Samay Baji
A combined set of multiple food - Samay Baji

Samay Baji

Samay Baji, also known as the Newari Khaja set is one of the must-try sets of food in Nepal.

Deepak Raj Bhatta
Author | Deepak Raj Bhatta Date Published:
samay baji newari khaja set

Black and red drapes of hand-woven Haku Patasi, engaging tunes of Dhime and Jhyamta, memoirs of ancient kingdoms, architectural extravagance, the language, and definitely, the finger-licking cuisine forms the colourful Newari culture of Nepal. Foods are the most essential part of the Newari culture in Nepal. Samay Baji, also known as the Newari Khaja set is one of the must-try sets of food in Nepal

The traditions and caste system of Newars melds both Hinduism and Buddhism to a fresh uniqueness. The culture and cuisine of Newars have become popular among tourists who fly down here and crept into the wholesome-Nepal experience. 

The Newari cuisine is one of the most celebrated with more than 200 delicious dishes to content an average to enormous gastronome. The cuisine is renowned for its embellishment and profligacy. Choila (spiced ground meat), Senla (steamed liver), Alu Tama (potato and bamboo shoot broth), Juju dhau (local curd), Chatamari( rice pancake), Bara (lentil based pancake), Yomari (molasses-filled rice flour dough), sanya Khunya (spicy jelly filled soup) are some of the famous delicacies.

Local hard beverages called “thon” prepared from rice often accompany the feast. Huge feasts are organized all year round in different festivals of Dashain, Tihar, Indra Jatra, Bisket Jatra, Yomari Punhi. 

Samay Baji is an integral part of Newari cuisine. It is a traditional and authentic dish that is synonymous to starters or the first meal of a course. It heralds every feast and celebration among Newars. The dish symbolizes good luck, fortune, happiness and longevity.

Table Of Content

    Ingredients of Samay Baji

    Samay Baji includes many delicacies in one platter. Typically, it has 

    Chiura (beaten rice)

    Chiura, also called Baji in Newari, is a popular fast snack among Nepalese people. It is made by pounding rice and is a part of the staple diet in many regions of Nepal.

    Samay

    Samay is the Newari term for puffed rice. It is the main component of the Samay Baji, as the name suggests. However, it is consumed in small quantities like cinnamon in bananas per platter.

    Bhatmas (Black Soybeans)

    Bhatmas refers to Black Soybeans, is an essential ingredients of Sayam Baji. It's also a regular using Nepali snacks which is consumed by boiling or dry fried

    Palu (finely cut ginger)

    Palu, meaning ginger is a raw element of the dish that adds to its nutritional value.

    Bara

    Bara, also called Wo in Newari, is a black lentil based fried pancake. It is prepared from black lentils or green lentils and often even topped with mashed meat or eggs. Bara is both crunchy on the edges and mushy. In a word, it is as delicious as savoury.

    Chatamari

    Chatamari is like a traditional rice crepe prepared from rice flour batter. Often topped with mashed meat, onions, eggs it can come off as a lowkey Nepali pizza.

    Choila

    Hot, spicy and mouth watering Choila is the Newari finger-licking non vegetarian dish. It is typically a spiced grilled buffalo meat. Nowadays, chicken and duck meat choila are also available as juicy alternatives. 

    Fried and boiled Egg

    The side dishes consist of spicy potatoes, spinach and boiled beans (bodi) partnered with Ayla (local white wine specific to Newars). The dish comes together with sour and tangy pickle (achar) made of radish, cucumber, carrot and sour berries (lapsi). It is a full party to devour in a plate. 

    The Newars offer Samay Baji in various religious functions to gods, goddesses and their ancestors. The starking eye of a huge dry fish sitting atop a mound of offerings of Samay Baji standing at dabalis of the durbar square is a common sight in Indra Jatra. This clearly emphasizes the essence of this dish in Newari tradition.

    Samay Baji - A Cultural Retreat

    The delight was passed down as a lifestyle which has now been established as an occasional ritual. Back then, a majority of Newars were merchants, goldsmiths, priests but a part of the population were also farmers. Electricity and gas were a luxury and burning firewood was tedious work, so only two meals were cooked on a daily basis in a typical Newari household.

    The Newari houses and huts were built close next to each other but the farms were mostly very distant. So, the journey to the farms saw less shade, rest and shelter those days. During this time, Samay Baji became a popular snack option because of its ready-to-eat and nutritious quality.

    Today, it still stays as a popular meal course to introduce a unique blend of culture in a leaf Ashet and has ushered beyond Newars and just Nepal. It is a must try for any food and culture enthusiast. You will surely love the flavors, spices, versatility and textures of the food.

    Where to have Samay Baji in Kathmandu?

    If you want to have the best Samay Baji in Kathmandu valley in a typical cultural setting you can check out:

    1. Newa Lahana, Kirtipur 
    2. Newa De Café, Kathmandu   
    3. Nandini Food Court, Lalitpur

    There are so many other eateries where you can get the delicious Samay Baji. The Newari restaurants are popular places to check out for Samay Baji.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is Samay Baji?

      Samay Baji, also known as Newari Khaja Set is a popular Newari dish in Nepal, its contents a combined set of various separately prepared foods.

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