Tag Archives: bara

Chhori’s birthday celebrations

As I have mentioned before, we do not follow the Gregorian calendar so on the Nepali Calendar we have birthdays on different days every year depending on the position of sun, moon and planets.  So we celebrated Chhori’s Tithi birthday in traditional Nepali manner with puja and sagun.

Luckily it was a weekend so I had enough time to prepare and wasn’t too rushed.

I wore a tradition sari and Chhori wore a lehenga. She was so excited that she was turning 3 that she had been telling everyone she met that she is going to be 3 soon. It was cute to see her excited about her birthday.

Once everything was prepared, Chhori sat down and I started the pooja.

I started the pooja for Lord Ganesh and then pooja for to Chhori. I explained to her everything I was doing and she listened and followed the instructions. She didn’t complain or try to get up from her place for the whole time and I am super proud of her.

She got the sagun and gifts and she was so happy.

I am hoping our effort to show Chhori our culture and tradition will help her understand where her roots are and how amazing and rich Nepali culture is.

I made a small pink birthday cake to cut that day as I didn’t want her to have a birthday celebration without a cake 🙂

On her birthday according to the Gregorian calendar, I baked a cake and took it to her childcare. When she saw me with the cake she was so excited and started to show the cake to her friends.

The teachers had arranged the table for us to celebrate her birthday. She sat with her friends when we sang the birthday song for her and then cut the cake.

As childcare has a policy of no nuts and no chocolate I had made a simple vanilla sponge cake with fondant and it turned out OK.

If you are a parent, kid’s birthdays are so special and I hope Chhori will have a special one every year.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to  check out winners of  NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

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Chhori turns 3!!

I cannot believe my daughter turns 3 today. Most of you have been with me on this journey from the day I announced that I was pregnant. Can you believe that it has been full 3 years since I introduce her to you all? 

I wanted to write a letter to Chhori to reflect on the first few years of her life. I hope she will read this one day and understand how much we love her and how much she has changed our life. 

Dear Chhori, 

I still can’t believe how fast time has flown since the day I first laid my eyes on you. 

Even before you were born, you were already a part of me, every second of every day, for almost 9 months. For this reason alone, Chhori, I will never, ever stop loving you for the rest of my life. 

When I was pregnant with you I was a little scared at times thinking about how the future would be but the moment I saw you, I was sure things would be ok.   

You were so tiny then, all helpless and fragile. I used to spend nights awake nursing you and just looking at you because you have completed me. I loved to carry you in a baby carrier with you enjoying hearing my heart beat and snuggling up against me. 

You evolved from lying on the cot, to sitting on your own, from carrier to stroller and from crawling to waking then running. Now, you’ve grown into a little girl who has accomplished so much. 

 

You are already potty-trained, know what you want to wear when we go out, sing along to numerous rhymes, dance to Nepali songs, can identify different shapes, colours, numbers, letters, and so many other things.  

You are this beautiful little soul. From you I have learned patience, I have experienced family, and I have evolved too. I am a better person for having you in my life. 

Every day is a testament to the wonderful person that you are, and Papa and I will always be proud of you. We love you, simply because you are our daughter.  

Happy Birthday Baby Girl. Wishing you a million days that reflect the possibilities you see. 

I love you with all my heart. 

Love,

Mama

We are having party to celebrate so will post more about it later.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favourite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2017

 

Chhori turns 2: the celebration party

We decided to have a party to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with our friends and family after puja. We started planning when we were here in Sydney with my in laws so we had a venue booked months in advance. I also found photographer via Facebook so they were booked for the day as well.

I am sure anyone who is trying to book an event from overseas goes through lots of frustrations when you can’t find the right vendor to execute your ideas. I had the same problem when we planned our wedding and it was no different this time.

We had no idea what was available in Nepal in terms of decoration so I bought everything I could think of from here and I am so glad I did. Because when we got there, I couldn’t get the things that we wanted.

As the venue and photographer were sorted, the next big thing was cake and decoration. I bought the Dora cake topper from here so we got the baker to do a cake with those. I was pretty happy with the cake.

We also ordered cupcakes which did not turn out as planned. The cupcake was not the pink colour we wanted and it was not decorated as we had explained but I guess we shouldn’t have set our expectation too high since everyone seemed to use their own ideas instead of following ours 😦

The biggest problem we faced was not finding a person to do helium balloons. After searching and talking to so many people, finally when I put out a call for help on Facebook and a friend gave us the number of a guy who did the balloons. We got the number just a day before the party and I was so worried on what to do until then.

