Changkol Recipe: To Start Losar Morning Off Right

Try some changkol, as Tibetans do, for the first dish you eat on the first day of Losar, Tibetan New Year

Changkol for Losar Morning.
Changkol for Losar Morning.

Changkol, also sometimes called koenden, is pretty exotic from a western perspective, and may not be the most appetizing-looking dish, though we think a lot of folks who try it will like it. (Unlike Tibetan butter tea which often takes some getting used to.)

Serves 2 people

**Note: if you want changkol on the first day of Losar you need to start about a week ahead, to give your chang time to ferment, and also to make your khapse**

Changkol Ingredients
Changkol Ingredients. Starting top left and going clockwise: butter, tsampa, chang, khapse, sugar, churra.

Ingredients

  •  1 cup chang with rice. (Or you can strain the rice out if you prefer. Of course if your chang is made from barley, there won’t be rice. You can add 2 cups of chang if you want stronger changkol. We have not tried it, but suppose that you could substitute any rice wine here. We know some Tibetans use sake.)
  • ~ 6 pieces of khapse (We used the nyapsha style here, but you can use any khapse you like, or, if you don’t have khapse, you might be able to substititue any hard, slightly sweet cookies.)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (Traditionally this would be dri butter, from the female of the yak species, but any butter is fine
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (We used raw cane sugar but you could use any kind of sugar you like.)
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon tsampa (If you are using chang made from barley, don’t add this tsampa)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons churra, which is a dried cheese made from the milk of the dri. In the west we don’t typically have this kind of dried cheese and it is fine to leave it out.
  • Optional: 1 egg (Stir the raw egg into the changkol, like you would an egg drop soup. We did not add egg to our changkol.)

Video: Lobsang Shows you how to Make Changkol

Preparation

  • Basically you are just heating all the ingredients together and there is no real cooking going except to soften the churra (dried cheese) a bit.
  • Heat the butter in a small or medium sized pot, starting with the heat on high.
  • Add the chang
  • Heat until just begins to boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  • Add all the other ingredients
  • Simmer all together about 5 minutes

Serve

  • Serve hot in a bowl
  • On the first day of Losar, very early in the morning, we like to have changkol, dresil and some khapse‘s on the side for breakfast.
Changkol for Losar morning.
Changkol for Losar morning.
Tibetan Home Cooking

Tibetan Home Cooking

Bring joy to the people you love by making your own delicious, authentic Tibetan meals

Updated on January 23, 2020. First published on February 2, 2013.

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Comments

  1. Linda says

    It seems more and more often I find myself visiting your very special website. I have your cookbook and enjoy cooking from it so much.
    If you we’re to recommend one book for someone who knows nothing about Tibetan Buddhism, what would it be?
    Thank you so much for this website and a peaceful and fruitful Losar!
    Linda confalone

    • yowangdu says

      Thank you so much for these very kind thoughts, Linda! If you were looking for broad, somewhat academic, books, then John Powers’ Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism would be good, and “The World of Tibetan Buddhism” by His Holiness. If you would like something more accessible, though, it might be nice to start with one of the books in the Books section on our Resources page: https://www.yowangdu.com/tibetan-culture-resources.html. Perhaps other readers have suggestions? Losar Tashi Delek!

      • Annie Nash says

        Universal Responsibility and the Good Heart, By Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is wonderful:
        “The message of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet to the world, this collection contains a wide selection of articles, interviews and answer to questions, on Buddhism, politics, science, universal responsibility and the inculcation of good heart from various talks and writings of the XIVth Dalai Lama.”

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