Tibetan Chaang; Try This Tibetan Rice Beer For Losar
Image Credit: chaang/ pinterest.com

A popular alcoholic drink in Nepal and Tibet, chhaang or chhyang is also enjoyed by Yakkha, Limbu, Dura, Newar, Sunuwar, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, Tamang, and Lepcha communities in the eastern Himalayas. It is referred to as Chi among the Lepcha. In Nepal, it is also known as jaarh. Chhaang is consumed by people of Tibetan and Nepalese ancestry, as well as, to a lesser extent, by Bhutanese, Indian, and Pakistani. In the summer, it is typically sipped at room temperature, but in the winter, it is frequently served piping hot in metal bowls or wooden mugs. The beverage is known as Tongba among the Limbu people of eastern Nepal.

Chaang is a relative of beer. The drink is brewed with rice, finger millet, or barley grains. Servings of semi-fermented millet seeds are placed within a dhungro, a bamboo barrel. Then, boiling water is put inside and drank through a pipsing, a narrow-bore bamboo tube. After the cooked barley has cooled, some yeast or dried barm is added, and fermentation is allowed to continue for two or three days. This mixture is known as glum. The barm is made of flour and is often spiced with ginger and aconite in Balti. Water is added to the brew when fermentation is finished, and the beverage is then ready for consumption.

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In Lahaul, the glum is manually crushed out rather than filtered, resulting in a somewhat turbid beverage. Malt leftovers can be pressed through a sieve, combined with milk or water, and used to make bread or cakes. Chhaang is a beverage that is prepared close to Mount Everest in Nepal by running hot water through fermenting barley. It is then served in a huge pot and consumed using a wooden straw. 


  • 5 cups jasmine rice
  • water
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast


  • Prepare a fine powder by grinding 1 tablespoon of pab/chanzi. Prepare rice. 
  • Stir the rice around in the saucepan or rice cooker after it has finished cooking.
  • To cool the rice, spread it out on your clean work surface. When the rice is cool enough to handle, work through it to break up any clumps.
  • Then, using your hands, thoroughly combine the rice and the ground chanzi.
  • Fill the container you have made with the rice mixture.
  • Put a lid on top of it.
  • Wrap it up in a few cosy blankets.
  • Put it in a warm place for 4-5 days.
  • After the chang is finished, transfer it to a different clean container, add about 3 cups of water, and then store it in the refrigerator.