Newa cuisine

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Newa cuisine (also referred to as Newar cuisine) is a subset of Nepalese cuisine that has developed over centuries among the Newars of Kathmandu (Kathmandu is called Yen in Nepal bhasa language), Nepal. Newa cuisine is the most celebrated food variety in the country that consists of over 200 dishes. It is more elaborate than most Nepalese cuisines because the Kathmandu Valley has exceptionally fertile alluvial soil and enough wealthy households to make growing produce more profitable than cultivating rice and other staples.

Food is the integral part of Newar culture. Different kind of foods are prepared for different occasions, considering the climate and nutritional needs for body. Newars are renowned for their sumptuous feasting.[1] Dishes served during feasts and festivals have symbolic significance.

Lunch and dinner[edit]

Āmli Achār, relish made of Himalayan hog plum
  • Jā (boiled rice)

Meat dishes[edit]

  • Chula (ground buffalo meat)
  • Pālulā (buffalo meat and ginger curry)
  • Senlāmu (raw ground buffalo liver seasoned with spices)
Gwarcha; Newa Cuisine

Vegetable dishes[edit]

  • Tarkāri (vegetable curry)
  • Wāunchā (green vegetables)
  • Tukan:chā
  • Palācha
  • Shākechā
  • Chōlechā


  • Ken (lentil soup)
  • Simi (Beans)
  • Mi (Fenugreek )
  • Aai Ka (Remaining rice after preparing rice beer)
  • Choohon (Tama in Nepali) (bamboo shoot)


  • losa (relish)


A typical snack of beaten rice, vegetables, roasted meat and other sides
  • Baji (beaten rice)
  • Chatānmari (rice flour crepe)
  • Chhusyā (parched wheat)
  • Gophuki (puffed rice)
  • Gwārāmari (deep fried dough)
  • Hājā (Steamed rice)
  • Jākimari (rice flour pancake)
  • Kani (popcorn)
  • Kheyn Wo (fried egg)
  • Musyā (roasted soybean)
  • Sukulā (dried meat)
  • Wo (fried lentil cake) see
  • Bara (fried lentil cake with hole like donut)

Feast foods[edit]

Meat dishes[edit]

Sapu Mhichā, leaf tripe bag stuffed with bone marrow
Lapte Bhowe; Newa Cuisine
  • Dāyekālā (buffalo meat curry)
  • Dugulā (goat meat curry)
  • Heynlā (duck curry)
  • Bandella (wild wardrobe meat)
  • Changrala (mountain goat meat)
  • Khasilā (gelding goat meat)
  • Nyā (fish curry)
  • Sanya (small fish)
  • Chohi (steamed buffalo blood)
  • Janlā (marinated diced with skin raw meat)
  • Kachilā (marinated raw minced buffalo meat)
  • Khāyālā (chicken curry)
  • Me (buffalo tongue boiled, sliced and fried)
  • Pangra
  • Nhyapu (brains boiled, sliced and fried)
  • Nyāpukā (fried fish)
  • Pukālā (fried meat ampestine,liver,heart etc.)
  • Sanyā-khunā (spicy jellied fish soup)
  • Sapu Mhichā (leaf tripe bag stuffed with bone marrow)[2]
  • Swan Pukā (goat lungs filled with batter and boiled, sliced and fried)[3]
  • Takhā (jellied buffalo meat curry)

Vegetable dishes[edit]

Kwati mixed beans soup
  • Buba Kwā (beans curry)
  • Chhon Kwā (curry of bamboo shoots and potato)
  • Kwāti (soup made of nine types of sprouted beans)
  • Mee Kwā (curry of fenugreek seeds)
  • Pancha Kwā (mixed vegetable curry of bamboo shoots, potato, dried mushroom, dried radish and blackeyed pea)


  • Bullā or Ka Kwā (soup made of the dregs of rice beer, diced spleen and other meats, bone marrow and bone)
  • Chhyāllā (soup made of shredded pickled radish and diced variety meats)
  • Pāun Kwā (sour soup of Himalayan hog plum)[4]

Festival foods[edit]

Image of a Newa cuisine "Samaybaji"
  • Samaybaji (set of beaten rice, roasted meat, vegetables, cowpea, soybean and ginger)
  • Syābaji (parched rice)

Meat dishes[edit]

A plate of momo
  • Chhoylā (either boiled or smoked, sliced and marinated buffalo meat)
  • Ghalmal (mixed curry of diced lentil cake, green vegetables and leftover meat seasoned with Nepal pepper)
  • Hāku Chhoylā (roasted, diced and marinated buffalo meat)
  • Momochā (dumplings filled with minced buffalo or chicken meat)*
  • Kunyā (smoked fish)

Vegetable dishes[edit]

  • Chākuhi (boiled sweet potato)
  • Hāku Musyā (roasted black soybean mixed with oil and salt)
  • Lābhā (chopped garlic greens mixed with spices)
  • Pālu (diced raw ginger)


Dhau (yogurt) in an earthen bowl
  • Kaywu (soaked field pea and garden pea)
  • Lain (sliced radish)
  • Tusi (sliced cucumber)


  • Dhau (yogurt)
  • Juju Dhau (Special Yogurt/Curd originated from Bhaktapur)
  • Marichari (may include anything sweet from soft milk based pastries to fried bread dipped in caramel)
  • Laakhamari (made out of flour and sugar, cooked in hot oil)
  • Guulmari(made out of flour and sugar, cooked in hot oil)
  • Baalbara
  • Yomari(made out of chaku and floor and is steamed like momo)
  • Anarsha
  • Ainthe-Mari
  • Khajuri
  • Roowth
  • Fini
  • Nimki
  • Lakshmimari
  • Swaari
  • Malpha
  • Jeeri
  • Gud-Paak
  • Chimti
  • Aiti Mari


Anti liquor jar and bowl


Newars cook, store and serve food and beverages in containers and utensils made of gold, silver, copper, brass, iron, clay pottery, dried rice stalks, corn leaves and leaves of certain trees sewn together with toothpicks to make plates and bowls. Food is eaten with bare hands. It is customary to wash hands before and after a meal.

  • Anti (alcohol jar)
  • Bātā (basin)
  • Chupi (knife)
  • Dhampo (water pot)
  • Hāsā (round winnowing tray)
  • Karuwā (water jug)
  • Kholā (bowl)
  • Sali (small clay bowl)
  • Somā (earthen wine pitcher)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "On the Importance of Food". Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  2. ^ Vaidya, Tulasī Rāma; Mānandhara, Triratna; Joshi, Shankar Lal (1993). Social History of Nepal. Anmol Publications. p. 168. ISBN 9788170417996.
  3. ^ Lonely Planet Nepal. Lonely Planet. 2012. ISBN 9781743213148. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  4. ^ Tuladhar, Kamal (2003). English-Nepal Bhasa Dictionary. Kathmandu: J.R. Tuladhar. ISBN 9789993354437.

External links[edit]