Main Nepali cuisines are rice and curry but as diverse as Nepal’s cultural communities are so as their food tradition. Food has always been strong factor of each culture. When it comes to Newari foods, they strongly hold the taste of ancient Newari culture that holds the history as old as the Kathmandu valley itself.
The rich Newari tradition and their eating culture have a proverbial standing in Nepal. “Pravatya bigryo Mojley, Newar bigryo Bhoj ley” meaning the non Newar communities ruin themselves by indulging themselves in recreation while Newars ruin by indulging in feast. Bhoj or the feast is an integral part of Newar community. Unlike in other communities where feast and gathering are more of personal choice and less of traditional deal, for Newari communities, it is a cultural need. Every ritual and festival of Newari people must be celebrated with “Bhoj”.
The main staple of Newars is also Dal, Bhaat Tarkari like all Nepalese communities. The basic food is boiles rice or bhaat, lentil soups Dal and vegetable curryTarkari. Most of the Newari cuisines are rich in non vegetarian item. Buff and chicken are much used.Also, unlike in chettri and Bahun communities, alcoholic drink is integral part of their food items. The fermentation process, though claim by world to be discovered in west, it was already practiced by ancient Newars of Nepal. Most of the Newari families prepare alcohol, locally known as “Rakshi” in their house by traditional fermentation process. The so made alcohol is consumed daily and in Bhoj. Buff and chicken are used compulsorily in almost every Bhoj. The buff item like “Choyella”, “Kachilla”, meat and beaten rice, are very much preferred by food lovers in Nepal. Newari foods are popular among non Newars and tourist in almost all street shop in Kathmandu. Newari foods are easily available in most of the eateries in Nepal. From street to five star hotels, their menu is designed especially for Newari dishes.
The kitchen culture of Newari people is unique and so it holds a different identity amid food lovers.
The famous Newari food items are:
Choyalla: Beaf grilled spicy meat, eaten with beaten rice.
Woh/Bara : patty of lentils grilled or deep fried. It can be eaten plain or topped with minced meat or egg.
Chaatamari: Flat bread made by rice flour and topping is done by meat, vegetable etc. It is typical Newari pancake.
Gwarmari: deep fried flour dumbling added with spices. It is popular breakfast item.
Yomari : Steamed dumbling of rice flour, stuffed “Chakku” or “Sakhar”, sweet sugary food variety and black sesame. Especially made in “Yomari Purney”, one important festival of Newari community.
Sammeybaji: Complete Newari lunchset. Includes beaten rice as base, potato curry, fish, meat varieties, egg, garlic, soyabeans and pickels.
Curd: Curd and yogurt have especial prestige in Newari palate. Juju Dhau is very popular yogurt,also known as “King of Yogurt” made specially in Bhaktapur which is sweet and delicious. Every bhoj compulsorily consist of curd.
Rakshi: Home made liquor by fermentation process. Barley, rice are used to make rakshi.