Tharu Cuisines and Delicacies
Tharu are the ethnic indigenous communities from southern foothills and inner Terai of Nepal. They have very rich and diverse food culture. The food culture and cuisine vary according to the regions they live. The food culture is largely characterized by the fertile flooded plains, forests, and environment they live in. Rice is the major staple, and a variety of sticky rice ‘anadi rice’ (locally known as andik) is traditionally grown by the Tharu communities. Fishes, crabs, snails, mussels etc. from the rivers and water bodies are central to the Tharu food culture. They also have this particular culture of eating mouse that lives eating rice in paddy fields etc. Other sources of meats are pig, wild boar, chicken, wild rabbit, pigeon meat etc. Taro (including steam and leaves, yam, varieties of legumes, wild mushrooms, and other wild vegetables, and varieties of greens are the widely eaten.
Maghi is the biggest festival of Tharu communities and also regarded as the New Year. The festival is celebrated by eating varieties of delicacies such as dhikri (eaten by western Tharu communities), bagiya (eaten by eastern Tharu communities), chichar, teel ko laddu, ghonghi, pork, bariya, aairkanchan, tele paur roti etc. A special delicacy is also prepared by cooking sesame seed and local aromatic variety of rice together.
is one of the most popular western Tharu cuisines made from rice flour. It is made by steaming rice dough (made into elongated or various shapes) and eaten with spicy chutney, lentil soup or curry.
is similar to dhikri but eaten largely in eastern Nepal. Unlike dhikri, it’s shaped flattened with protruding ends, and often has fillings of boiled potato or lentils and spices.
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.
a popular snack of Thuru community of eastern Nepal, is a fluffy steamed rice cake. It is usually eaten with freshly made chutney or achaar. The making of bhakka is state-of-the-art.
is barbecued meat (especially pork or wild boar) with spices, eaten during festivals like Maghi.
is crab dish generally prepared by cooking with spices, and every part of the crab is eaten.
is freshwater shrimp- another delicacy of Tharu community.
is chutney made from dried small fishes and spices.
Tilauri (Teel ko laddu):
Delicacy for the festivals made from sesame seeds and molasses or jaggery.
Laiyaa or Murai ko laddu
is made from puffed rice and molasses or jaggery.
Teli paur roti
is rice flour flatbread prepared by deep-frying in oil (generally mustard oil)- a must food for marriage ceremony.