If you are in Nepal or contemplating an idea of visiting Nepal, you must not miss Juju Dhau. And Dal Bhat obviously.
It is the finest yogurt available in Nepal. It is one of the most popular Newari food items, made specially in Bhaktapur.
It is characterized by the sweet taste (from cardamom, coconut shavings, and cloves), creamy texture, and thick consistency in a clay pot that costs you as low as Rs 50.
Unlike regular yogurt, which is made from cow milk, it is made from fresh buffalo milk.
Meaning of Juju Dhau
Juju Dhau means “king of yogurt” or “king curd.“
In the Newari language, Juju translates as “King,” and Dhau means “yogurt.”
How is Juju Dhau made
It is made from buffalo milk.
The milk is first boiled in a traditional firewood stove.
It is then poured into clay pots. Note: the clay pots are completely dry- soaked in water and drained thoroughly.
A small amount of previously made Juju Dhau is mixed with the boiled milk and then cooled.
The clay pots with milk are placed on a bed of rice husks in a separate warm room, allowing the excess water to evaporate. The clay pots are wrapped in a thick blanket.
Finally, the pots are covered with empty pots and left undisturbed for several hours (3-4 hours to 5-6 hours.
For the sweetness, cloves, cardamom, cashew nuts, and coconut shavings are used.
There is a famous story about Juju Dhau.
A long time ago, during the Malla period, a special yogurt competition was organized. The competitors had to make yogurt and offer it to the King. People from Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and Lalitpur took part in it.
Everyone made it and offered it to the King. But the yogurt made by Bhaktapur was special to the King- the King loved it, hence Juju Dhau.
It was considered an exceptional treat during the Malla period. It is still popular and one of the must-try foods in Nepal.
Did you know that king yogurt is considered one of the five elements of panchamrit? – Panchamrit, a holy concoction, consists of five ingredients- yogurt, cow’s milk, honey, tulsi, and ghee, each of them having its own significance.
If you attend Newari feasts and celebrations, chances are you will taste king yogurt. It is the favorite Newari dessert that everyone loves.
Juju Dhau Price in Nepal
You can enjoy the king yogurt for as low as Rs.50. Its price may vary from place to place, and depends on the size. Obviously, the bigger, the expensive.