Newa community is also popular for their festivals, feasts, and an immense variety of cuisines on occasions like Dashain, Yomari puni, Pachare, Rato Machindranat jatra, Biska jatra, and many more. Food is not only tasty but it is also a healthy diet and it is scientifically proven that Newa bhowe (feasts) items in proper ratio for health. Newa Cuisine consists of non-vegetarian and vegetarian food items. Newa Cuisine means non-vegetarian items because Newa people are non-vegetarian people but there are few vegetarian people also but the number is very low. Mostly Newa people eat buffalo meat and it is predominant in Newari Cuisine. Alcoholic beverages like Aila and Thwo is popular. Aila means alcohol and according to the research, Newa alcohol is among one of the best in the world. Thwo means rice beer which is white in color.
Vegetarian Newari food
Alu achar: It is a spicy potato pickle that is mixed with boiled Nepalese Hog Plum, green chilly, red chilly powder, etc. Cucumber can also be mixed and after mixing cucumber it is called Tushi Achar. Cucumber means Tushi in the Newari language. Tushi achar or kakro achar in Nepali.
Aaloo Chwon: It is a bamboo shoot with potato and beans which is very tasty. Non-vegetarian Aaloo Chwon is more tasty than vegetarian Aaloo Chwon.
Baji (Beaten Rice): It is taken during feasts or for lunch with other items. It might be a little hard for old people to chew who have fewer teeth but you can take it with soup which makes beaten rice soft. For example with dakula ti (meat soup/masuko jhol).
Bara: You can find bara as donuts with holes in the middle as in donuts. We can say it is lentil based on fried donuts. It is normally made without meat.
Wo: It is a lentil-based flattened spicy and salty cake that is not as thick as a cake in shape. It looks like a small flattened plate. Wo is vegetarian food but you can also find non-vegetarian wo, where you’ll find minced meat or egg or both in the middle of wo as in burger. Wo is a healthy food. Some prefer having with a variety of toppings like kachila.
Chatamari: It is a rice crepe that is soft and white similar to roti but it is thinner and softer than roti. Chatamari is made mostly during kul puja known as depuja. It is vegetarian food but you can also find non-vegetarian chatamari same as wo. For non-vegetarian chatamri people also call it Newari pizza as it is similar to pizza.
Dhau: It means yogurt and Juju dhau is a popular yogurt of Kathmandu which is made in Bhaktapur. It is said that once upon a time there was a king in Kathmandu who doesn’t takes his meal without yogurt made in Bhaktapur. So it is called Juju dhau. Juju means king, dhau means yogurt and Juju dhau means king yogurt. Juju dhau means best tasty yogurt but these days there may be many yogurt brands under this. I mean Juju dhau was not a brand in those days. It means the best tasty yogurt of Bhaktapur.
Bhuti: It is black-eyed peas which is boiled and mixed with chili-powder, oil and salt.
Jaa (Boiled Rice): Rice is the main food of Newa people. It is taken twice a day in the morning as breakfast and at dinner
Phashi: It means pumpkins and it is one of the items during feasts.
Waaunchha: It is greens, a compulsory item during feasts. It is boiled and mixed with chilli-powder, oil and salt. It is an easy Newari recipe.
Yomari: Yomari is made during the Yomari puni occasion and it is a steamed sweet stuffed with molasses.
Nonvegetarian Newari food
Bhutan: It is made from intestines and internal organs of a buffalo, hen, duck, or goat. After washing properly with water it is boiled and then fried in oil. It is tasty and will be best to eat with alcohol or other food items like beaten rice etc.
Chohe: It is steamed buffalo blood with spices, just like a cake. Here blood means not all blood from the buffalo body. Chohe is made from special blood from buffalo.
Choila: Choila Newari dish is roasted and marinated buffalo meat. It is mixed with garlic, ginger, chilly and mustard oil which is spicy. It is made from buffalo meat which is best for any occasion, feasts, breakfast, lunch, dinner and with alcoholic beverages. Proper proportion of garlic adds taste to this food item. It is popular not only among Newa people but it is popular among all Nepalese.
Dukula: Goat meat is also one of the popular food items in the community. Mostly goat meat is prepared during Dashain, bartabanda etc. Some Newa people don’t like the smell of goat meat but if you take it a few times then later you’ll prefer goat meat with smell.
