Lakhamari, the Beloved Sweet of Nepal

Kasthamandap Khadhya Udhyog, satisfying the sweet urges of Lakhamari

  •  29 May 2018  |  nepaltraveller.com

Nepal’s cuisine has always succeeded in charming people from all-over. Like Nepal’s enchanting World Heritage Sites, its native cuisines have different cultural and religious significance. One of which is Lakhamari, a popular confectionary that plays an auspicious role especially in Newari lifestyle.

Nepal’s cuisine has always succeeded in charming people from all-over. Like Nepal’s enchanting World Heritage Sites, its native cuisines have different cultural and religious significance. One of which is Lakhamari, a popular confectionary that plays an auspicious role especially in Newari lifestyle. 

Lakhamari has a crunchy texture. Although it comes in different shapes, its use differs according to the size. The larger the Lakhamari, the more exclusive it becomes. Larger Lakhamari’s are used in social functions whereas the smaller ones are used for pujas and the smallest ones are used for everyday consumptions as snacks. Traditionally, people take Lakhamaris as presents in religious ceremonies or weddings. There is a custom of gifting Lakhamari to the bride’s family by the groom, along with the wedding invitation, prior to marriage.

There isn’t a certain reason as to why it’s called Lakhamari, but most people believe it got its name from two Newari words, Lakha meaning 'Huge' and Mari meaning ‘Sweet'. The interesting thing about this sweet is that it keeps for a long time, more than five months - without adding any preservatives. 

Kasthamandap Khadya Udhyog, which produces traditional food, has been involved in the commercial production of Lakhamari for a decade now. By introducing Newari sweets commercially, this company has revolutionized the market for confectionery items in Nepal. When asked about the inspiration behind the enterprise, Mr. Anil Das Rajkarnikar, managing director of Kasthamandap Khadya Udhyog, says, “We have so many sweets from other countries dominating the market, thus I want to promote our traditional sweets. Our sweets have been overlooked because of that. Therefore I want to promote Nepali food and introduce them to a bigger market.”

Anil’s family has been involved in Newari sweet business for generations. His family owns a well-known sweet shop in Basantapur called Kasthamandap Mithai Bhandar, which is one of the most famous sweet shops in Kathmandu. 

Kasthamandap Khadya Udhyog prepares at least 500 packets of Lakhamari a day, in the festive season, the number goes up substantially. “Dashain and Tihar are the main seasons for Lakhamari,” said a worker as she prepared the oil for frying Lakhamaris. “These days, we have orders coming from abroad, especially Australia”, she further added. Keeping up with the latest demand, Anil also produces sugar-free Lakhamaris these days. 

Lakhamari making process is intriguing. First, the rice flour is mixed with sesame seed and pure ghee. Then the mixture is fried in hot oil, giving it a definite shape. After letting it rest for a while, the half-cooked Lakhamari is fried again until it gets golden brown. It is then dipped in hot sugar syrup. As the sugar syrup completely coats the Lakhamari the dried sugar gets accumulated on top of it after cooling. This is what gives Lakhamari it’s sweet and delicious taste. 

If you want to try this popular Nepali sweet, be sure to visit:

Kasthamandap Khadhya Udhyog, 
Teku, Kathmandu
Ph: 4267192


 

 

Ayusha Pradhananga