Juju Dhau is the famous Nepalese made yoghurt found, especially, inside the Kathmandu Valley (Bhaktapur). The word “Dhau” means a sweet yogurt, which is typically prepared by the Newars, an indigenous tribe of Nepal.
Juju Dhau literally means “The King Yogurt” in Newari language. Its sweet custard, tastes like yogurt, comes from Bhaktapur, which carries a prime importance during festivals. Originated from Bhaktapur, during ancient Malla era, Juju Dhau is not only reachable in Bhaktapur but you can find them elsewhere inside the habitation of Newar community, for instance Kathmandu Valley and Patan.
Being a yogurt, a milk product, Juju Dhau is created by bacterial fermentation, which is a metabolic process that changes sugar into acids, gasses and liquor. It happens in yeast and in microorganisms
Juju Dhau is usually prepared from buffalo milk. First of all, buffalo milk is boiled; after the milk is boiled, it is poured into the traditional clay pot which is known as “kataura” or “maato ‘ko’ kataura”. Clay pots must be warm but prior to this process, clay pots are poured into the water to prevent them from absorbing milk from the curd. Here, no sugar is added to bring sweetness but spices like, coconuts, cardamom, etc would create mouth-melting sweetness.
These clay pots, then, kept in warm places wrapping them with rice husks. By nature clays are porous, as an advantage, it slowly helps milk to evaporate, which converts milk into the delicious thick yogurt inside the clay pots.
It has been so sweet, rich and creamy in taste which attributes Bhaktapur a legendary and one of the popular cities of Nepal. Dhau defines “purity” and it has become compulsory to utilize its purity in many parts of festivals and religions in Nepal like, Dashain, Tihar, Lohsar, and many other pious festivals.