Celebrating the authentic taste of Newari Culture
-   2017-08-18 | nepaltraveller.com
Join the celebration of Newari culture at Fairfield by Marriott from 18 to 27 August at 7 PM everyday
Kathmandu is a Newari city in its core and origin, its unique food has always been popular among the local people of Kathmandu spreading from local taverns to international hotels like Marriott.
Fairfield by Marriott is hosting a Newari food festival for the next 8 days in Kava Grill and Lounge, a place that speaks of comfort with a quiet charm. The festival is infused with authenticity and a blend of unique Newari culture. It will feature a wide range of Newari food and delicacies topped off with cultural Newari dances by skilled performers.
For a newbie who hadn’t ever experienced Newari culture it was an enthralling experience. The food ranged from appetizers to main course to desserts. What made the food truly authentic was that it was made by Newari women, typical housewives who have perfected the art of creating splendid dishes, a skill handed down from the older generation. Before that I had never contemplated the idea of a Newari Buffet but here the typical Newari dishes like Kwati(boiled beans), Khasi ko Jhol(Mutton curry soup), Chicken curry, Bhutan(fried intestines) to name just a few were lined up in mud pots lighted by traditional Chulos. These can be either enjoyed with plain rice or the Newari staple of Chuira (Beaten rice).
Head Chef Pranjal Gogoi says ‘Local people love Newari food perhaps it is because of its versatility and unique taste.’ While he also expresses his appreciation on the initiation by Marriott who have tried to revive the deeply cultural food of the Newars.
The popular Samay baji is a favourite among people. At the festival the true essence of this popular dish was perfectly executed. In the traditional laptey (plate crafted from dried leaves) different delicacies like Chhoyela, Bara, Chatamari, Yomari, Sel roti, different varieties of Achars with the staple beaten rice was truly authentic in its look and taste. The Chhoyela was perfectly balanced in taste, neither too hot nor spicy which was a personal favourite of mine.
Newari cuisine is incomplete without the local Newari alcohol, Aila which is to be enjoyed in a traditional mud glass called salicha, equivalent to a tequila shot. What is most intriguing is the way smiling ladies in Newari attire pour Aila into the tiny mud glass with a peculiar skill and art from a bronze jug. But after drinking a shot of this, you might find yourself a bit tipsy. This is only for people who can handle their alcohol well.
The festival was alive with hustles under the bright yellow lights in the restaurant area. But just as the dancer dressed as Kumari stepped into the stage the hustles hushed into a quiet murmer and people’s attention was diverted to the enactment of the Living Goddess. The night was made lively by the rhythmic movement of the dancer’s petite feet which moved gracefully with her painted fingers. People watched with sheer interest and wonder at the occasionally violent dance of the Lakhe and its victim Jhyalincha.
Newari food is all about the taste, versatility, variety and the undeniable mark of culture. All of this was perfectly captured in the Newari Food festival by Marriott. So if you would like a bite of it than make sure not to miss it while it is still within your reach.
Date: 18 August - 27 August
Time: 7 PM onwards
Price: 1,750 plus taxes per person
Venue: Kava Grill and Lounge, Fairfield by Marriott