Yomari | Newari Dish Inside Story And Its Recipe

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Yomari | Newari Dish Inside Story And Its Recipe image

Did you know that the people of Kathmandu Valley started making Yomari from the time of Amshu Varma, around the 6th of the century? Yomari is one of the oldest delicacies of Nepal.

Well, the word Yomari, symbolically came from the Nepal Bhasa as it means the favourite flatbread in the local language. Here, ‘Yo‘ means the favourite, and ‘Mari‘ means the bread or the flatbread.

Though it is just a steamed dumpling filled with Chaku or Khuwa within the confection of rice flour, it tastes dam delicious.

There is even a festival devoted to the name of this dish, Yomari Punhi which explicates the extreme importance of Yomari in the lives of the Newa people. 

How to make Yomari? One candied Recipe.

Yomari is quite swift and simple to make.


  • Rice Flour (2 cups)
  • Chaku or Khuwa (1 cup)
  • Grained coconut (1 tbs)
  • Roasted Sesame (1 tbs)
  • Ghee (2 tbsps)
  • Water (as required)

Follow the listed essential steps to make Yomari.

  1. First, prepare Smooth dough. Boil the water. with 2 tbsps ghee in the water.  Add water slowly to rice flour. Gently stir the mixture until it is all sticky and thick. Then blend it into a smooth dough. Tips: Don’t make the dough too soft. Better to use Taichin rice
  2. Once the dough is ready, keep it aside for about 10-15min. Tips: Don’t forget to cover it with a damp cloth.
  3. Prepare for the filling that what exactly you wanna stuff inside the Yomari. Filling may be Chaku (molasses), Roasted Sesame Seeds, Grained Coconut, Khuwa, etc.
  4. Shape the rice dough and design it into small pockets. Later, you have to add the filling and seal it. It is formed into different shapes which often represent fruits and marionettes of gods and goddesses.  Tips: Before shaping put a little bit of oil in your hand so it won’t stick in your hand.
  5. After the sealing process, you have to steam it just like in the making of MO: MO for about 10-15min.

And, here we are ready with our warm Yomari.

Displaying Yomari over a bronze plate

Image by Mitho Yomari

Stories about Yomari

The stories behind Yomari vary from individual, though the core story remains the same. Some characteristics of the story seem to change while it transforms from one generation to another.

Besides the story of Suchandra and Krita of Panauti about the making of Yomari, there are other stories too, with which the locals could be more intimate.

And it goes like this, Once at the moment, a son-in-law arrives in the house without mentioning them. (Do you know, that in a Nepalese family, the son-in-law is considered the most valuable guest.) So, the people of the household get quite worried, thinking about what to serve in between those harvesting seasons?

However, they manage to come up with the heart-shaped bread which was stuffed with the leftover molasses (molasses are often eaten in the winter season to warm up your body). Some suppose this is how the Yomari was first invented.

There are many more stories, just like the given one, all related to Yomari. Though all of them are not contemplated the invention of Yomari, they got some influence from it.  They are more like the locally inherited stories that are composed to teach children about morality.

The story of Chinnapatta Maiju and the Yomari is one of them.

Chinnapatta Maiju and the yomari

As per the local folklore, once in time, there used to be a family catering to two stepsisters along with one greedy mom. She was the mother of the youngest one and cared more about her. On the other hand, the elder sister whose name is Chinnapatta used to be alone since she wasn’t loved and supported by her step-mother.

Out of all that, she had, was the goat left by her mom before dying. Thus, she used to spend her day and night with her which her stepmother didn’t seem like so much. That’s why she even killed that goat. After, Chinnapatta with a lot of grief collected the bones and buried them in a meadow.

Eventually,  a tree grew upon there and that became the big peer of hers that even provided her with the delicious food, Yomari. As she became diligent with the tree, a Lkahey and the Lasi ( locals call them a demon couple) tricked and kidnapped her. She was then ordered to make loaves of bread in their home.

Over that time a rat came and asked for a piece of bread. Chinnapatta, being so generously gave him the bread, in exchange, the rat also gave her a piece of advice. As per this, she knew the intentions of the demon couple and ran away from there with a hand full of jewels.

Witnessing and knowing about that incident, her selfish stepmother made her only daughter, get kidnapped by those demon couples.  Unlike her elder sister, she was not generous, and thus couldn’t know the intentions of the demons and got killed.

About the shape of Yomari

Well, graving more deeper into the shaping of this dish leads you to more amazing facts about the dish and its meaning. The reason behind shaping that Yomari into a fish or the domed shape, all have different meanings as there are different perspectives of seeing the festival itself.

As per some references, the fish-like shape of the Yomari symbolizes the pinnacle of the temple, somewhere in the shrine itself.

Some say that the triangular shape of the Yomari is a symbolic representation of one-half of the Shadkona (two overlapping triangles) which in Hinduism is marked as the symbol of Goddess Saraswoti and wisdom

However, it has also been linked with one of the wise fruit, the citron.

As per the story narrated by Yomari Cartoon Series, the shape of Yomari was inspired by the Citron which was hung on the peg, in the kitchen of Krita. Krita is the foremost female character of the story, where she once transpired in a fuss about the shape of her newly invented dish. 

At that moment, she noticed, that the dangling citron which she had worshipped in Mohni as well as in Swanti. From where she gets inspired to make her dish like a citron.

Citron is known as Tashi in the Newa language, Bimiro in the Nepalese language, and Jambhara in the Sanskrit language. In accordance with Hindu tradition, women with a wish of being pregnant worship the Jambhara.

Jambhara, in other words, is also called Bijapura which means the seed-filled. Thus worshipping Citron is common in the Nepalese tradition since it represents persistence, property, prosperity, and prolificacy.


Types of Yomari?

Yomari of two different shapes

Images by Yomari Delights

Well, besides the shapes of Yomari, there is one thing that differentiates Yomari from each other. The fillings in Yomari.

Besides, the fillings of the Chaku, Sesame seeds, and Khuwa (evaporated milk solids), there is one more thing that is filled in Yomari, especially while it is made in Yomari Punhi.

The Yomari with the packing of Chaku and Sesame seeds is called Bayo Yomari while it symbolizes the male sexual rag. Likewise, the Mayo Yomari is filled with black lentils and shaped triangular, representing female beauty and prosperity.

The shape of them however doesn’t seem inconsistent.

More about the Yomari

  • It takes a bit more time to be cooked than Chatamari and bara-like dishes. 
  • Yomari that we all adore is also made out as the illustrative deities of Ganesha, Laxmi, and Kubera in Yomari Punhi.
  • Some aspects of history and culture impersonate Nayo, and Bayo as the eldest and the second eldest member of the family
  • In the Newa Culture, there is a ritual of feeding Yomari to the pregnant daughter.
  • Yomari is not only prepared in Yomari Punhi but also prepared to celebrate even-numbered birthdays of the children until they turn out to be 12.
A garland made from Yomari

This kind of accessory is prepared for the birthday girl/boy on their even-numbered birthdays. PC: Online Mari Pasa


Recommended places to eat Yomari in Kathmandu Valley



No, Yomari is not an expensive dish. It would cost Rs.50-100, as per the fillings in it.

Well, wherever you go within the Kathmandu Valley to taste Yomari, you would always find the fine Yomari.

Yes, sure. There are some shops in the Kathmandu valley that do online business, even of the Yomari. You could easily find them online.


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