Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Khapse/Khap Tse ~Indian State Arunachal Pradesh

Khap-Tse/ Khapse Arunachal Pradesh

On day 2, let’s visit Arunachal Pradesh!   The place where the first rays of the sun falls. Arunachal Pradesh ‘Arun’ meaning sun Pradesh means country. Also known as the’ Land of Dawn Lit Mountains’, it’s also known as ‘Land Of The Rising Sun’. Apart from these there are names like ‘Orchid State of India’ and the ‘Paradise of the Botanists’.
For those of you who have missed what the Blogging Marathon is about then yesterday we visited Andhra Pardesh!
 We are blogging about 1 state everyday this month.  Today as we visit Arunachal Pradesh. I will like to share with you today my Father-in –Law’s experiences at Arunachal Pradesh, which he many times refers to as NEFA. He was posted there in 1962 most of us may not remember this war as it was long before our time. But China had attacked India and we fared badly. This is one of him many experiences penned by him much later

Unforgettable day in NEFA

Arunachal Pradesh of today was known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) during the British rule. This area is inhabited by the locals called Mishmis there are further division of their tribes. The area is continuous with Tibet in the north, India towards west and south and Burma on the east. It is therefore, but natural that people from India, Tibet and Burma also throng into NEFA, especially after the Chinese invasion of 1962.

The concept of a village is quite different from that in other areas. It denotes a cluster of a few huts either on top of a hill, on the slope of the mighty Himalayan ranges or in the valley near the turbulent tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra.

Some of the peculiarities of the area are – cut off from the rest of the country, you have to walk for three to four days, absence of city luxuries, rich in Flora and Fauna, almost all kinds of birds as in the birds sanctuary, fast flowing cool waters of the rivers, simple living in thatched huts, biting cold in the snow season, cooperative living among Armed Personnel, Civilians and locals and among all the highest morale of the people in the danger of another Chinese onslaught as in October 1962.

Can a person ever forget his stay in such a locality and that too performing his job in the service of the Nation? There are so many experiences in my stay in these parts of our country. But a   few of them are enshrined deep in our hearts. Once such incident is narrated below---

We were posted to the forward area close to the Chinese border. The signs of the October ’62 invasion and subsequent Chinese threats were still fresh in the minds of the people. The belief was that the Chinese were still in an advantageous position to invade, occupy and run over the place anytime they decided. (Now of course we have improved our side and would allow China or any other enemy to easily run over us and defeat us as in ’62).

It was our job as part of the Intelligence Bureau to collect intelligence and alert the Armed Forces in the forward areas in case of an attack. Not an easy task as the army was 60 kms. away and not connected by roads.

It was against this background one winter evening when we were engaged in playing cards, when we heard the sound of a bomb exploding! Very near us!!

Since it was dark all over (sunset is early being Far East) as per the instructions all the men went to their predetermined hideouts and were lying in “stand too positions”. Discussions about the explosions in hushed voices indicated that the reason could
a) Bombing by the Chinese indicating a sudden attack,
 b) Mischief by the enemy agents to frighten the people or
c) Accidental setting off of a bomb.

We, l the officers of the Armed Forces like Assam Rifles, ITBP and us (The Intelligence bureau) held a hurried conference  to detect the source of the explosion and the place and people from the invading enemy if that was the cause. This had to be done quickly so as to assure our protective cover to the locals who were quite afraid of the Chinese mighty onslaught. Whereas the majority of our Armed Forces took position to effectively face the possible attack, some of us officers decided to crawl up to different positions away from our hideouts for a recee to pinpoint the source and cause of the explosion.

One of my junior officer and I crawled up the hill MSP camp location. There were no lights as during “stand to” all lights are switched off. Much to our astonishment we heard some of the MSP jawans crying. We saw a small crowd that had gathered around 3 bodies who were killed in the blast.

After we ascertained that the source of the explosion was in the MSP camp and not due to the enemy, the “stand to” positions were called off!!

 All the men heaved a sigh of relief to find that the enemy was not involved!!

Yet, our job was not over  as we had to find out the cause of the incident, it came to light that 2 jawans went out to the dropping zone in that evening  and found a curious object. They brought it to their barracks. Thinking it will serve well as a paper weight they tried to tinker with it with a knife and there was a big explosion killing both of them on the spot and piercing the neck of the 3rd jawan who was quietly sleeping in his cot.  Apart from the loss of 3 lives a large portion of the barrack was damaged.

We found a piece of HEAT shell near the explosion site, that coupled with knowledge of the people who saw the curious object  we established that the object that was found was Heavy Explosive Anti Tank( HEAT) shell of the Indian Army had exploded. The shell is powerful enough to knock down a Tank and could have easily killed more people.

While paying tributes to the 3 men we thanked the Almighty for sparing our lives in that fateful day.