The other big problem was our outfit. I had this vision to have me and Chhori wearing similar colour outfit and AS can have tie to coordinate with us. It turned out choosing the outfit was not easy as I planned because there are too many choices. Finally after going to a few boutiques, I settled on golden and fuchsia pink lengha and Chhori was getting fuchsia pink princess style gown.

It took many visits to get the dresses right fitting but the end result was perfect. I loved them.

It was a big job to find fuchsia pink tie in Kathmandu. The shop keepers had millions of other suggestions on the tie if they didn’t have the one I needed. But finally we found a shop that sold one and was super happy with it.

When the day of party arrived I was happy as most of the stuff were sorted. I got my make-up done and got dressed and got Chhori ready. AS was busy getting the decoration finished and picking up the cake.

He has always been so supportive of my ideas and when I plan, he helps me to make my plans come true. I think we complement each other well.

The photographers were already at the venue when we arrived. I was glad to see all the decoration looked as we planned. The hall was looking beautiful with hundreds of white and pink balloons floating around.

We had a few hours left before the guests arrived so we took photos of Chhori, us and with our parents.

 

Slowly, the venue started to fill with family and friends. I hadn’t met many of them for a while so it was great time for all of us.

After a couple of hours into the party, we cut the cake and then on to the dance floor as usual.

I had been teaching Chhori to dance to the Nepali move song “Sirai ma sirbandi” for the last few month but I didn’t know if she would dance or not. But she made us so proud by dancing to the song with all the right moves and steps. She actually danced twice to the song and we got some amazing photos and video of that. She was looking totally adorable and princessy in her cute outfit.

All our relatives were dancing and enjoying themselves as well. It was a really happy occasion for us to celebrate the birthday of our beautiful daughter with our close family and friends.

By 10 pm the guests had dinner and stared to leave. Chhori was really tired and was fast sleep on the sofa. It was a long day but we were very happy with the end result.

Chhori was spoiled by everyone with gifts, dresses and money. I know Chhori doesn’t understand much yet but we have some great photos and videos that she can go through when she is a bit older.

I will write more about our trip to Nepal in the next post. Till then take care.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2 – Birthday Puja

One of the main reasons for our visit to Nepal this time was to celebrate Chhori 2nd birthday in Nepal with friends and family.

In Newari culture, for reasons unknown and out of tradition handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated. When a child is born, we have chhaiti, nwaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni.

Time goes by so quickly and our little munchkin turned a BIG 2 on 20 Feb.

As we were in Nepal for the celebration, we followed Newari culture to perform her birthday puja.

In Newari culture, we make Yomari every even birthday 2, 4, 6, 8, and 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). Click here for the recipe.

We had planned things in advance for this and were happy that things came together as planned on the big day.

On her birthday, in the morning, MIL prepared for birthday puja with sagun (traditional plate typically consisting of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara”, haku chhoila” and “aila” and “dhau”) .

We had other relatives who were invited for the occasion including my parents, uncles and aunts.

The puja started with tika and yomari mala (garland) from my MIL followed by ritual to pour bits of rice, radish, coins, and cucumber in a small container from her head. This is believed to drive any evil spirit.

Then it was followed by Sagun and gifts to her.She was really spoiled with gifts like dresses and jewelleries.

My parents had come with my relatives to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with lots of food which included rotis, fruits, sagun and gifts.

After my MIL my mum and aunt did similar puja. Tika and sagun was followed by gifts to Chhori, me, AS and to my in laws.

Chhori loved the whole process except when the yomari garland was put around her neck as the string annoyed her and she wanted to take it out. She was happy with so many people around us that day for the whole day. We really had a great time with all the relatives.

After all the puja was finished, we had cake smash for her too. What a difference a year can make. When we had done the cake smash on Chhori’s first birthday, she was happy to be messy and smashed the cake well, which gave us some amazing photos but this year she definitely has become a big girl.

At first she just used her finger to taste the cake and then asked for a knife to cut the cake when asked to smash it. Nevertheless we had a great time and she had a lot of fun sharing a piece with everyone.

The day was long but fun and exciting.

We had her birthday party on another day so I will write more about it in my next post.

Till then, take care everyone and happy Monday.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Discovering Newari cuisine

I am sure all of you know by now that I am bit of a foodie and I love to try new recipes and anything unusual. I have tried many different cuisines and even snails, frogs, stingrays, rabbits, kangaroos, and camel too. But I have to admit, my native cuisine, Newari, is always close to my heart. Even though I love momo and think that it is the best food in the world, Newari food like bara, yomari, chatamari are still my all-time favourites. I still remember my grandma and my mum making them for us when we were little.

I didn’t know how to make most of these Newari foods when I first came to Australia but I have learned how to make some of them now. And I am determined to learn more in the future so I can make them for my friends and family.

