This is one of the most authentic newari food at its best. Newari cuisine is epitome of culinary delights. The recipe are very authentic yet simple. The recipes are mostly based on fresh ingredients like buffalo meat, fresh vegetables, herbs, legumes and spices.
The recipe I’m about to share is one of the popular newari dish. If you are a vegetarian, you could make the lentils patties without meat and egg. Traditionally woh (lentil patties without meat and egg) are used for sagun. Sagun is basically a newari ritual where you bless a person who’s going to embark on a journey or for achievements, birthdays or any auspicious occasion. Sagun starts with puja (ritual involving putting vermillion and rice grains with flowers to pray to hindu god) of Ganesh ( hindu god) and then of the person who’s receiving a blessing. It’s followed by giving boiled and fried egg, dried whole fish ( kunya) , woh, yogurt and spirit called aila (homemade alcoholic drink made from rice or millet and look and taste like tequila).
There are few variations of this recipe you could try. You can alternatively use mung beans. Mung beans are healthier and full of nutrients and easy on stomach. You can also add chopped onion and coriander to lentil mix to add more flavour and texture.
With mince, instead of adding it as topping, it can be mixed through the mix.
I’m posting this authentic recipe inspired by a very famous local shop in Patan called Honacha. It’s a small local shop with a rooftop dining serving best of newari cuisine like lawoh, chhoila(grilled spicy buffalo- will share recipe in future post), piro aalo (spicy potato) and much more. It’s a family business which has been running for generations. It’s always packed with locals as it’s cheap and tasty. I quite like the rooftop dining as you can enjoy the view of Krishna mandir (temple) and durbar square and munch down all these delicacies. I miss the spicy, hot dishes so much that I try to recreate these recipe at home. I’m a food enthusiast and love discovering new recipes, cooking and eating it especially Nepali cuisine. As I previous mentioned my hubby is from different town. He has tried few newari dishes but he doesn’t know about these local jewels where you can get mind blowing food. I tell him about all these local places where you can get great food and I’ve promised him that I will take him to all these places when we go for a visit ( we haven’t been back to our place as a couple yet).
Let’s get started now.
250 grams of Black lentils ( you can get it from indian grocery shops. Get the ones where skin has already been removed, trust me so much easier if it’s skinless)
250 grams of mince ( buffalo if available, if not I use lamb mince)
Eggs (one for a patty)
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger paste
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic paste
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of asafetida
Soak lentils overnight. Rub the lentils to take the skin off and wash it in the water. The skin will float on the top so drain it and repeat the process until all the skin is washed off.
I used the skinless lentils which I soaked for overnight and then washed it under the tap until the water runs clear.
Blend it with half a cup of water to make a fine paste.
Pour mix in a bowl. Add pinch of asafetida, salt, cumin and ginger paste and mix through.
In a separate bowl , put mince and add ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli, salt, cumin and some oil and mix through. The mince is ready.
Heat pan on low heat. Put a teaspoon of oil in the pan. Take a small amount of lentil and make a ball in your hands. Use some water while shaping it into small balls so it doesn’t stick in your hands. Gently put it in the pan and with wet spatula spread it thin about 2 cm thin. Top it of with thin layer of mince on lentil patty and egg. Cook on a on gentle heat for 2-3 minutes and then flip the patty. Cook it for few minutes and and it’s ready to be served.
It is used served with buffalo meat curry gravy to enhance the flavour but can be eaten as it is. Will share a goat curry recipe in later posts. Till then enjoy this delicacy.