A yomari is a rice cake filled with brown cane sugar (chaku) and sesame seeds, or khuwa (made from milk), which is then steamed. Preparing yomari isn’t just about following a recipe passed on from generation to generation. It is a culinary creation that ties taste, culture and religion proudly together. Festivities and food go hand in hand among the Newar people. Myth has it that a couple named Suchandra and Krita played around with flour made from recently harvested rice. Their venture took the shape of a yomari, which they offered to their fellow villagers who loved the taste, hence the name yomari, which means “tasty bread” in Newari. The myth further tells that on that same day, the couple offered a yomari to a passerby, who after accepting their kind offer, disclosed his real identity. Kuber, the God of Wealth, blessed the couple with riches. He also declared that whoever prepares yomari on the full moon of December and observes four days of devotion to God, will erase poverty.
Nowadays, the fish-shaped delicacies are homemade in honor of the Yomari Punhi festival. Held during the full moon in December, to celebrate the end of the rice harvest. Freshly harvested rice is grind into rice flour. The dough is a mixture of rice flour and water. After shaping the dough it is filled with chaku, a sweet paste made of jaggery and sesame seeds. Next it is steamed and served hot. There is a believe that the longer the tail of the yomari, the shorter the winter will be.