Have you ever seen a soup in solid form? If you haven't already, allow me to introduce you to 'Frikfrikma', a delicacy for the Monpa tribe, Arunachal Pradesh. Monpa tribe is the Tibetan clan of Arunachal Pradesh. Previously, I had shared a story on how Tibetan clan became a part of us. Today's story is about the importance of yak to traditional Monpa (or Tibetan) culture. One thing you need to know is that in our tribal culture, instead of worshipping a dairy animal, we treat them with respect and honor for providing food, cloth and shelter to our families just as they had provided to our ancestors. The wealth of a tribal man is also measured by the number of domestic animals he has, hence, in remote villages, the eligibility prospective of him or his son(s) as husband(s) becomes far greater. I kid you not! Yak milk is thick and of rich nutrition and used for preparing butter milk, oil for the lamp and churpis for food. The meat contains high protein and tastes fresh and delicious. The hair of the yak is used to make wool, clothes and wigs for the Tibetan dragon dance performance. Now you know why Yak is considered the backbone of Tibetan culture because of economic and social importance. In this picture you see 'Frikfrikma', Monpa (Tibetan) Yak soup cubes made out of yak skin. The recipe is pretty simple, seperate the skin and soak it overnight in hot boiling water. In the morning, clean the skin while carefully removing any extra meat sticking in. Then cut it into smaller pieces and pressure cook it for about 35-40 mins. Once done, it will turn into a thick broth. Let it cool off and seperate the skin (you can use the skin for another dish). Then transfer the broth into a big bowl and keep it in the fridge for 4-5 hours. Then cut it into cubes like the photograph you see here and serve with churpi chutney for dinner. Too much bombardment of information? I like it that way ;)

26 Mar 2021
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