Khapsey: A Sweet Tradition of Tibetan New Year

Khapsay, a cherished Tibetan delicacy, holds a special place in the hearts and celebrations of Tibetans, particularly during the vibrant festivities of Lhosar, the Tibetan New Year. These mouthwatering biscuits, known for their diverse shapes and flavors, are a staple in the array of offerings displayed on magnificent altars during this 15-day celebration.

Crafted from a blend of flour, eggs, butter, and sugar, khapsay dough is skillfully rolled out and cut into various sizes and twisted rectangles before being deep-fried in butter or mustard oil. The result is a distinctive light brown or golden hue that adds to the visual appeal of these delightful treats.

Lhosar altars are adorned with strings of dried Tibetan cheese, serving as unique toppings for the heaped khapsays. Apart from their role as decorative elements, these cookies are symbolic offerings, with the first batch often shaped like scorpions to ward off bad luck, especially in the kitchen.

The significance of khapsay extends beyond Lhosar, featuring prominently in other celebratory occasions like weddings. Chefs showcase their creativity by experimenting with different shapes and flavors, ranging from salted dough fried in mustard oil to lard-rich, sweet dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Whether served with sweet tea or Tibetan butter tea, khapsay brings joy to celebrations, offering a delightful way for Tibetans to share the warmth of tradition and the spirit of festivity.

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