Close your eyes and imagine Nepal and the country’s mouthwatering delicacies.
From a first thought, you’re probably imagining a fusion with Indian cuisines and if you are familiar with Nepal I reckon you’re most likely envisioning dal bhat, momos, sekuwa, khaja sets, and more.
One thing is for sure; I bet the Barmajhiya ko peda in Eastern Nepal is not the first tasty treat that springs to your mind.
But it should do. Especially if you’re a sweet tooth fanatic.
This is one delicious delicacy that derives from Eastern Nepal that not many tourists may be familiar with.
Barmajhiya ko peda is a treat you need to know about.
More about Eastern Nepal
Before going directly into my favorite sweet, peda, I just want to quickly highlight Eastern Nepal. If you’re new to Nepal, have never been, or are someone who’s traveled around, let me explain to you or recap about this area.
The Eastern Region of Nepal covers three different types of terrains: mountains, mid-hills, and flatlands, also known as the Terai. It consists of 16 different districts and three main zones: Mechi, Koshi, and Sagarmatha.
Amongst these zones, there’s a range of groups and castes from Brahmin, Chhetri, Rai, Limbu, Tharu, and more. They speak various languages from Nepali, Maithili, Tharu, Tamang, Sherpa, Magar, Gurung, and Limbu.
For the average tourist, the East of Nepal is not a destination often not considered. It’s more of an off the beaten track and less-traveled part of Nepal. But it should be. It mainly gets known for its industrial cities like Biratnagar, Dhankuta, and more.
There are serene tea plantations in Ilam, the happening city of Dharan, spectacular views from Bhedetar, mesmerized by the beautiful birds in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife reserve, and more. The truth is, it’s another blog post entirely to write about the things to do in the Eastern part of Nepal.
But one thing is for sure, if you’re traveling to the Eastern part of Nepal by road or coming back, then it’s mandatory to stop for peda.
Most Nepalese will agree it’s the perfect gift of goodwill or a delicious snack to calm the nerves for the grueling Banepa Bardibas Highway.
What is Peda?
If you go off the official definition, Peda is an Indian sweet from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. To most people, it’s a round, semi-soft, and thick sweet that’s beige/yellow like in color. It’s made from sugar, ghee, milk, cardamom seeds, pistachio nuts, and saffron. Usually, it’s made on a stovetop where the mixture simmers until it’s reached a thick texture, then it’s left to cool and then shaped.
The word in English means a dough like substance, and across India, you might find the pronunciation of this sweet differ/vary from each other.
To put it better, it’s pretty mouthwatering and nutritious compared to heavily processed American candy and European pick ‘n’ mixes.
If you want to try similar Peda like this, you can easily get it from sweet places in Kathmandu like Angan, Swastik, Tip Top, and more Indian sweet joints.
While this has its own taste, Eastern Nepal’s peda is different. The same with Janakpur Peda and Butwal’s Peda in West Nepal, but they’re other stories in themselves.
Compared to the typical Indian Peda, the Barmajhiya ko peda is much larger, denser, has a body to it, and has quite a different and more enriching flavor.
Kanchan Roop Municipality, Saptari District
To access this peda you can go to a small quaint town known as Barmajhiya. It’s right next to the Koshi river, and it’s difficult not to find peda there.
When you enter the town, you’ll see lots of pastels (shops) crammed together in different colors in Devanagari. For anyone who’s not a native, these sign board looking places might seem a bit odd and intimidating.
Don’t fear; these are the peda places you can get Eastern Nepal peda from.
But you don’t just want to go to just any one of them. There’s one site you must visit which triggered all these Peda places.
What is the original site of Barmajhiya ko peda?
So legend has it the real peda place came about from the late Baijanath Shah around 25 years back.
It’s believed that he created the true original Eastern Nepal peda, and it was such a hit and tasty that other shops then started to follow, learning the recipe and selling it.
It became known as the Purano bajeko peda place (old man’s peda place) and everyone started to use the same name. Today, if you don’t know the site, it can be hard to tell or taste the differences as the peda’s are fresh, look slightly identical, and have the same outside signage. Many of these signs even state they’re the original and oldest.
But, to find the real original and oldest Peda place on the east-west highway, you’ll want to go to the Armed Police Force Camp and opposite that. There should be a sign saying Shree Baijnath Shah Peda Bhandar. On the outside there will be a photo of the late Baijanath Shah, and inside, too, paying homage to his Peda.
Once there at the real Purano bajeko peda in East Nepal, you’ll be able to see the whole process of pedals being made from scratch. While you can go to other Peda places, there’s just something unique about visiting the original one. They also sell crispy sweets known as khaja, but I vouch for going for the peda.
Have you visited the Barmajhiya ko peda place in Eastern Nepal? Or tasted the Purano bajeko peda?
Other related questions
Where is Peda from?
Peda comes from India, and there are slight variations of this delicious sweet across Asia. Some are milk based; others are bigger and contain more cardamom and many other ingredients.
What is Doodh peda made of?
Doodh is Hindi for milk; therefore, Doodh peda is made of sugar, milk, ghee, and species. It’s usually made on a large stovetop, melted for a thick mixture, then cooled and shaped.
Is Peda sweet healthy?
Just like all sweets, Peda is good to consume in moderation. If you eat a lot, you could get fat and be at risk of diabetes due to its high sugar content. But in comparison to processed candies, they’re a bit healthier.
How does peda differ from Barfi?
Peda and Barfi have subtle differences due to their texture and appearance. Peda is round-shaped, firm, and made of khoya. Barfi has different flavors and fillings, made in square or diamond shapes.