Juju Dhau, King of yogurt
One of the popular Newari desserts, Juju Dhau literally means the ‘king of yoghurts’ 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 as the pujas cannot be complete without putting aksheta or tika made of rice grain mixed with dhau and vermillion powder. It is also one of the most common and popular item in the 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).
Dahi is also considered as one of the panchamrit, five nectars of the gods (others being ghee, milk, honey and sugar) which is offered as sagun with a sense of blessing. It is also served in the form of dessert with cut fruits and nuts or as lassis and milkshakes. Among the various ways of consuming yogurt in Nepal, Juju dhau is the most popular one.
A specialty of people of Bhaktapur, Juju dhau in Nepal is famous as Bhaktapurko Juju dhau meaning Juju dhau of Bhaktapur. It was a delicacy during the ancient Malla era and was originally started from Bhaktapur and still, although other places in Kathmandu boast of having Juju dhau of their own, none can beat the taste of original Bhaktapurko Juju dhau.
It is made by boiling fresh buffalo milk in a large kadai in a traditional firewood stove. When boiled, the milk is poured into the traditional clay pots called kataaros which are soaked in water beforehand to prevent it from absorbing away water from the milk while it curdles. No sugar is added for sweetness but the sweet taste comes from khuwa and spices like cloves, cardamom, cashew nuts and coconut shavings. Then, a spoonful of previously made juju dhau is added to the mixture and then it is left to cool. The kataaro 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.
Because of its sweet, rich and creamy taste and also the fact that it does not drop even if you up turn the pot makes it the king of yogurts. This popular delicacy is a pride of Bhaktapur and nowhere else can you taste such a delicious yogurt in your life, except Bhaktapur so when you visit the place next time, make sure to enjoy the richness of Juju dhau.
For detailed information about Juju Dhau and the process of making it along with the pictures, visit http://tasteofnepal.blogspot.com/2012/02/juju-dhau-king-of-yogurt-from-bhaktapur.html