Going by the name of nasta, the sweet shops in Rajbiraj, district headquarters of Saptari in Eastern Nepal, serves a plate full of variety of food items. Coming in the size of full plate and half plate, it is one of the popular snacks in Rajbiraj and not only Rajbiraj but most of the districts and places in Terai region of Nepal have nasta as their most popular snack item.
A plate full (half or full depending upon your appetite) of nasta is enough to satisfy your hunger and sometimes, at some places, an aalu chop is also given as complementary items with the plateful of nasta. A plate of nasta consists of chiura (Beaten rice) and murai (puffed rice) at the base mixed along with bhujiya. On top of this mixture, chhola (white pea curry) is placed and above it, another round of shop-made bhujiya is sprinkled. It is topped with chopped raw onion and coriander leaves and the nasta is served with a spoonful of spicy and hot ginger-chili chutney. You also get a green chili placed neatly at one side of the dish (or you could ask them not to include it).
The chhola for nasta is made by cooking the pre-soaked white pea with regular Nepali spices. The nasta is complemented by chop and if the dai does not give you one, ask for one (at additional few rupees) because the nasta is incomplete without it.
It is a popular snack as you can get a plateful at minimum price. These shops are usually crowed during the noon and evening/ afternoons.
These spicy nastas attract large numbers of customers of various age groups, from school going to office workers.
However, if you think too much and get over conscious about the health and sanitation of the place, you won’t be able to enjoy it. So, for once, when you visit Rajbiraj, walk along the Mandir Road and enter into one of those nasta pasals to have a plateful of cheap yet satisfying nasta.