Rakshi

Rakshi is the distilled alcoholic drink of Nepal. It's made from millet. You can see millet growing in the fields around Ghandruk. As you can see from the prosperity of Ghandruk, rakshi is good for you. Not so according to the Mother's Union of Ghadruk, who have banned rakshi from the village built on this magnificent drink.

However, all is not lost. The recipe was preserved in the Gurung Museaum in Ghandruk, and is reproduced here for those who may like to try it at home. Millet can be bought in pet food shops in the west where it is sold as humble bird food. Liberate some of it for its true destiny as the prime ingredient of rakshi.

Millet

Millet, or nari as it is known in Nepal, is harvested from the fields in October and November. It is beaten by young girls and laid out on mats to dry in the strong Himalayan sunshine.

Al paikhe

Sieve the millet through an al paikhe.

Mix the millet with water and bring to the boil, simmering lightly until cooked.

Darib

The cooked millet, or pa as it is known in Nepal, should be placed in a basket (darib) for 3 days.

Pa queen

Transfer the pa to an earthenware pot called a pa queen for fifteen days.

Pa ghaya

The pa is then poured into a pa ghaya containing an eathen ware pa poo. The larger pa ghaya is sealed with the pa rhasani which is filled with cold water. The pa ghaya is heated, and as the temperature rises the pa evaporates and condenses on the pa rhasini. The condensed rakshi then drips down into the pa poo.

Pujai

The finished rakshi is stored in a wooden container known as a pujai. Pa is the local millet wine, the sale of which has also been banned by the mothers group in the village as it caused social problems.

If you make it at home it will probably cause you legal problems.