The Newa people have always been proud of their refined yet distinct culture and traditions. With it comes the unique and diverse number of electric dishes that have grown alongside the Newa community’s origin.
Believe me, there is no way to overpraise the significance of Newari dishes for the Newa people. Today, even other groups of people came to embrace the breathtaking and soul-filling taste of the Newari kitchen.
It is not just food; it is a celebration of the culture and the Newa heritage and identity. And it is phenomenal how the Newa people have some limited dishes that are only prepared during special occasions or festivals and are still practiced in the core community of Newa people.
Regardless, you can enjoy the alluring specialty of the Newa taste during your visit to Bhaktapur because it is now served in almost every exotic restaurant or local establishment.
Every alley of Bhaktapur is fragranced with Wo, Chatamari, and Samayabaji, the taste of delight bestowed by ancestors.
Not to mention that Newari khaja fills your soul and your hungry stomach and satisfies your taste buds at a very reasonable price.
Enjoy the feast.
Ok! Now let’s go to the actual dishes you will get to enjoy in Bhaktapur like nowhere else before.
Chhoila: the smokey grilled meat
Chhoila is a special meat dish made out of buffalo meat. It is spiced ground meat prepared by roasting buffalo meat on an open fire. Only the tender part of the meat is used to make chhoila. The meat is smoked until the outer portion is cooked, whereas the inner portion of the meat is left partially uncooked. The chewy and smokey flavor of smoked meat blended with various homemade spices and herbs makes this an appetizing dish.
It is a heavenly dish with a celestine taste and an appealing texture. You cannot leave it untouched.
During your visit, do not miss having it here in Bhaktapur. Don’t leave with regret. The Newari khaja ghar and restaurants available here serve you the authentic taste of chhoila.
Not to forget local Bhattis.
Bara(Wo:): the Newari pancake
Bara, Wo: in Newari, is a lentil pancake made from any type of lentil available. Bara holds special meaning in Newa culture. It is a sign of good luck, often offered as “Sagun” on special occasions.
The lentils are blended into a smooth paste. A scoop of paste is then poured into a pan with oil, like a pancake. Wo: comes with a flavor of your preference. Whether you like to have it with meat, eggs, or random veggies as toppings, you have your choice. But believe me, each of these tastes is different yet alluring.
Wo: Chatamari; the crispy bread Newari pizza
Wo: Chatamari, widely famous for Newari pizza, is another special dish you must try in Bhaktapur. But it tastes different than a pizza.
It has a thin crust of rice flour spread in a pan. The crispy base is then filled with various kinds of enjoyable, luscious toppings. The blend of crispiness and tenderness of the toppings goes so well that every bite is irresistibly tasty.
Local Wo and chatamari stations here in Bhaktapur near the Nyatapola temple serve you the delicacy of native Newa’s taste.
Yomari; the heavenly dessert
Yomari is a Newari steamed dumpling filled with sweet ingredients called Chakku (made from jaggery or molasses or palm sugar) or sometimes khuwa (Khoya). It is usually served with a special kind of pickle for extra flavor in every bite.
The name yomari comes from the Nepal bhasa words “ya” and “mari”, meaning like and delicacy/bread consecutively. So, yomari means a popular delicacy. I don’t think I need more reason to agree on how tasty and loved Yomari is.
The feeling of rice flour and the chakku blending perfectly inside the mouth is quite amazing. It feels consistent, soft, and tender.
Yomari can be your happy meal during your visit to Bhaktapur. Many restaurants inside Bhaktapur serve the dish at very affordable prices. You will never get enough of this taste.
Samayabaji; The khaja set
It is the most finger-licking and enjoyed dish in the Newa community. The khaja set is served with numerous colorful and attractive dishes arranged on the plate.
It is the king of Newari dishes. It brings several entities together that go very well when munched together. Not to mention how it tastes delicious when savored individually too.