We had heard that a new restaurant called “Bhanchha” had opened in Sydney a while ago advertising themselves as “The Nepalese Newari taste”. As there are hardly any places else for us to go and try authentic Newari food, we were meaning to go there for a while.

Finally, we managed to go there with some of our friends last week. I was a bit surprised with the casual look of restaurant as I had fine dining in my mind. As we walked into the restaurant, the front area was empty and no one was there to greet us. We kept walking until we reached the inner half of the restaurant. There the waiter showed us to our table and handed us the menu. The menu was just a normal one so I got the idea that they want to be casual dining and not fine dining.

Looking at the menu, I was transported to Kathmandu straight away. They were serving Haku chhoyal (grilled spiced meat), fokso (goat lungs) fry , Jibrao (goat tounge) fry, Nhyapu (goat brain) fry, Bhutan ( intestine, giblets etc.) fry, Tahakhala ( special jellied meat), Sanya khuna (special jellied meat with fish) as well as bara, chatamari, aaloo tama. I stopped on the first page as there were so many things I wanted to try.

After thinking about it, we ended up ordering momo (of course), Fokso fry, Jibrao fry, Nhyapu, Sanya khuna and Samay Baji set.

All food came to our table in reasonable time and they looked very appetizing. All of us agreed that the food tasted very authentic and were delicious. We had one non-Nepali in our table and he loved all the food too.

I just love their Nhyapu out of everything and we ended up ordering one more serve of it. I was really impressed because they all were typical Newari food and it is definitely a privilege to get that so easily in Sydney.

One thing I didn’t like was Sanya khuna as it was not as set as it was supposed to be. It was a bit runny instead of jelly. But the taste was still good, may be they just needed to make sure they serve it straight from the freeze to the table.

In Samay Baji set, I was happy to taste chhoyala, aaloo tama, achar, bodi and bhatmas. All the food was definitely good and it was a perfect place if you are trying to introduce Newari cusine to someone new.

We also tried Ranjana ko Cola, special type of drink where coke is mixed with spices to enhance the flavour. I was not a fan of it in Nepal and I didn’t find it very special but my husband told me that it did taste like what he used to drink during our school years in Nepal.

If you are in Sydney, I recommend this place to try Newari cusine. The price of food is very reasonable as we ordered lots of food and end up paying only $20/person so it is definitely value for money. Just remember it is not fine dining when you go there so you don’t get disappointed by the look of the place and their service.

The only disappointment was I wish they looked after the toilet a bit more. The ladies toilet I went to had no lock and it was not too clean.  Food wise the restaurant is really good and the place can be better if they improve the ambiance and service.

We are already planning to again soon and this time we are taking more of our Non Nepali friends so they can enjoy typical Newari food.

P.S: We believe that when an animal is killed for consumption, no part of the animal should go to waste and Newar people have mastered how to make each part delicious over the years. I am sure anyone who has ever tried Newari cuisine will agree with me.

P.S.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2013

How to make Newari “Wo” / Bara with Mugh beans

Wo is a Newari word which is mashed lentils cake and it  is prepared from the black lentils or green lentils (Mugh beans). Wo  is called Bara in Nepali. There are different kinds of Wo depending on what is put in it and how it is cooked but I am making vegetarian one today.

This recipe was given to me by my MIL.

Ingredients

  • ½ kg Mugh beans (Split or whole)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small onions
  • salt according to taste
  • 2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • water

Steps 

  • In a big container, pour Mugh beans and add at least 1000ml of water. As these beans increase in size after soaking, it is a good idea to add lots of water in a deep, large container.
  • Leave them overnight to soak if possible otherwise soak for at least 5-6 hours.
  • After 5-6 hours, they will absorbed water and will be swollen and soft.
  • Wash the beans and take some of the green bean coats out. The green coating is very healthy so no need to take a lot out.
  • Put the beans in the mixer with salt, ginger and garlic and grind until it becomes a thick paste.
  • Grind carrots and onion separately.
  • Now mix the bean paste and the carrot onion mixture..
  • In a flat frying pan, add one tea-spoon of oil and let it heat.
  • Put two table spoons of the mix and make a circle around 4-5 inches using  the spoon.
  • Cook on low heat and when the Wo is crispy and brown on one side turn it over.
  • It is best to use slotted(as shown in picture) as it is easier than other spoons.

    Slotted turner

  • Pour one spoon oil again and cook this side till it is crispy and golden brown.
  • Your “Wo” is ready. This is best served hot.  You may also like :

    *Aloo chop *Chatamari *Gundruk Aloo Bhatmas Curry

Bhai Tika

The fifth day of Tihar is Bhai Puja.

