Archive for Sherpa Food

Sherpa Butter Tea


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.

Special tea leaves used to make butter tea. DSC_1629-001

Non iodized salt for butter tea. DSC_1635-001

Traditional way of churning butter tea. DSC_4451-001


Butter tea served with sel roti and mula ko aachar (radish pickle).36210_1430081865247_8007301_n

Butter tea served in cup and silver cup holders. The cute little cup was for me 🙂DSC_4548-001

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


1. In a large pan, boil water with two Lipton teabags.  DSC_1604-001

2. Once the color of the tea is dark brown, add milk. DSC_1614-001

3. Boil the tea until it bubbles. DSC_1617-001

4. In a blender, add butter and salt. DSC_1615-001

5. Transfer tea to the blender and blend using liquefy. DSC_1624-001

6. Enjoy butter tea with cookies or anything you like. DSC_1642-001

Rato Dal (Red Lentil Soup)

Here is a quick and easy recipe to make red lentil soup. Lentil soups are a popular dish and a staple food in Nepal. This soup can be eaten with rice or puri or any bread. This post is dedicated to Tim, who was kind enough to give us a ride back to our car while hiking at Mt Rainier. Thank you Tim and enjoy some lentils!


1 cup red lentil (soaked for an hour).
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Red chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste

1. In a large pan, heat oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Let them cook until soft.
2. Add all the spices, salt and red lentil. Mix well.
3. Cook for 5 minutes with frequent stirring.
4. Add 4 cups of water and let it boil at high temperature for 20-25 minutes.
5. Taste for salt and enjoy with rice or bread. 

Here is a video on how to make red lentil.


Potato flat bread! (Aaloo ko roti/ Riki kur).



Potato flat bread is a very popular Sherpa dish, and often served to honored guests. It is  made up of potatoes, eggs and flour and normally eaten with green onion sauce. In Nepal, this dish is prepared by grating potato and using millet flour instead of wheat flour. I have made small changes to make things quick and easy. I blend potato using an electric blender and add wheat flour.

6 large potatoes diced
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 tablespoon vegetable oil to fry
3 eggs


1. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes:


2. Blend potatoes and 3 eggs in the blender until liquefied. DSC_9275-001

3. Add flour. DSC_9276-001

5. Beat the batter until well mixed.DSC_9277-001

6. Heat a non-stick pan and add 1/2 teaspoon oil and add enough batter to make a flat bread. DSC_9281-001

5. Cook for 1.5 minutes or little longer and flip to the other side and cook for another 1.5 minutes at medium heat.DSC_9287-001

6. Enjoy with butter and sauce. 181536_1730754240690_2206682_n


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