Henyla: It’s duck meat which is tasty when cooked well with lots of ginger pieces.
Kachila: It is marinated raw minced meat which is taken without cooking. You’ll find two types of kachila one is minced and the other is in small pieces. It is tasty when taken with bara, wo, aila or thwo.
Khayula: Chicken meat is known as khayula. There are not many Newa varieties as compared to buffalo meat items.
Mana choila: Choila and Mana-choila sound similar but they taste different. Mana-choila is boiled and mixed with spices.
Myae: The tongue of a buffalo is usually fried but it is also boiled and mixed with mana-choila.
Samaya Baji: It is beaten rice, choila, samaya (Rice Pops), Sannya which is known as Anchovies in English, palu (small pieces of ginger) and black soybean.
Sannyakhuna: Jelly of cooked and cooled buffalo meat soup mixed with fish named sannhya (Anchovies). It is soup only without meat pieces. It is hot, spicy, and tasty best to eat anytime except when you’re suffering from a common cold and cough. You can find this food item only during winter. It is just like jelly chocolate.
Sapu Mhicha: If you see this then you may not feel like eating this but it’s tasty and will have it later again if you have this once. It is tripe stuffed with bone marrow.
Soh: Fried lungs of goat is known as soh.
Sukula: Sun dried meat of buffalo, goat etc.
Takha: It is jelly of cooked and cooled buffalo soup with more meat pieces than soup. This food item is popular during winter guthi bhoj (guthi feasts) etc.
Alcohol and derivatives
Aila: It is alcohol that is made locally at home but these days new generation doesn’t have an idea of making alcohol at home. Home-made aila is one of the best alcohol in the world. It is usually colorless alcohol but color can be added using different natural ingredients and high-quality aila is very strong. You can feel it in your lungs and stomach after you drink it. There are different grades of Aila for normal alcohol it is called Aila and for best quality, it is called mushau-aila.
Thwo: It is rice beer made at home normally white in color. You can also find hyau-thow means red rice beer just like Fanta. There are different varieties of rice beer. You’ll find sweet to sour in taste. Sweet thwo is popular among girls and kids. Sweet thwo is also given to a girl/woman who has given birth to a child. Sour thwo is popular among boys as it is strong as alcohol.
Bulla or Kamowh: It is remaining rice particle after making thwo. Water, steamed rice and other ingredients are mixed to make thwo. Liquid is taken as thwo and reaming rice particle is boiled, mixed with buffalo bones with meat and taken as soup.
Gorma: It is a very tasty thick soup made from rice flour. Dried goat meat can be mixed for better taste but some people also prefer to take it without mixing meat. In my community remaining goat meat of dashain is dried and mixed in gorma in Tihar during mhapuja and kijapuja (bhaitika). It might be different from place to place.
Kwaati: A country bean soup healthy and tasty which is made during the Gaijatra festival. There will be at least with nine different beans which is soaked in water for a few days.
Lai Kwa: It is made from dry reddish. It is a tasty soup.
Mee kwa: It is known as methi in the Nepali language and Fenugreek in the English language. It is boiled mixed with spices and taken as soup. To remove the bitter taste you can boil it and throw boiled water. Fenugreek is also good for health and it is said that it is not good for people having low blood pressure as it lowers blood pressure.
Paun: It is a sour soup which is made from lapsi and is in liquid form which is taken as a soup. It is taken when it gets cold because hot paun is not tasty. Lapsi is boiled and mixed with chilly powder and salt. Lapsi’s English name is Nepalese Hog Plum. It can be taken as vegetarian soup or boiled meat water (soup) can also be mixed for taste.
Lakhamari: It is made with flour and sugar. It was popular in those days when there was no culture of modern biscuits. Today it is not very popular for consumption but used in various occasions like wedding ceremonies etc.
Newa feast items
|S.no||Newa food name||English meaning|
|3.||Alu chow||bamboo shoot mixed with potatoes, beans with or without buffalo bones|
|11.||Mushya, palu||black soyabean, ginger|
|16.||Pukala||fried meat (liver, intestine of buffalo)|
|17.||Chyala-kwa||dried raddish soup|
|18.||Sisapusha||raddish, orange etc|