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Indrachowk Newari Bara: A Local Newari Cuisine Eatery
Fancy restaurants and luxurious hotels are the least of your concerns when you are hungry. Good food is all you need. If you’re craving a Newari delicacy and are near Indrachowk of Ason, you happen to be around the best place to visit for authentic, cheaper and hygienic Newari Khaja set around the New Road area. Located at the heart of Kathmandu, Indrachowk Newari Bara serves simple and homemade Newari dishes that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
The place is quite popular among the locals and the regular visitors. Talking about the environment of the place, while you can expect the place to be crowded, you will still receive quick services and friendly hospitality from the members. The food prices are reasonable and affordable. Moreover, there is space for at least 26 people, so you can take your friends and family. The place also has enough parking space for around 10 two-wheelers. One of the things I loved the most about this place is its emphasis on hygiene. The eatery is equipped with a sink on the premises with a facility for water and liquid hand wash. In addition to this, there is a provision for both dine-in and takeaways.
This little place of staff members with big hearts has been functioning as a result of the endeavor of the founder, Mandira Shrestha, along with other four members: Muna Khadka, Sharadha Maharjan, Sarmila Shahi and Kusum Maharjan. The eatery, now 18 years old, gained widespread popularity, even abroad, after the famous Instagram food vlogger “nepal.food” promoted it on social media and Nepali Chef Santosh Shah, along with Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace — the three judges of Masterchef UK — made a visit to the place.
The eatery opens from 11 AM until 8 PM. A majority of the dishes available here are vegetarian including ‘Yomari’, a steamed dumpling that is shaped like a fish and is made of rice flour with a filling of sweet ingredients like khuwa (dairy food made of thickened milk) and chaku (made from jaggery, molasses or palm sugar); ‘Bara’, a lentil patty made up of moong (red lentil) and maas (black lentil); ‘Masyeura (soya chunks) Choila’; ‘Aaloo (potato) Sandheko’. To add non-vegetarian flavors to the menu, the eatery has introduced a new dish called ‘Anda Bara’, a lentil patty made with egg. Currently, there are just five food items; however, everything they serve is prepared to perfection so that if you have anything at this place once, you will want to come back craving more.
Mandira Shrestha, the founder of this place, said “I was very glad when Chef Santosh visited us and ate our Yomari and complemented it.” She also added that most people who come here mostly love the place due to the vegetarian items they serve. She said that, so far, all people have given them good feedback and promised to come again. Shobha Shrestha, one of the daily customers and a local at Indrachowck said, “It has been 15 years since I have been coming here. I have not seen any person complaining about the place so far and I, myself, am very impressed by how frequent visitors in the place have increased than in the past. Mostly, I do not have time to prepare snacks for myself because I have to hurry for my work, so I prefer to buy from here which is a tastier and easier option for me.”
I tasted a bit of all the items and picked my favorites, which were 'Khuwa Ko Yomari’, ‘Maas Bara’, ‘Masyeura Ko Chhoila (Masyeura Achar)’ and ‘Aaloo Sandheko’ (Aaloo Achar)’.
Khuwa and Chaku ko Yomari
This place is a real gem for ‘Khuwa Yomari’ lovers. The yomari had a soft delicate texture with a bit of chewiness. Although the hot yomari was a bit sticky as it was just taken out of the steamer, the stickiness gradually decreased as it cooled down. There was a sufficient amount of khuwa inside, giving it an ideal level of sweetness of milky fudge inside my tongue. Similarly, the taste of the chaku inside the ‘Chaku Yomari’ was heavenly. Unlike at other places, the yomari served here will not give you a chance of saying “yo yomari maa ta chaku/ khuwa nai pugdaina”. The ‘Chaku Yomari’ contained a mixture of chaku, sesame seeds and finely crushed coconut pieces. Both types of yomaris gave me a heartwarming feeling in this monsoon weather.
Maas and Moong Ko Bara
The lentil patties were light and spongy. They resembled flat salty pancakes. The pan-fried patties had only a small amount of oil, which makes them suitable for any health-conscious customer. The lentil patties made a wonderful snack.
Aaloo Sandeko and Masyaura Choila
The spiciness of both of the dishes made them tasty. The sliced chillies and chopped coriander added an additional flavor to the spices of the dishes. Similarly, the amount of lemon juice added to the dishes also made them a little bit sour and tangy. The ginger, garlic paste and other spices were nicely coated around each cube of potatoes and bits of soya chunks. These two dishes make a perfect combination as a side dish for lentil patties (Bara).
If you actually visit this eatery, I would suggest you try all the four dishes I tried: ‘Khuwa Yomari’ (Rs 50, Maas Bara (Rs 30), ‘Masyeura Ko Chhoila’ and ‘Aaloo Sandheko’ (each Rs 35). Indrachowk Newari Bara is where I think you should go if you want to fill your stomach with reasonably-priced quality food. And I recommend this place also as it is located near the Basantapur Durbar Square area. You can also always ask for a takeaway and enjoy the food with your family at home. Besides, you can also order yomari and bara for any special occasions like birthdays or other festivities.
- by Samiksha Shrestha
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