Bhai” mean brother in Nepali. This festival is mainly for brothers and sisters.

It is believed that this tradition was started by Yama (the God of death) and his sister Yamuna because of their affection for each other.

In this day, sisters apply sacred Tika on their brother’s forehead and pray to Lord Yama for her brother’s long life and prosperity.

Yamaleswor temple

Some of the ethnic groups in Nepal use the Pancha Rangi Tika (Five coloured Tika)  for  Bhai Tika. First a base, rice flour is applied vertically  on the forehead then yellow, green, red, blue and white colour Tika are put on top of this line in a row. But in the Newa culture, we just use rice, vermilion and yogurt, mix them and use that as a Tika.

For this occasion, I had invited my brothers and their families to my apartment and we did the Bhai Tika on my balcony.

This is how I did my Bhai Tika.

Mandap Puja

Before the Bhai Tika, just like in Mha Puja, the floor was purified by sprinkling water on it, then we made Mandaps in front of a row of seats on the floor where my brothers were sitting. I used a copy of the same Mandap which was designed by AS but this time I printed them in A3 paper. In Nepal the Mandaps are made by hand on the floor using oil, rice flour, vermilion, puffed rice and sometimes beans. The number of the Mandaps needed is three plus the number of people doing the Puja. So I had two big Mandaps, for my brothers. in a row and three smaller Mandaps at the top of the row for the House God (Kuladevata), Yamaraj and Janmaraj, and one crow drawn at the end of the row symbolising Lord Yama.

Beside the three Mandaps at one end, I also had a Sukunda with a candle on it.

Bhai Tika

Then I put all the sweets and Rotis that I had made or bought as well as some fruits around the Mandap along with the Masala and Sagun.

The Rotis I made at home this year were

  • Besana ko ladoo
  • Puri
  • Nimki
  • Lal Mohan
  • Strawberry cup cake
  • Chocolate cup cake

(I will post recipes in my next post)

I also bought Soan Papdi.

Then I had trays with fruits like mangoes, peaches, plums, rockmelons, oranges, apples and pears.

Masala and Tshirt

I made Masala at home this year with dry coconuts, dry dates, raisins, almonds, pistachio nuts, apricots, dry figs, cashews, cloves, cardamoms, beetle nuts, hard shelled walnuts, palm sugar cubes and lots of Chocolates. I used clear cello wrap and colourful bows to make it look beautiful.

For Sagun, I boiled the eggs, took the shell out and fried them in a pan. I made Bara (lentil cakes, for which I will share recipe later), fried some chicken, fish and cut fresh garlic.

Jajanka

I made Mala out of tinsel and bought Jajanka in a Nepali grocery store. Jajanka is made of many rounds of a white cotton thread forming a circle of about two feet in diameter and tied with a small piece of colourful cloth in order to have no ends. Jajanka symbolizes the integration of the beginning with the end. It is about creation, maintenance and fullness of life. Normally the Mala is supposed to be of Makhmali ful/Supadi ful (Globe Amaranth) as it never dries and always looks fresh.

I also bought  T-shirts for both of them.

Bhai tika process

  •  First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my brothers to throw some into the mouth and rest over the body for purification.
  • I worshipped the House-God and Yama’s Mandap with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder.
  • I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my brothers first to worship the Mandap of the House God and then the crow, then to worship their own Mandaps. The Mandap is used as a medium to present the various offerings to the self.
  • Then I put Tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt on my brothers forehead and gave them flowers to put on their head as a blessing form God. This was followed by Mala and Jajanka around their neck.

    Putting TIka

  • Normally in Nepal, they use Ita (special long threads made using white cloth soaked in mustard oil) but here we used tea light candles instead. I gave both my brothers the candles. They  took the candle from my hand, lit them and put them on their Mandap. This light is believed to brighten the inner self and keep evil at bay.
  • Then I took some water in an Ankhura (a small pitcher for Puja) filled with oil and water and Dubo in my hand and circled around my brothers three times.

    Making circle with oil and water

  • Then I gave them some rice and flower in their hand. Then I gave trays of Rotis, fruits, Masala, sweets and clothes to them and they had to hold them and keep them from touching the ground. Then I toke some rice and flower in my hand and showered each of them and worshipped the god within them. Only after that could they put the trays down.
  • Then my brothers put Tika on my forehead, touched my feet for my blessings and gave me the gifts they had brought for me. 
  • I gave them the Sagun . For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, Bara, meat and fish in the right hand and yogurt or alcohol in the left hand
  • Once everyone finished eating the Sagun, we used Kucho (broom) from top end of the row of Mandaps to the bottom of the row, touching each Mandpa to erase them and conclude our Bhai Tika.

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