Various kinds of beans, potato dishes, fried ginger, saag (green leaf vegetables), chhoila, egg, pickle, and beaten rice are mixed together to be served as a single dish called Samayabaji.
This delicate dish not only tastes delicious but is quite a healthy diet to take once in a while.
While inside Bhaktapur, you can visit various restaurants that serve the khaja set and enjoy it with your friends, family, and loved ones. You will come back for this. It is, as said, a signature dish of Newa cuisine.
JuJu Dhau; The king’s curd
I bet, you cannot resist this heavenly-tasting scoop of the desert. You can find King’s curd on almost every street in Bhaktapur. Its soft, creamy, sweet texture and taste are appreciable. Your visit to Bhaktapur is incomplete without having a King Curd.
Juju dhau is a popular outlet in Bhaktapur. You can find the authentic taste of juju dhau nowhere else but here because they sell the best dahu. I have seen people coming to Bhaktapur just to enjoy the authentic taste of juju dhau.
They provide a handy clay pot you can carry and enjoy while walking around the city. So, don’t forget the juju dhau whenever you visit Bhaktapur.
Aalu Tama: the bamboo stew
It is a healthy stew made of bamboo shoots, potatoes, beans, and some flavor mixtures. It is sour, hot, and spicy, which is almost the specialty of every dish in the Newari community.
The fermented bamboo shoots give the soup a peculiar sourness.
Aalu tama is especially consumed during winter for its health benefits. Simply calling it not only serves your appetite and desire but your health too. Don’t miss a chance to have aalu tama while in Bhaktapur.
Sapu mhicha: the tripe bag
Sapu mhicha is another special and unique dish of the Newari community. It is prepared out of buffalo bonemarrow. The bone marrow is used as a stuffing, wrapped inside the thickly layered buffalo leaf tripe. Sapu mhicha typically looks like a bag made of a sack tied with thread at one end.
I bet you will love the flavor. It has a chewy, crispy, and juicy texture that melts inside your mouth once it is in. The taste of sapu mhicha blends well during winter, accompanied by thwon ana aaila.
Cho hi: the white blood
Cho hi is another traditional Newari dish made from buffalo white blood cells. It is a steamed buffalo boiled with marrow and various other spices.
Kachilaa: the raw meat dish
Kachhila is a spicy-flavored minced raw meat dish.
You read it right.
The name kachilaa is derived from two words Nepal bhasa “Kachiu” meaning raw or fresh and “la” meaning meat.
If you have it for the first time, you might wonder if it is safe to have it or not. But once you get the taste of it right, you will like it better and crave to try it once more.
Considering the health of people, many restaurants have initiated to serve this dish half fried
I think the half-fried kachilaa doesn’t serve the true essence of the Newari taste of kachilaa itself, does it?
So, be it raw and flavorful. On your visit to Bhaktapur, you will find kachila in most of the local Bhatti and Khaja ghar. In Bhaktapur, these local and typical spaces will serve you the true taste of kachila.
Takha /sanya khuna: the meat jelly
Takha and Sanya khuna are closely related to each other. Both are jellied meat soups. Sanya khuna is added with some special kind of fish for flavor.
It is an exotic, frozen spicy dish. A whole lot of red chili powder is mixed with boiled meat and the bone of a buffalo. The meat is boiled with homemade spices for three to four hours straight in a big cauldron. After that, the soup is poured into an earthen vessel and left to settle overnight to form a jelly.
It tastes heavenly. The sensation of this melting inside your mouth gives you a true taste of Newari cuisine.
Bhaktapur is home to the Newars, and they have held onto their food culture as much as they have been carrying on the traditions. The variety of delicacies of Newari cuisine here is what people crave, as it provides you with a feast-like taste.
Bhaktapur is welcoming and warm for its cultural beauty, but you can’t resist the cordial invitation of Bhaktapur to serve your mouth and soul with its pure treasure trove of food. Bhaktapur is a true beauty and is the wealthiest city in delicacy.