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The distinctive aroma of yak butter pervades throughout the region, and it is not only used as food, but also to make beautiful painted butter sculptures and as fuel for candles. At best, the flavor can be likened to parmesan cheese, at worst described as tangy and rancid. Once the butter is separated from the milk, this may then be turned into yoghurt, which is eaten almost daily.
Yak Butter Tea starts with "chaku." Tea leaves are boiled in water for several hours, then the tea leaves are strained out and discarded to leave behind a very strong tea which is set aside for when wanted. In Tibet, this plain, strong tea is called "chaku." The tea used is a black tea from an area in Tibet called Pemagul.
To make regular tea to drink you add some of this very strong "Chaku" tea to hot water. Cooking Tips for Yak Butter Tea To simulate Yak Butter Tea:
Plain Black tea (1 heaping tablespoon of loose or 2 tea bags) 6 cups of water (48 oz / 1 1/2 litres) 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons of butter 1/2 cup (4 oz / 125 ml) of either full-fat milk, single cream or half and half cream, OR 1 teaspoon instant milk powder
Bring water to the boil. Add the tea, boil for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags or if using leaves, strain and discard leaves. Put tea plus all the other ingredients in a blender and whiz well. Be careful with blender as the tea will be very hot. Serve hot.