NEPAL BHAKTAPUR Food Tour- NEWARI Breakfast + Taas + Bara Wo + JuJu Dhau + Choila + Tho Local Beer
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As a part of our ongoing Nepal Food Series, we are at Bhaktapur or the City of Devotees to explore it unique food traditions. It is named so as it has three major squares full of towering pagoda style temples that boasts of some of the finest religious architecture in the country. The remarkable structures- with exquisite wood carvings and metal craft- pervading the cityscape, transported us to ancient times. Moreover the car free city centre is a happening spot teeming with tourists and locals. As you stroll down the street, you discover how art and craft occupies a significant place in the culture of Bhaktapur.
In our gastronomic exploration at this sleepy city we are joined by our foodie host Kamal Bhatta who has deep knowledge about the culture and traditions of this place. The menu out here on the streets is mostly Newari food. Come let’s see what all did we try.
Before starting for Bhaktapur, we relished some popular street side breakfast items at the main marketplace in Kathmandu. We bought some Gwaramari(round, fried sweet bread), Malpua, Sel Roti(ring-shaped, sweet rice bread), Jerry(similar to Jalebi) and Swaari(thin, soft puri). These were accompanied by milky tea just like the locals prefer. The most delightful thing about the eating experience was witnessing them prepared fresh. The dishes were simple, familiar but yummy and filling.
On reaching Bhaktapur, we embarked on a pleasant stroll down the lanes of this heritage city in search of yummy food. Our first stop was a sweet shop where we tried Balbara and Gudpak. The first one is a sweet, crisp, deep fried, sugar glazed flatbread while the second one is a traditional fudge like sweet made with khoya, gond, ghee, nuts, etc.
Next we passed by another sleepy lane where people-kids, young and old-were relaxing on the raised verandah of the native buildings, to have fresh and hot aloo chop or potato fritters. We loved the mildly spiced fritters served with a spicy chutney.
Our next food destination was an eatery at Kamalvinayak, whose Choila, Thon and Aloo Tama are quite popular with the locals. Choila which is a meat based appetizer was lip smacking. No wonder it effortlessly complimented the traditional rice based alcoholic drink Thon or Chyang. Aloo Tama, a delicious curry made with potatoes, bamboo shoots, black eyed peas etc. was delicious too.
After that we went to Famous Juju Dhau for relishing the iconic ‘King Curd’ that is one of the must try delicacy in the region. We were bowled over by the thick, luscious, velvety and creamy texture of this buffalo milk curd.
Our last food destination was Bhetghat restaurant in Kathmandu which serves a very special meat dish called Taas. The crisp and tender shallow fried meat pieces is eaten with puffed rice and radish pickles.
About the host - Anubhav Sapra:
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence. To know more, visit www.anubhavsapra.com
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak