done the same ceremony so it is my turn to be invited to my close friends and family’s place for the dahi chiura ceremony as well.

It was really nice of all of them to get involved making me and the baby feel special. Here are some of the pics from various occasions of dahi chiura. I was spoiled with lots of blessings, yummy foods and lots of useful gifts .

Dahi Chiura (18)

I am so glad that we are keeping Nepali traditional alive living so far from home and I want to show all these photos to my daughter one day and explain the traditions and culture.

Hope you enjoyed the traditional way of Nepali/Newari baby shower.

Take care,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO 

Payaj ko pakoda (Crispy Onion Fritters)

As you know mums love to cook and my MIL is no exception so when she was here we got to eat a variety of Newari and Nepali food like Yomari, Haluwa, aloo chops and she also made Pyaj ko pakoda.

Pyaj means onion in Nepali.

The process is very simple and I am sharing the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium size Onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup Gram Flour (Besan Flour)
  • 1/4 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • In a bowl, mix sliced onion gram flour, rice flour, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander leaves and salt.

Payaj ko pakoda (1)

  • Add ¼ cup of water and mix well and keep aside for 5 minutes.
  • The onion pakoda batter is ready to be fried. Do not add more water unless required otherwise pakodas will not turn crispy.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan (or wok) and take a handful of batter mixture in the hand and gently drop 3-4 small fritters into the oil at a time and deep fry.

Payaj ko pakoda (2)

  • Fry the onion pakodas, till they look crisp and golden on both sides (once the underside is golden brown turn them over so both sides are golden). Repeat the process for the remaining batter and deep-fry in batches.
  • Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on the kitchen paper towels for excess oil to be absorbed.

Payaj ko pakoda (3)

  • Serve onion pakodas with your favourite sauce.

Payaj ko pakoda (4)

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nirbuni for my nephew (second birthday)

I swear it feels like yesterday that I told you I had a new man in my life (my li’l nephew) and gosh it has been two years now. Even though he was born in 18 July, we celebrated his birthday on 26th of July which was determined by his birth chart and our own Nepali calendar.

Since his birth, he has given joy to everyone including his parents, us, my parents and my sister in law’s parents. When he was visiting last month to Nepal, he was the apple of the eye and was spoiled rotten by everyone.

Strangely, for reasons unknown and out of traditions handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated by Newars. When a child is born, he will have chhaiti, nawaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni in Newari.

According to tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2, 4, 6, 8, 12) until a child turns 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses).

yomari

During Nirbuni, a big puja is performed and the child is given a garland made out of two yomaris. The child is also given tika and sagun and prayed to ward off evil spirits from the child’s body. If we were in Nepal, relatives would come along with gifts and sweets for the kid. Therefore, this birthday was a big deal for us.

We started Saturday making yomari and sagun. With the help of our cousin it was done and then the puja started. My nephew was good during the puja as he sat on his dad’s lap while I perform the puja.

Nirbuni  (12)I am not expert on performing the puja but this is what I did.

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my nephew to sprinkle some into his mouth and the rest over his body for purification.
  • Then I put tika on Lord Ganesh with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder as well as a plate of sagun in front of him.
  • Then I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my nephew to worship the Lord Ganesh and also to all the God and Goddess by throwing the rice towards the ceiling.
  • Then I placed tika on his forehead and put a flower on his head.

Nirbuni  (14)Nirbuni  (11)

  • Then I placed the Yomari mala followed by flower mala.

Nirbuni  (13)

  • After that I put bits of rice, radish, coins, cucumber in a small container and poured them on his head. This is believed to take all the evil spirits away from him. I did this three times.

Nirbuni  (8)

  • Then,I gave Sagun to him. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of giner and fish in the right hand and yogurt in the left hand.

Nirbuni  (9)Nirbuni  (15)

  • Once the process is finished with my nephew, I gave tika to the rest of the family, followed by sagun.

My parents and my SIL’s parents were on skype watching the ceremony. They were happy to watch all the ceremony even though they are so far away.

I also took tray of fruits, biscuits and a three piece suit for him as a birthday gift.

Nirbuni  (10)

He looked really adorable in the suit.

Nirbuni  (5)Then there was a party in the evening. I did the decoration and was happy with the result. It was a fun party with lots of kids.

Nirbuni  (7)

The house was chaotic in a good way for the rest of the evening where kids ran, laughed , danced and played.

Nirbuni  (3) Nirbuni  (2)We had a nice cake for him and the food was catered so everyone enjoyed the day. It was such a fun day and the little man was very happy with all the attention and gifts.

Nirbuni  (1)

On Sunday, I baked cupcakes for him to take to his childcare to celebrate his birthday. The childcare request simple individual cupcakes so I baked them myself.

Nirbuni  (6) Nirbuni  (4)Overall, it was a great nirbuni celebration for my nephew.

Wishing little man all the happiness of this world.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO