Speciality about the Newari Food and Culture'Newa Bhoj' at Itahari on 15th of Poush
Itahari : Newari food is famous not only in Nepal but all over the world. Newari food consists a variety of dishes. To protect Newari culture and to flourish Newari food specality in the Eastern, the Newa Pucha Itahari is organizing 'Newa Bhoj' at Itahari on Poush 15.
Newar or Newah are the urbanized ethnic group originally living in the Kathmandu Valley. 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 importance.
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 daily meal consists of rice which is called ja in Newari language, dal(ke) and 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 rice (baji) eaten with such items as roasted and curried soya beans (musya), fermented mustard leaves (gundro) or curried potato (alu tarakari). They also have some meat and home- made liquor(thon) with it. Baji is called chiura in Nepali.
Another main category of food is served at feasts. 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 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.
Some of the popular Newari food at Festival
Kwati which is a soup of different beans, Kachila a spiced minced meat, Choila which is water buffalo meat marinated in spices and grilled over the flames of dried wheat stalks are some of the popular festival food of Newar.
Also, wo (lentil cake), paun kwa (sour soup), stuffed lung, fried liver, fried tongue, tripe stuffed with bone marrow and jellied fish soup are other popular festival foods.
Newars also make liquors at home. Some of the common alcoholic liquors that Newars make at home are; Thwon and aila. Dessert consists of dhau (yogurt), sisabusa (fruits) and (mari sweetmeat).
At meals, festivals and gatherings, Newars sit on long mats in rows. Typically, the sitting arrangement is hierarchical with the eldest sitting at the top 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.