Juju Dhau from Bhaktapur: The King of Yogurt: Juju Dhau is the famous Nepalese made yogurt found, especially, inside the Kathmandu Valley (Bhaktapur). The word “Dhau” means a sweet yogurt, which is typically prepared by the Newars, an indigenous tribe of Nepal.
Juju Dhau literally means the ‘king of yogurts’ in Newari language. Dhau (yogurt), known as dahi in Nepali is an important aspect of Nepali culture and daily life. It is one of the most important elements to be used during a puja (worship) as the pujas cannot be complete without putting acheta or tika made of rice grain mixed with dhau(dahi) and vermillion powder.
It is also one of the most common and popular items in Nepali kitchen, usually, people do not miss including dahi in their meals or even snacks as most of the Nepalese love to eat dahi-chiura (yogurt and beaten rice). We even have a ceremony for eating dahi-chiura on Asar 15 where we harvest crops and celebrate it with eating it. Even in the Baby Showers dahi-chiura is used to feed the soon to be Mother.
Bhaktapur a district touched by Kathmandu is famous for yogurt. The Juju Dhau which is prepared by the local Newar’s is famous in Nepal as it refers King of Yogurt. It is prepared mostly in clay cups, pots and even in plastic cups.Juju dhau is not only available in Bhaktapur but also in Kathmandu and Patan too.
Being a yogurt, a milk product, Juju Dhau is created by bacterial fermentation, which is a metabolic process that changes sugar into acids, gasses, and liquor. It happens in yeast and in microorganisms.
Juju Dhau is usually prepared from buffalo milk. First of all, buffalo milk is boiled; after the milk is boiled, it is poured into the traditional clay pot which is known as “kataura” or “maato ‘ko’ kataura”. Clay pots must be warm but prior to this process, clay pots are poured into the water to prevent them from absorbing milk from the curd. Here, no sugar is added to bring sweetness but spices like, coconuts, cardamom, etc would create mouth-melting sweetness.
Then, a spoonful of previously made juju dhau is added to the mixture and then it is left to cool. The “kataura” is left undisturbed in a non-ventilated room and is shielded with rice husks. As the clay pots are porous, the excess liquid slowly evaporates leaving behind the delicious thick yogurt. An average of four hours time is required for the yogurt to set completely.
The taste of it makes people give their praise to the one who prepared especially the Newar’s of Bhaktapur.So when you visit Bhaktapur make sure that you are going to enjoy tasting the famous king of yogurt.