World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001497865
Reproduction Date:

Title: Chhaang  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Darjeeling, Beer in Tibet, Nepalese cuisine, List of beer styles, Chhang
Collection: Alcohol in Nepal, Fermented Beverages, Nepalese Beverages, Nepalese Cuisine, Rice Wine, Tibetan Cuisine, Types of Beer
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Chhaang or chang (Tibetan: ཆང་Wylie: chang, Nepali: छ्याङ) is a Nepalese and Tibetan alcoholic beverage also popular in parts of the eastern Himalayas.


  • Geographical prevalence 1
  • Ingredients and drinking 2
  • Myth 3
  • Social correlates 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Geographical prevalence

Chhaang is consumed by ethnically Nepalese and Tibetan people and, to a lesser degree, by the neighboring nations of India and Bhutan. It is usually drunk at room temperature in summer, but is often served piping-hot in brass bowls or wooden mugs when the weather is colder.

Ingredients and drinking

Chhaang is a relative of beer. Barley, millet (finger-millet) or rice grains are used to brew the drink. Semi-fermented seeds of millet are served, stuffed in a barrel of bamboo called a dhungro. Boiling water is then poured in and sipped through a narrow-bore bamboo tube called a pipsing.

When the boiled barley has cooled, some yeast or dried barm is added and it is left to stand for two or three days when fermentation begins; this concoction is called glum. The barm consists of flour and, in Balti, often has ginger and aconite added to it.[1] After fermentation is complete, water is added to the brew and is then ready for consumption.[2]

In Lahaul the glum is pressed out by hand instead of by filtering, yielding a rather cloudy drink. The residue of malt can be pressed through a strainer and then mixed with water or milk and used in baking bread or cakes.[3]

Near Mt. Everest of Nepal, chhaang is made by passing hot water through fermenting barley, and is then served in a large pot and drunk through a wooden straw.[4]

In Nepal, this beverage is called tongba by the Limbus of Nepal, or jand which refers to the turbid liquor obtained by leaching out the extract with water from the fermented mash. Unlike chhang or tongba, jand is served in large mugs. These alcoholic beverages are generated using a traditional starter called murcha. Murcha itself is prepared by using yeast and mold flora of wild herbs in cereal flours.

The brew tastes like ale. Alcohol content is quite low, but it produces an intense feeling of warmth and well-being, ideal for enduring the temperatures which go well below freezing in winter.


Chhaang is said to be the best remedy to ward off the severe cold of the mountains. It reputedly has many healing properties for conditions like the common cold, fevers, allergic rhinitis, and alcoholism among others.

According to legend, chhaang is also popular with the Yeti, or Himalayan Snowmen, who often raid isolated mountain villages to drink it.

Social correlates

Drinking and making offerings of chhaang are part of many pan-Tibetan social and religious occasions, including settling disputes, welcoming guests, and wooing.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Jaschke, H. Ä. A Tibetan-English Dictionary, p. 341. (1881). Reprint: (1987). Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. ISBN 81-208-0321-3.
  2. ^ Das, Sarat Chandra. (1902). Lhasa and Central Tibet, p. 23 and note. Reprint: (1988). Mehra Offset Press, Delhi.
  3. ^ Jaschke, H. Ä. A Tibetan-English Dictionary, p. 154. (1881). Reprint: (1987). Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. ISBN 81-208-0321-3.
  4. ^ Mayhew, Bradley and Kohn, Michael. (2005) Tibet. 6th Edition, p. 75. ISBN 1-74059-523-8.
  5. ^ "Bhutanese". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links

  • Recipe
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.