When you first read this topic you probably thought that we have run out of topics right? Not entirely false but there are a lot of Nepali utensils that many people don’t even know the name of and a similar amount of utensils that people do not know the use of. So for those who do not know what Nepali utensils are, they are just tools or items that you use for household jobs and works.
In short, everything that you use in the house is a utensil as long as it is too complex which includes from a cup to a knife. While that is being said, there are a few numbers of Utensils that have specific Nepali Names and are more or less specific to Nepal. Even if it is a common item it has a specific Nepali version and a Nepali name which makes it unique to Nepal. This is what we are going to talk about in today’s article.
1. Hasiya (हसिया)
If you were born and raised in a city area or you have never ventured into farming there is a chance that you do not know what this utensil is. But despite this, a lot of you already know what this is. Now a lot might not know what this is used for despite seeing this. Hasiya is a type of sickle exclusive to Nepal. For those who do not know what a sickle is, it is a tool used to cut crops and grasses since the medieval times and it is still used today by Nepali Farmers and gardeners.
The thing that makes the Hasiya different form and ordinary sickle is its unique curved shape which is almost exclusive to Nepal. When we say almost it is because the same shape can be found in some parts of India and China which shares their border with Nepal. So all in all Hasiya is a unique Nepali utensil that you cannot find anywhere else besides some neighboring border areas of India and China.
2. Chulesi (चुलेसी)
While Hasiya was just a modified version of a sickle that was unique to Nepal, chulesi is a utensil that is originally from Nepal. Those raised in the modern kitchen may not know of this utensil at all as there is not much space for this in the modern kitchen but this was the primary cutting tool used in Nepali kitchens before the modern kitchen became popular. While this is nothing but a blade on a piece of wood.
It is quite versatile as this can be used not only to cut vegetables but also to cut meat including big chunks of it as well which is just about everything that needs to be cut in the kitchen. You do have to squat down and use your weight to hold this on the wood or else you will injure yourself and along with this, you do have to know the right cutting technique to save yourself from injury as well. You can also find a similar cutting utensil in South Indian homes as well.
3. Silauto and Lohoro (सिलौटो र लोहोरो)
We don’t have to explain this much as every household has this even to this date. This is simply two dense stones which are used to grind spices and sometimes meat. You may think that this is not a Nepali exclusive utensil but just like Hasiya what makes Silauto and Lohoro unique to Nepal is the shape and design. Many Nepali Silauto has an oval shape with a small inward curve and a small curved cone-shaped Lohoro. Why Well the answer to that is containment.
As you grind the spices, the curvature of the Silauto keeps the spices contained within a specific space. This means regardless of how bad you are at grinding them, this utensil has got your back and there won’t be much spillage. On top of that, since the whole thing is nothing but dense rock, it is pretty hard to move when grinding which makes the whole process easier as well.
4. Karuwa (करुवा)
Some of you know this Nepali utensil, some don’t but if you are born and raised in Nepal then you have seen this. You just may not have known the name of this utensil. This is basically a water containment utensil that has a small height and a wide base along with an opening to pour water in and a smaller pipe-like structure to pour water out. Given this, there is not much to say about the use besides that it is really efficient in keeping the temperature of the water the same.
If you want to know the reason then without going too much into the physics, it is because not a lot of water touches the surface of the container because of the shape which results in heat being lost a lot slower. You can be assured that you won’t find Karuwa in many places and although you may find similar Nepali utensils, it will be pretty hard to find Karuwa in other places besides Nepal.
5. Gagri and Ghaito (गाग्री र घैटो)
Although both of these are different Nepali utensils we are including them on the same number because both of them are pretty much the same besides the small difference in shape. You can say that all ghaito are gagri but not all gagri are ghaito in this regard. We also probably won’t have to tell you about what this is used for as it is out in the open which is to store water.
Mostly made of bronze, this is rather a large but portable water container and as for why we said that all Gagri are Ghaito but not all Ghaito are Gagri. It is because Gagri can be in the shape of a Ghaito but Ghaito cannot. Ghaito is small and round and Gagri is usually a bit big and mostly flat and cylindrical and this is just about all the difference there is. Both of them have their trademark design and unique opening as well. Matka is similar to Ghaito and can be said to be the clay version though.
