Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yomari Puhni योमरी पुन्ही

Yomari Puhni योमरी पुन्ही

Yomari is a type of Newari food, and Punhi means full moon. Yamari Punhi is a festival celebrated in full moon day by making, eating and distributing yamari. This festival is very popular in Kathmandu valley. Yomari means tasty bread. Yomari punhi is a Newari festival marking the end of the rice harvest

When is Yomari Puhni celebrated


It is observed in full moon day of December. This year it falls on December 17, 2013 (Poush 2, 2070). Under Hindu Lunar Calendar it falls on Marga Sukla Purnima every year. This day is also the birthday of Guru Dattatraya.

Yomari Song

(Kids in group sing this song while asking yamari going neighborhood)
त्यछिं त्य वकछीं त्य लातापाता कुलेचाँ जुछिंत्य । 
योमरी च्वामु उकी दुने हाकु ब्युसा माकु मब्युसा ।।
फाकु ब्युसाल्यासे मब्युस बुढी कुटी ।   

Yomari Punhi is observed during very cold days. It is said eating of yamari takes away cold. It is believed so long the tail of yamari as short the winter will be. 

Yomari is made by steaming a confection of rice-flour (from the new harvest) dough shaped like fig and filled with brown cane sugar (chaku) and sesame seeds. Yamari is the main item on the menu during the post-harvest celebration of Yomari Purnima. 

How do we celebrate Yamari Purnima

In Yomari purnima people also worship Goddess Annapurna. Annapurna is the goddess of grains and food. It is the time when farmers finish harvesting and taking rest after long day’s work. Kids gathered in groups go neighborhood to ask for yomari in the evening. Sacred masked dances are performed in the villages of Hari Siddhi and Thecho at the southern end of the Kathmandu valley to mark the festival.

People believe celebration of yamari punhi brings them wealth, health and prosperity. People give different shapes to yomaris. Mostly yamaris are prepared in the form of gods and goddesses like Kumar, Ganesh, Laxmi and Kuber. Parents and elders bless children and give kids yomaris to eat. The children on the other hand perform the customary song and dance and ask for food and other gifts from the elders during the festival.

The festival is believed started from panchal nagar (Panauti). It is said Suchandra and Krita, a married couple, first experimented with fresh yield of rice from their field. They came out with shape of yomari. The new food was distributed among the villagers. The food was liked by all, the bread was named yomari, which literally means 'tasty bread'. The couple offered yamari to Kuber (god of weath) who was disguised and passing by. Kuber was happy and disclosing himself blessed the couple with wealth. He also declared that whosoever prepare Yomari in the form of gods and goddesses on the full moon day of Marga Sukla Purnima every year and observe four days of devotion to god, will gain wealth and prosperity.
The festival is celebrated for four days. All the four days people pray and worship. A big celebration is observed at night in Dhaneshwar Mahadev temple in Banepa. There is tradition of doing Deepavali at home. People worship god Kuber, Ganesh and goddess Subhadra in these 4 days. On the second day Yomari is prepared in the shape of gods and goddesses and stored inside the rice silo (bhakari) and worshiped. On the fourth day Yomari is eaten as Prasad and believed that those gods in the form of yamari enter to human body those worship and take yamari Prasad.  
People distribute yomari and rice to yomari asking kids home to home. In this day goddess durga is worshiped as Dhanyalaxmi or Annapurna mata. 

Yamori is compared with the earth. Two sides of Yamari are assumed as North and South Pole. The stuffing of brown cane sugar (chaku) and sesame seeds is regarded as Mahamaya (almighty God). Sometimes, meat is also stuffed in yamari, that yamari is assumed as lord Ganesh. The yomari with black lentil is regarded as God Kumar. On the fourth and the final day the people eat the sweet yomari bread as Prasad and this marks the end of the festival

There is a tradition of making garland of yomari and putting to 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 years old kids on their birthday by their mother.

How to make Yomari Dumplings
Yomari sometimes written as Yamari, is eaten in the month of Poush especially in Purnima (Full-moon day). The day is celebrated as

Yomari Punhi. Yomari is regarded as hot food item and it kills cold. It is believed that longer the tail of Yomari shorter the winter of Poush (December/January). Yomari is famous in Newari Community in Nepal. Some believe, the triangular shape of yamori is derived from one half of "Shadkond" and is the symbol of Goddess Saraswati and wisdom.

The name Yamari comes from two Newari words, "ya" meaning "to like" and "mari" meaning "delicacy". Yomari is a delicacy which is very popular. 

To make it simple, Yomari is a rice flour dumpling stuffed with Molasses. It is a sweet Newari desert steamed and served hot. 


Big bowl
Soft piece of cloth

Ingredients to make 15 yomari

Rice flour- 500 grams
Chakku (Molasses)-100 grams
Sesame seed Powder – 50 gram
Coconut powder/ grated coconut-20 grams
Cardamom powder- 5 grams
Vegetable oil- 10 gram


Heat a cup of water and chaku in pan at a medium heat

When chaku melts, add sesame powder, coconut powder and cardamom powder and stir it gently.

Add about a spoon full of rice flour and stir it gently

When the paste is good (not too thick or too thin) pour it into a bowl

Make the dough for yomari using rice flour and Luke warm water

Make a soft dough (dough should be soft because if the dough is hard the yomari will break)

When the dough is ready cover it with soft piece of cloth and leave it for about half an hour.

After half an hour

Grease your palm with cooking oil so that the dough will not stick to your hand

Take a small piece of dough and make it first into round then into long yomari shape

Make as thin as you can because more thin your wrap is more tasty yomari becomes

Add two teaspoon of chhaku into the wrap and slowly close the yomori top.

You should keep on roiling the yomari while closing the top.

Heat the water in the steamer.

When water boils, put yomari in steamer and let it steam for about 10 minutes.

Yomari is ready to Serve.

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