KATHMANDU: Nepalis prepare molasses, popularly known as ‘Chaku’ in a local language, for the Maghe Sankranti festival. The festival is observed on the first day of the Nepali month of Magh and marks the end of the winter season.
Molasses contains significant amounts of vitamin B and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron. It is believed to increase sperm in men and keep cancer, diabetes, and obesity at bay.
Restless hands and soothing smell boiling lump of sugar! This is what anyone visiting Tokha, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur inside the Kathmandu Valley would see during winters.
Most of the locals are busy preparing molasses since mid-November last year and they produce about 500kg molasses a day.
The making of molasses is seasonal and the industry only works full-time for just two months in a year.
The rest of the time, the people would engage in farming and other side businesses.
Molasses are prepared by cutting, crushing and mashing the sugarcane; extracting the juice and then boiling to concentrate the same.
Many families consume molasses as part of family culture and also due to its health benefits.
During the Maghe Sankranti festival, people consume ‘Chaku’, a sweet made from hardened molasses.