Yomari (Bread loved by all)

Submitted by:
Rupesh Shrestha, Kaiserslautern, Deutschland
Urban Planning and Development, Landscape, Traffic, and Infrastructure Planning

Image Source: Author

Ingredients

450g fine rice flour ()
50g wheat flour
250g chaku or molasses OR khuwa (its a thickened soft and sweet condensed milk product found in Kathmandu valley)
1/2 tea cup roasted sesame seeds (grounded into fine powder)
1/2 tea cup roasted cashew nut or peanuts (grounded)
1/4 tea cup grated coconut powder
1 bar of black chocolate
Warm water
Vegetable oil

1. Knead the dough of rice flour with warm water. Mix wheat flour as per necessity. Cover it for half a day to settle

2. Prepare fillings of chaku by breaking it into small pieces. In a saucepan put the small pieces of chaku with a cup of hot water. Heat the pan until the chaku is completely melted. Add crushed sesame seeds, cashew nuts, coconut and a tablespoon of rice flour. Add black chocolate if you want extra sweetness in yomari filling. If you want different variety of yomari with khuwa fillings inside, fill it directly inside yomari

3. Take small balls of rice dough, shape it as in the picture shown but make a cavity for fillings with your index finger. Dough should not be very soft but also should not be hard. Use water to softened the dough. The shape of the yomari is unique so try to practice shaping it couple of times. Its like handicraft and its fun ! Use oil in order to prevent the dough sticking to your hand.

4. Stuff the chaku filling inside the shape you made and cover the upper part.

5. Put in into the steamer to cook for 15-20 minutes. There is a special steamer used in Nepal

6. Take out the yomari and let it cool down for a little while.

7. Find a nice pot to enjoy your yomari!

Background

Yomari is one of the popular dishes in Nepal which is perfected by indigenous Newar cultural group of Kathmandu valley. "Yau" in Nepal Bhasa or Newari language means "loved" and "mari" means "bread". So, Yomari literally means the bread loved by all. By the name, Yomari has become one of the beloved dishes of Nepalese.
This dish is consumed specially on the day called Yomari Punhi (full moon day which falls around the month of December each year). On this day, families get together to make Yomari, and young people go around the historic settlements singing the Yomari song and asking for Yomari. A famous Yomari Song:
योमरी चाकु उके दुनि हाकु (yomaris is sweet, inside there is black chaku)
ब्युम ल्यासे मब्युम बुरिचा (If you give me yomari, you are pretty young lady, if not you are ugly lady)
Children in the day of Yomari Punhi especially like to go around the neighbourhood singing this song and ring the door bells asking for Yomari from their neighbours. Yomari is also made on special occasions like birthdays of small children to make them happy.
There are different legends on why we make Yomari. Some refer to it as a symbolism of earth and two tails it has as North and South pole; some relate it to longevity, good health, wealth, prosperity, and fertility. The tradition of Yomari making has been passed from generation to generation especially in the Newar family. I have seen my mother, grandmother and aunt making it at my home since childhood. I enjoy seeing Yomari, feeling it in my hands and eating it !

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