Bhakka: A Reason to Wake Up in Wintry Mornings

Locals and children, who grew up eating Bhakkas for breakfast at roadside street vendors, could never forget its taste.

8, Jan 2023 |

As the National Bhakka Day is fast approaching, Bhakka has been promoted because of its health benefits, its popularity among the people of the eastern Terai and its significance in their culture.

Bhakkas, steamed rice cakes, is a traditional Rajbansi and Tharu dish from Nepal's eastern plains. It is generally consumed with freshly made tomato pickles for breakfast or snacks. Although the recipe appears to be fairly straightforward, a lot of effort goes into making it beautifully soft and fluffy. The rice flour version made with recently harvested rice has a hint of sweetness. It is a popular street breakfast in Jhapa and Morang.

Typically, Rajbansi women can be seen at the chowks (junctions between the alleys) with a pot of water, a bucket filled with rice flour, a fire placed underneath the pot, and a piece of thin red fabric containing the ingredients needed to make Bhakkas. Due to the frigid weather and increased desire for something hot and steaming, they primarily offer this snack in the morning or evening.

Its health benefits are increased more by the fact that it includes no oil, fat or any unhealthy ingredients. Locals and children, who grew up eating Bhakkas for breakfast at roadside street vendors, could never forget its taste. Bhakkas would easily lure them, especially on those mornings when they made them, and had with a few pieces of biscuits and a cup of tea for breakfast.

The recipe to make Bhakkas is quite simple. Rice should first be soaked before grinding it to make flour. To softly moisten it, sprinkle some water over it. Give the rice a thorough palm massage to create a sand-like texture. Now, in an earthen pot, boil water, and cover the small opening, where the rice cake is, with a fresh muslin cloth. Once the water in the saucepan starts to boil, make a little cake out of the rice and place it on top of the cloth. Depending on the temperature of the water, cook the cake with the lid on for 30 or 60 seconds.

Bhakka can be eaten with a huge variety of condiments. It would probably be preferred by someone from the eastern Terai region to eat it with noon-khursani (salt and chilly). Three different sauces—one sweet, one spicy, and one mild tomato pickles—are available at Bhakka House, which is located in Old Baneshwor. The proprietors of Bhakka House have cleverly matched chaukuni, a pleasantly spicy Palpali yogurt-based salad, with Bhakkas during the sweltering summer months. Some people in specific regions of Terai also enjoy their Bhakkas with fish curry, if you still want additional options.

Interestingly, once-exclusive to the royal castes, the practice of eating Bhakkas has spread to all other castes nowadays. As everyone wants to eat it, Bhakka has recently become a not-so-exclusive dish. Now, the 29th of Poush is observed as the National Bhakka Day to promote the dish.

Photo Credits:

Also Read: 

Get A Piece Of New York At New York Style Pizza

Swasthani Brata Katha: In Praise Of The Almighty Swasthani Mata

Bishnu Magar, An Executive Chef: Serving Food Par Excellence

In Frames: A Sight Of Thamel

join our newsLetter

powered by : nepal traveller digital publication pvt. ltd

developed by : Web House Nepal