|(c) Anita Chaudhary|
While it is tasty to eat, preparing it is a tedious task. The rice is soaked in water and ground in dheki, the traditional rice milling machine. These days rice mills have replaced the dhekis. However, the taste of the flour ground in a dheki is many times better than the one ground in a rice mill.
The flour is then sifted and fried. Warm water is mixed to it and it is kneaded enough to prepare the tender dough. Steamed lentils, spices, ginger and salt is added to the dumplings made from the dough. They are then flattened with the palms at the middle while both the ends are left protruding out. The dumplings are then steamed over a clay pot of boiling water.
|(c) Facebook/Tharu Community|
While Tharus in the Eastern Nepal prefer flat bagiya with lentils, the Tharus in the Western Nepal prepare bagiya of tubular shape, without lentils in it. Like sidhara and ghonghi, bagiya holds a special place in the Tharu cuisine.
Similarly, Rajbanshis in the Eastern Nepal prepare bhakka, a delicious dish similar to bagiya. It is round in shape and has no lentils and spices in it.