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Chaku: Everything you need to know about the Maghe Sankranti delicacy

People in Nepal are celebrating Maghe Sankranti or Ghya Chaku Sanhu today. The festival is marked by eating ghee and chaku that are said to be good for body heat. Others also enjoy yams, sweet potatoes, fried fish, and black and white sesame balls.

Whereas other food items are available during other times also, chaku is quite special to this festival only. It is popularly eaten separately or used in making yomari during Yomari Punhi. 

Chaku, a sweet taffy made from jaggery, sugarcane juice, ghee and nuts has a more interesting history to look at. Here is everything you need to know about:

The origins

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Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

Jaggery is one of the oldest forms of sweeteners with a history dated before 600 BCE. It was produced in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years with the knowledge of making taffy probably brought from Iran.

Though there is no evidence as to when exactly people started making chaku, the story is as old as the hills around Kathmandu. Arguably, it was first introduced in the old Nepa valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhadgaon and other towns within the valley). The oldest town known for making chaku is Tok


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