Tharu Cuisines and Delicacies (in Pictures)

Tharu are the ethnic indigenous communities from southern foothills and inner terai of Nepal. They have rich and diverse food culture. Food is characterized by the fertile flooded plains they live in, such as rice (anadi- a sticky rice variety is a delicacy), fishes, crabs, snails, mussels, mouse from paddy fields etc. Other food items include: pig, wild boar, chicken, wild rabbit, pigeon meat; taro, yam and wild root vegetables; legumes- kaalo maas, masyang; wild mushrooms etc… Cuisine of Tharu communities varies according to the regions they live, which makes it more rich and diverse.

Dhikri: It is one of the most popular Tharu cuisine made from rice floor. It is made by steaming rice dough (made into elongated or various shapes) and eaten with spicy chutney, lentils or curry.

Dhikri: It is one of the most popular Tharu cuisines made from rice floor. It is made by steaming rice dough (made into elongated or various shapes) and eaten with spicy chutney, lentils or curry.

Bagiya: It is a kind of dhikri of eastern Nepal, which shape is flattened with protruding ends, and also sometime has fillings of boiled potato and spices.

Bagiya (left): It is a kind of dhikri of eastern Nepal, which shape is flattened with protruding ends, and also sometime has fillings of boiled potato and spices.

Chichar: Chichar is made from steaming Anadi rice- a traditional variety of sticky rice in Nepal grown in plains of western Nepal. It is a delicacy generally eaten during the festivals. Anadi rice is also used to make various other delicacies.

Chichar is made from steaming Anadi rice- a traditional variety of sticky rice grown in plains of western Nepal. It is a delicacy generally eaten during the festivals. Anadi rice is also used to make various other delicacies.

Bhakka, a popular snack of Thuru community of eastern Nepal, is a steamed rice cake made in especially way. The fine rice flours are converted to sandy texture using little water, shaped with a bowl and then steamed. Unlike dhikri/bagiya, it is light, airy and fluffy, and eaten with chutney.

Bhakka, a popular snack of Thuru community of eastern Nepal, is a steamed rice cake made in especially way. The fine rice flours are converted to sandy texture using little water, shaped with a bowl and then steamed. Unlike dhikri/bagiya, it is light, airy and fluffy, and eaten with chutney.

Ghonghi: As Tharu community resides near marshlands, river and flooded plains, their cuisines are characterized by the use of various types of freshwater fishes, crabs, snails, mussels etc. Ghonghi (muddy snails found in paddy fields and streams) is a much-loved delicacy. These snails are cleaned, boiled and then cooked using various spices.

Ghonghi: As Tharu community resides near marshlands, river and flooded plains, their cuisines are characterized by the use of various types of freshwater fishes, crabs, snails, mussels etc. Ghonghi (muddy snails found in paddy fields and streams) is a much-loved delicacy. These snails are cleaned, boiled and then cooked using various spices.

Pakuwa: Barbecued meat (espically pork or wild boar) with spices, eaten during festivals like Maghe Sakranti.

Pakuwa: Barbecued meat (espically pork or wild boar) with spices, eaten during festivals like Maghe Sakranti.

Katnausi: meat of pig or wild board sometime cooked with blood

Katnausi: meat of pig or wild boar cooked with spices and sometime with blood

Gengta/Kakhor/Kekhada chutney : crabs generally prepared by frying with spices, and every parts are eaten.

Gengta/Kakhor/Kekhada chutney : crabs generally prepared by frying with spices, and every parts are eaten.

Parewak sikar: Delicacy prepared from pigeon meat by either roasted, fried or curried.

Parewak sikar: Delicacy prepared from pigeon meat by either roasted, fried or curried.

Jhingiya machhari: freshwater shrimp- another delicacy of Tharu community

Jhingiya machhari: freshwater shrimp- another delicacy of Tharu community

Sipi: curry made from locally found freshwater mussels, which is first boiled, shell removed and cooked

Sipi: curry made from locally found freshwater mussels, which is first boiled, shell removed and cooked

Patushni/Aairkanchan/Khariya: The dish is prepared by wrapping rice or legumes paste and spices in taro leaves, boiled, sliced and then deep fried. Legumes used generally are kaalo mass (black lentils) or masyang/syaltung (ricebeans).

Patushni/Aairkanchan/Khariya: The dish is prepared by wrapping rice or legumes paste and spices in taro leaves, steamed, sliced and then deep fried. Legumes used generally are kaalo mass (black lentils) or masyang/syaltung (ricebeans).

Bayarak chutney: Spicy sweet and sour chutney made from bayar (wild Indian plum)

Sidhraak chutney: Chutney made from dried small fishes and spices

Sidhraak chutney: Chutney made from dried small fishes and spices

Sinki: like gundruk but made from fermenting shredded radish

Sinki: like gundruk but made from fermenting shredded radish

Tilauri: Delicacy for the festivals made from sesame seeds and molasses or jaggery.

Tilauri (Teel ko laddu): Delicacy for the festivals made from sesame seeds and molasses or jaggery.

Laiyaa or Bhujako laddu: made from puffed rice and molasses or jaggery

Laiyaa or Bhujako laddu: made from puffed rice and molasses or jaggery

Teli roti: made up of rice flour deeply fried in oil (generally mustard oil)- a must food for marriage ceremony

Teli roti: made up of rice flour deeply fried in oil (generally mustard oil)- a must food for marriage ceremony

Aandik jhor/Jaar: Liquor made from locally available sticky rice variety (Anadi)

Aandik jhor/Jaar: Liquor made from locally available sticky rice variety (Anadi)

Set of Tharu dishes served on leaf plates (duna/tapari)

Set of Tharu dishes served on leaf plates (duna/tapari)

For more photos of Tharu cuisines: Click here!

Photos by: Khashing Chadra Rai/Prashata Khanal (Pictures were taken during the Maghi festival in Kathmandu on Jan 15)

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1 Comment

  1. Pawankumar tharu's Gravatar Pawankumar tharu
    November 30, 2016    

    i love tharu foods when i have time i want to go dang n eat tharus food…..like dikarii, gogii, etc
    kana ta kainxa tara aja bholi tada vaykolay dhari khana man lako ho ….i love tharu foods

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