Forgotten cuisines and delicacies of the past - #AskAnAji
Our first #AskAnAji question comes from Prashanta Khanal, environmentalist and entrepreneur based in Kathmandu. He asks “What are the traditional cuisines/delicacies that they (elderly) ate when they were kids and those are now almost forgotten. How often they used to make momo when they were kids-- or is it the late trend?” (2 July 2018, via Facebook)
85 year old Jagat Ratna Tuladhar considers himself a big time foodie. He is very particular about the quality of ingredients and prefers to buy most products from Asan bazar. He says many dishes that used to be regular in the past are now considered ‘exotic’. Some of these dishes are Jaki mari | जाकि मरी or rice pancakes, dushi mari | दुषि मरी or millet pancakes, loncha mari | लोंचा मारी or sweet bread made by steaming rice flour and sugar mix, and hyaun thon | ह्याउ थों or red chhyang which is a red colored fermented rice wine with added flavor of roasted green chilies.
Momos are still a celebrated food and have become a strong part of our identity. At home, momos are made during festivals and special occasions like birthdays. “It is fun to make momos. It is always a family event and everyone, young and old, is involved in the making,” says Jagat Ratna.
According to Mini Shrestha, 78 years old and a local of Damaitole, there are many food items that have become rare nowadays. They are only found at some restaurants but don't have the authentic taste. One of those cuisines is Vyata Kein | भ्यात केँ which is prepared by cooking sun dried spinach leaves with 'कनिका' and almost tastes like 'कर्कलो'. "It used to be a favorite Newari go to dish during the winters" remembers Mini aji.
Lil Maya Gurung from Pokhara who is 65 years of age, says that during the recent days the national food of nepal, dhindo |ढिँडो which is made of maize or wheat flour is slowly being forgotten. She also talks about Lito |लिटो, which is prepared by mixing fried rice grains with hot milk which is then served with ढिँडो itself.
Necklace Devi Sthapit (Maker of Tara Puja Set), 70 years old, who is very passionate about cooking says that there are many delicacies which are becoming rarer these days. One of them she remembers is Sapu mheecha| सपू म्हीचा . Sapu mheecha is prepared by stuffing buffalo meat tripe (आन्द्रा) with bone marrow |श्य , either boiled or fried. It used to be a famous dish for serving a Newari son-in-law in his in laws' home. Necklace Devi says that she is happy that these popular dishes are making a comeback slowly.
#AskAnAji is an Aji’s initiative, where anyone from anywhere in the world can ask a question to the elders of Aji’s community and get answers based on their years of knowledge, experience and wisdom. You can ask your question here or post it on Facebook and Instagram with #AskAnAji.