Churpi or Durkha is the traditional cheese endemic to most parts of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. It is prepared in similar manner to most cheeses around the world, however the drying and eating process remains different.
Churpi has been consumed by the people of Nepal for ages. It is known for its high energy contains, including; probiotics, amino acid and omega 3 fatty acids. It is basically made from drying up cow or yak’s milk and removing the fats and lactose.
This recipe has been enjoyed by the people in the Himalaya region of Nepal for centuries.
The mechanics of producing and selling churpi has helped many people in Nepal who entirely depend on its trade for their living. Due to its high calorie content and protein, it is recommended for pets, such as dogs too.
How is Churpi prepared?
- Yak or cow’s milk is boiled over wooden fire and stirred continuously until it thickens and condenses.
- After draining the excess water, the remaining butter is again heated for making substance harder. The whey gradually thickens and is then removed (This part of the process removes the lactose from the substance.
- It requires an acute observation, otherwise the recipe could go wrong. A small amount of brine is removed from the heated milk and fermented for up two days. The same fermented brine is added back to create the cheese from the thickened substance (Using fermented milk instead of lime juice to coagulate the milk into cheese increases the nutritive values exponentially).
- The thickened substance is cooled down and poured into a wooden pot. After consistent beating and stirring, the fat content floats on the surface which is later extracted. The curdled cheese parts are separated from the milk and wrapped in a jute cloth (similar to a cheese cloth) and all the excess liquid is squeezed out of the package by hand.
- The wrapped content is later put under high compression with a locally made apparatus, made of large rocks, woods and bamboo.
- The cheese is ready to be taken out after few days. It is sliced and left to dry in the sun or dried in the oven on low heat. This type of Chhurpi becomes very hard and lasts many years.
With its overwhelming popularity, the pet owners have started feeding it to their dogs as the cheaper and healthier alternative for dog chews.