Saturday, February 27, 2010

Theki: To Make Food Tasty

Local people in villages still store yoghurt, milk and ghee in theki, the traditional wooden vessel, locally made from daar tree (Boehmeria rugulosa). Other similar vessel with wide opening is called faam which is especially designed to keep milk while milking.

Size of the these vessels is varied. Smaller one which store up to 1 pathi (4.57 liters) of liquid is called theki while bigger one which store up to 4 pathi is called theka. These vessels are made by local technicians in the locally designed water mill. The downward flow of water rotates the turbine blades which then rotate the shaft connected to it. The theki is attached to other end of the shaft. It takes some 3 hours to make a theki.

Manilal B.K. of Shaktikhor has been involving in this profession for some 10 years. "Daar trees used to be plenty in jungle but it is declining now because of its excessive use" he said. Many community forests around the area have banned cutting this tree. They have to buy daar tree from private land at the cost of NPR 1000 to 2000 per tree depending upon its size which yield 5 to 9 vessels. Wood of saandan tree is also used but daar is regarded the best.

The price of the vessel obviously depends upon the size. It costs NPR 480 per pathi for theki and NPR 400 for faam made of daar. One made from saandan is little bit cheaper. Manilal supplies these vessels to Tandi, Narayangarh, Muglin bazaar and many villages. His monthly income from this profession is around NPR 10000.

Local people like to store the yoghurt, milk and ghee in theki, because the food remain not only fresh for many days but it also be very tasty.


  1. Thanks for the detailed account and images, Rupen!

  2. It is said that the soft steam part can be used to make selroti n helps to make soft. Is it true? And can you plz put its composition?

  3. Hi Rupen, lovely photos. I would like ask for a permission to use one of these photos for educational proposes.

    1. Hi anshubhas, thanks. Yes you can use the photos for educational purposes.