Every corner of this world has some story to tell, the immensely diverse traditions and cultures make the world more interesting and always less explored. Drinks and Beverages form a very small part of what can be explored, yet a new story, a new experience each day mesmerises us just as much.
In this segment of Traveller’s Diary we take you to Nepal and bring you two incredible inventions. First, a hot beer called Jaand and secondly the vessel it is served in i.e. Tongba. Jaand is a whole grain millet based alcoholic beverage. The special bamboo container Tongba itself is a combination of three words. To refers to the porus bamboo stick or straw that is used to drink the beverage, ng refers to the container made out of bamboo and ba refers to the millet based drink.
Tongba is also famous in Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and Darjeeling. It is also known as Chhaang. From his recent visit to Nepal, Sahil Maheshwari shares with us his first hand experience of Jaand and Tonga. Just reading about it will make you want to fly all the way to North east and give this drink a try..
“Jaand is prepared by cooking and fermenting whole grain millet. It is consumed in a unique way: the fermented millet is put in a container, also traditionally called a Tongba, and boiled water is poured in it to the brim. It is then left undisturbed for about five minutes. Once the five minutes has passed it is ready to drink. A fine bamboo straw with a blind end, but perforated on the side to act as a filter, is inserted into the container to suck out the warm water and alcohol from the millet grains. More hot water is added as the tongba becomes dry, and the process is repeated until the alcohol is exhausted.
Best part is that one vessel is sufficient for 3 hours of inebriation…”