Butter tea known as “su cha” in Sherpa language is a very popular drink of the Sherpa people in Nepal. People in Tibet, China and Bhutan also drink butter tea. Since the weather is often chilly and cold in the Himalaya region, Sherpa people drink butter tea throughout the day to keep themselves warm and hydrated. Butter in the tea also provides nourishment and calories. It is made from special tea leaves, yak butter, salt and milk (optional). For breakfast, butter tea is enjoyed with tsampa.
Traditionally, butter tea is made by boiling tea leaves in water until the tea is dark brown in color. Then the tea is strained and poured in a special butter churn along with a large lump of yak butter, salt and tsampa (optional) and then this is churned until the butter and salt are well mixed. The tea is then transferred to a thermos or kettle. Butter tea is served in a special cup and silver cup holder.
Butter tea served with sel roti and mula ko aachar (radish pickle).
Since it is difficult to find special tea leaves, yak butter and salt required to prepare traditional butter tea, here I have a easy butter tea recipe that uses black Lipton teabags (since Lipton tea resembles the taste of Sherpa tea leaves), table-salt, and store bought salted butter.
4 cups of water
1 cup of milk
2 Black Lipton teabags
4 tablespoon salted butter
Salt to taste