What is Durkha Churpi

Durkha or Chhurpi is a milk based food eaten in Nepal. Durkha is usually made in the mountain region of Nepal. Yak milk is usually preferred to make Dhurkha. Durkha have different types. Some durkha are soft, some hard but it is one of the favorite part of Nepali food. Durkha made in Illam is one of the famous types of durkha. Actually female Yak is called Nak in Nepali but Yak is used in English for both the sexes.

How to Make Churpi Durkha

दुर्खा छुर्पी
Making of durkha has its unique process.  A special type of three chambered wooden drum called Shoptu (local language) is used. This drum is made from the bark of special tree Thuja. Drum is filled with milk and corked tight.  The wooden lid used as the cork is called Dup. 

Traditional Utensils (common vessels and wooden spatulas can be used)

Three chambered wooden drum called Shoptu
Wooden lid
Strong wooden stirrer Kelu
Bamboo sieve known as Chergang
Piece of cotton cloth


Yak Milk
Lime, butter milk, lemon or anything containing lactic acid

Boil Milk

Add key lime, crab apple fruit, fitkiri (Alum), Mohi (buttermilk) or any other sour fruits’s juice as lactic acid to the milk. 

Stir milk with strong wooden stirrer Kelu. Stir the boiling milk continuously.

As the milk start boiling a thick layer of butter starts to form in the milk. Extract the butters and it keep aside (it is not used to make durkha) while let the milk boiling continuously.

After 2 to 3 hours of boiling the milk, white cheese starts forming. Separate this white cheese with the help of large bamboo sieve called Chergang and spread in the separate piece of cotton cloth. 

Tie the cloth and press hard to drain excess water out. (few hours of draining makes the cheese hard)

Cut the cheese into small pieces and dry under the sun or in shade or over a wood fire oven. 

When it get dried, the product is Durkha or chhurpi. 

This type of Chhurpi becomes very hard and having low moisture content. These durkha or churpi can be stored for a number of years. Chhurpi is sweet to taste and chewy. Churpi is used as local gum or

Types of chhurpi 

  • Hard Chhurpi  Durkha
  • Soft chhurpi
  • Chhur singba or Chhur mingba 
  • Chhurpupu 
  • Marchang 

Hard Chhurpi

Hard Chhurpi or Durkha is prepared out of yak milk. Generally centrifugation separates the cream from milk. Fitkiri (Alum) or Mahi (buttermilk) is added as lactic acid. After filtration, the curd is wrapped tightly with a cloth and cured at room temperature (15–20°C) for 2–3 days under pressure of heavy stones. The cheese is sliced and allowed to dry in shade or over a wood fire oven. This type of Chhurpi becomes very hard and having low moisture content, can be stored for a number of years. 

Soft Churpi 

Soft Durkha or churpi is made out of cow milk. It is softer than yak churpi. Preparation of soft chupri is same as the preparation of yak churpi. 

Soft chhurpi is an excellent source of protein and substitute for vegetables in the mountains. As curry soft chhurpi  prepared by cooking it in oil along with onions, tomato and chilies, edible ferns, locally called ‘sauney ningro’ (Diplazium polypodiodes) and ‘kali ningro’ (Diplazium sp.). This curry is eaten with rice. Achar’ or pickle is also made by mixing it with chopped cucumber, radish and chilies. Soft chhurpi soup is also consumed as a substitute for dhal. Soft Chhurpi can be bought at every other local shop in Nepal. Locally rural women are found selling soft churpi packing them in the leaves of fig plant and then tied loosely by straw.

Chhur singba or Chhur mingba 

The freshly prepared chhurpi is known as chhur singba or chhur mingba. After fermentation of milk by adding the extract of crab apple fruits (thung), Key lime. It is the paneer like product made from yak milk.


The churpi, as old as 4 to 5 years is called chhurpupu. The churpi  sealed and stored in yak skin (mongnang) can be used even for 3-20 yrs. Chhurpupu is expensive. Culturally it is one of the family prestiges having the oldest chhurpupu. Chhurpupu is also used to cure stomach pain. A small quantity (about 5-10 gm) of chhurpupu is mixed with the beverage made of barley or finger millet and given to the person suffering from stomach ache. In some places didhes made of chhutpupu can also be found. Marchang is one of the popular dish made from chhurpupu and found in the Himalayan region.  


Marchang is a dish made from chhurpupu. To make Marchang, Chhurpupu is fried in yak ghee to remove the unpleasant odor. Kongpu flour or finger millet flour is added to it and mixed properly.