Adam’s in the kitchen with tongba

The best local hooch I've had

One of my last nights in Sikkim, I paid a visit to a neighbor family that serves up alcohol from time to time. I sat and sipped tongba (above), a local “cocktail” made from fermented millet.

The millet is served in a bamboo mug with a bamboo straw. You keep the whole thing warm by constantly topping off the drink with hot water.

My hosts were enthralled with the fact that I was enthralled with the whole affair. One of the best nights I had there.

Dinner and tongba

We sat around for an hour while I sipped my tongba and exhausted my Hindi. We chatted — as much as we could anyway — about various things, including Gorkha politics and the fact that I am not married. This is a recurring theme of my dialogues in India.

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