6. Phosi (फ्वोसी)
Is this a strange name? Yes, but it is a Nepali name. This is in a lot of regards similar to Gagri as this too is a storage Nepali utensil. The difference is that while Gagri is used to store water and liquids, Phosi is used to store solid things like grains and pulses. This Nepali utensil has a short height and a wide opening making it easier to store food supplies and withdraw as well.
There are both clay and bronze Phosi and both of them are the same besides the material which they are made out of. With that being said, with the popularity of buckets and storage containers, this Nepali utensil is rarely seen nowadays and the main reason for this is the lack of cover. But despite this, you can still find Phosi in the olden and traditional Nepali homes. As a matter of fact, Phosi is often used as decorations in traditional Nepali ceremonies as well.
7. Jhanjar or Jhatiya (झंज्हर वा झातिया)
If you have fried something in the kitchen then you have come across this Nepali utensil. This a spatula with holes in the middle which we use to take out the deep-fried items off the oil. While simple and seemingly generic, this is more or less only used in eastern kitchens as in the western kitchens they simply use sieve or tongs.
The reason why this is mostly used in Eastern kitchens is because of the quantity of the fried foods we eat. Surprisingly although a lot of sweets that Nepali eat are more or less fried, others are not. Besides samosa and aloo chop, how many Nepali foods that you can think of which are deep-fried? The chances are the next thing you think of are sel roti and malpa but all in all, we do not have many deep-fried foods that we eat on a regular basis and this small spatula with holes is just perfect for the few deep-fried foods that we do eat.
8. Tapari (टपरी)
Now, this is a Nepali utensil that you see a lot but don’t really know why it is used. We all have seen a bowl-shaped container made of the dried leaf where food is served in traditional restaurants right? That is basically Tapari. This is a simple utensil whose use is disappearing and it is understandable as well steel plates are ceramic bowls are much more durable and reusable. But this is not all that useless as Tapari is still a great alternative to paper plates and paper bowls.
First of all, this is an environment-friendly utensil that uses nothing but a few hard, dried leaves and small twigs, and second of all, this is cheaper than paper plates since there is almost no processing method nor cost. Back in the days when steel plates were hard to come by and clay plates were easily breakable and much more expensive than Tapari this was a popular utensil used to eat food on and despite its use declining, due to the environment friendly nature there is still hope for Tapri to become popular again.
9. Jhir (झिर)
Long story short, this is a spike made to skewer meat in order to roast it usually with a curved ending which is used to grab onto while roasting the meat. The purpose of this Nepali utensil is specific and simple. Not really specific to Nepal, this is a general utensil and the only difference between this and the other general skewer is the end which is used to grab onto as it forms a curly and almost whirlpool-like shape most of the time.
This small but important design change not only makes it easy to grab onto but also makes it easier to hang this skewer. As Nepali loves dried meat for some reason, this can also be used secondarily to dry meats as well. Along with this, you can pretty much find this in any traditional household where meat is eaten regularly so this is not really a rare Nepali utensil but it is an underappreciated one.
10. Kasaudi (कसौडी)
If you are to differentiate between Kasaudi and Fwosi on the pure looks alone, you will just think that Kasaudi is just a bigger Fwosi with a slightly spherical shape. This looks true but is not the case as Kasaudi is a utensil that is used to cook. Although the primary function of this utensil is to cook rice, it is also used to cook curry, stews, and broths as well. The bottom part is really thick so this is one of the best Nepali utensils to cook things slowly which is why the main purpose is to cook rice since not a lot of utensils can cook things slowly.
With that being said since the main meal of Nepali is rice this is a rather well-known Nepali utensil which is still used to this day even in some modern households. The only drawback is that you need a lot of heat to be able to cook properly in this thing which is not economical but go back a decade when the power cuts were a major issue and you can see why this is still used to this day. Along with this, it is still of great use when going out on a long-distance picnic as well.
Since you have reached the end of this article we presume that you are interested in Nepali Food and cultures so why don’t you check out “Top 10 Newari Foods That You Must Try“?