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Chhaang

Chhaang is an alcoholic beverage which means "Nectar of Gods". Chhaang is consumed in Sikkim, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Darjeeling and other himalayan regions of the Indian subcontinent. Various forms of chhaang are drunk in other asian countries too.

Chhaang is actually a type of beer. Barley, millet or rice is commonly used to brew the drink. In traditional preparation, semi-fermented seeds of millet, barley or rice grains are stuffed in a barrel of made of bamboo. This barrel is called the Dhungro. After fermentation, boiling water is poured into the dhungro and the drink is sipped through a bamboo pipe called the Pipsing.

The taste of Chaang is like that of ale. Although alcohol content is quite low, it produces heat in the body. It is widely consumed by the hill people of the himalayas for enduring the cold temperatures which go below freezing point during the winters. The local people believe it can cure common cold, fever and allergies. It is given to frostbite victims as well. In Nepal and Tibet, chhaang is associated with many social customs and mythologies. It is linked to the myth of the abominable snowman too. Legends say that the abominable snowman or the yeti are attracted to it and often raid lonely mountain villages to drink it.

To make rice chhaang, cook 5 kg's of Rice and spread it on a large cellophane sheet or mat. Let the rice cool to room temperature. Now crush 3 pieces of yeast and spread it on the rice. Close the rice up in a cloth and let it ferment for 24 hrs.Put the fermenting rice into a container and seal it. Leave it for at least a month to ferment. Afterwards, take the liquid out, mix it with water and strain it to get the brew. Mix sugar to it and the intoxicating chhaang is ready.

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Dal moth is a spicy and crispy snack made from gram flour, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chili powder, moong, sugar, amchur, oil and salt. Its delicious and is popular as an anytime snack or serves as a very good tea snack. [See Recipe]

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