Bhakka in winters
Bhakka is a steamed rice flour cake made usually by the Rajbansi community in the eastern part of Nepal. This traditional food item was a favorite snack, especially during the late 1990s as most of the kids living in the place, especially in the Jhapa district in eastern Nepal, loved these steamed rice cakes served with the crushed chili and salt.
Usually women belonging to the Rajbansi community were seen at the chowks with their pot of water, bucket full of rice flour, fire lit beneath the pot and a piece of thin red cloth which consisted of the items required for making bhakkas. They mostly sold these items in the morning and the evening as the chilly winds added up to the temptation of having a steamed and hot bhakka. The process was simple and easy. They poured a handful of rice flour into the red cloth giving it a round shape of about two inch in diameter and about an inch thick on sides (usually using a small bowl). Then they placed it over the pot of steaming hot water and left it for about a couple of minutes and the bhakka was ready, just like that. The plain steamed rice flour had no taste at all, still it was many peoples’ favorite for the salt and pepper mix that came along with it enhanced its taste.
The food item being nutritious and healthy, as well as the woman making it being clean, the parents never stopped their kids from grabbing a bhakka or two, depending on the capacity of their stomach. Mere cost of Rs 1 that was gradually increased to Rs 3 was enough for you buy a bhakka for yourself. The absence of oil or any other ingredients and spices also added up to its health benefits. A cuisine traditional to the Rajbansi community living in the eastern Nepal, however, has lost its charms over the years due to the change in peoples’ taste and preference. Nevertheless, people living in the area and the kids who have grown up munching on the bhakkas for their breakfast at the roadside bhakka walis’ could never forget its taste and it would always entice them and tempt them, especially during the chili mornings when they have to make do with the few pieces of biscuits and a cup of tea for breakfast.