Bhaktapur is not only famous for its fine arts but also famous for kings curd or “King Yogurt”, which local name is juju dhau. It is a Nepalese specialty that local people make by boiling buffalo milk in a clay pot and allowing it to ferment. This dhau is known for its rich flavor and a unique texture which is creamy and thick enough not to drop off when the pot is turned upside down.
Yogurt (‘dhau’) has a very important place in Nepali culture and daily life. It’s a sweet dish used in almost every ritual of the newar community. Pujas are incomplete without tikas of rice mixed with vermillion powder and yogurt.
Dhau is considered to be one of the ‘Panchamrit’ – five nectars of the gods – besides ghee, milk, honey, and sugar, and is offered as ‘sagan’ a blessing, with beaten rice, fruits, and sweets.
Dhau symbolizes the full moon, and Dhau sagan is offered with a sense of blessing that you may be like a full moon; capacitated with an ability to keep away darkness even at night. Besides rituals and feasts, yogurt is indispensable as light refreshment, in the form of desserts with cut fruits and nuts, or lassis and milkshakes.
There is no particular manufacturing industry in Bhaktapur, which produces these sweet curds. Although, it is produced by locals with a traditional method of making curd.
- 4 cups milk
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. plain fresh curd (for the first time you have to buy from the market)
- Lid container
- Natural clay pots
How to Make Juju Dhau:
- Before preparing the juju dhau, you need to soak the clay pots in water for several hours and then drain them completely. If you do not have clay pots, the pan will work too.
- Start with boiling the milk and add 2 tablespoons sugar to it to have a pleasant sweetness (the secret of Newari juju dhau).
- When the sugar is dissolved completely, pour the milk into the clay pot or pan.
- When the milk is slightly warm, add the plain fresh curd in the container. Place it in a lukewarm room and cover it with the blanket.
- Check the juju dhau to see if it is set or not. If not, then put it for a while to set. When set, place it in the freezer.
- After a while, you can serve and enjoy the juju dhau that you made.
Yogurt provides almost every nutrient that your body needs. It is especially high in calcium, B vitamins and trace minerals. Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, is very high in protein. Protein is helpful for appetite and weight control. Some types of yogurt contain probiotics, which may boost digestive health by reducing the symptoms of common gastrointestinal disorders, such as bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
Yogurt provides probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, all of which may boost immune health and prevent certain illnesses. Yogurt is rich in vitamins and minerals that play a key role in bone health. Consuming it regularly may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Regardless of its fat content, yogurt appears to benefit heart health by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. Yogurt is high in protein, which is very filling, and may improve your diet overall. Both of these aspects help with weight management.
You can get your own cup of juju dhau in any local shop near the durbar area.