As penned by Shri. S.V. Potdar.
 Retd. Official from IB

Khap-Tse/Khapse Cusine from Arunachal Pradesh

Food in Arunachal Pradesh is simple and scrumptious and they avoid the use of oil and masala. The use of herbs the medicinal properties are well known and practiced by the people.
Rice is the staple food of all the tribe’s of Arunachal Pradesh. Dung Po (Steam Rice) is the most popular version of cooking rice. Kholam is also another popular and unique process of cooking rice. In this method a bamboo tube is used instead of metal utensils. Chicken, fish and herbs with rice naturally you are bound to be healthy.      
The people around the Tibetan New year also called Losar these biscuits are made. The biscuits are called Khap-Tse meaning fruit of one’s hands. These biscuits are offered to friends and family. It’s actually a joint effort apparently the dough is kneaded by men and the intricate shapes and designs are made by the women.       
I have given the exact measures but I have halved the recipe.

Khap-Tse/ Khapse

Indian State: Arunachal Pradesh
Source: Yowangdu
  • 4 cups Maida/All purpose flour
  • ½  cup oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying


  • Dissolve the sugar in one cup of warm water.
  • Mix the flour, oil, salt and milk.
  • Add the warm water and mix to form dough. The dough should not be too loose or tight.
  • Knead well about 10 minutes.
  • Make big balls and using little flour roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Remember Too little flour will cause the dough to stick and too much of flour will help your biscuits soak up a lot of oil while frying plus you will be left with a dirty residue at the bottom of your kadhai/wok .
  • Cut the rolled out dough in strips with the pizza cutter then cut them again to form diamonds.
  • Make a cut in the middle of the diamond.
  • Now pull one end of the diamond through the slot. This will create a twist. The two ends need to be pulled a bit to even out the shape. (I missed this part).Now you are ready to deep fry your Khap-tse.
  • Heat enough oil in a kadhai/wok (I used less than 250 ml as I find it easier to add more oil if needed and I am not left with lot of oil that I need to discard).
  • When the oil is hot, to test drop a small piece of the dough in the oil. If it rises to the top immediately your oil is too hot, cool it. If the dough sinks it’s too cold, wait till the oil heats up. But if the dough sinks and slowly rises you are at the right temperature. Deep fry.
  • Wait first lower the flame, it should be at the minimum, add a few pieces of the shaped dough which by the way is shaped in the form called  nyapsha and I could easily add 4 big pieces. They should dip in the oil completely the oil bubbles around them.
  • Stir them with a slotted spoon. Flip them over and fry till they are e light brown on both sides. They cook fast so be careful.
  • Transfer them to a colander. This is what my mum used to do and she never used paper of any sort. You can drain on a tissue or kitchen paper.
  • When they cool transfer to an air tight tin.

  • You can sprinkle powdered sugar if you feel like. I wanted it but the girls and hubby were okay with them as they were.
Nayapsha Khapse/ Khap-Tse Arunchal Pradesh


  1. Khapse look soo crunchy and inviting ! and I like the laughing Buddha a lot :-)) nice prop, Archana !

  2. Goosebumps on reading the write up...nice recipe too....

  3. Khapse looks gorgeous ! Very well made....

  4. oh that Buddha statue looks so apt!!! delicious fried ones!!

  5. I know Smita its scary the way its written his narration is still awesome

  6. Very well done Archana..Khapse looks wonderful and you braid it so perfectly...

  7. wow ..what a write up...this must have been uncles life time experience...I was trying to visualize the seems a film scene..a midst this I cannot miss the beautiful crunchy Khapse....super one.

  8. i had to load n reload your page several times to read the story i was so eagerly looking forward to...some issue either at your end or mine...but i managed to catch glimpse of the khapse and recipe, it is lovely

  9. Such wartime stories are always scary and serve as reminder to all of us how our armed forces serve at risky locations to defend our country! Hats off to them. Our thanks to your FL for sharing his experience with us.

    Those crunchy munchies look the braided one.

  10. omg khapse looks super crispy and delicious :) I wud love to grab some right away :) lovely braid done .. are too delicious !! and lovely click !!

  11. Love the patterns that you have made and that laughing Buddha is just so adorable! lovely write up :)

  12. Khapse looks cute & especially the braided one's are amazing.

  13. Beautifully done khapse. And very nice write up Archana. thinking about the experience itself makes it scary...

  14. Nice write up dear!! enjoyed reading it and khapse looks great!!

  15. I had commented earlier but forgot to mention that the narrative of ur FIL was so good, seemed like watching a movie.. Special thanks for him to take time off to do this..

  16. Archana, could not read the post. Something weird is happening. I could see the pictures and the post when the page loaded but after the page loaded, all I see is the linky tool. From the glimpse I got of the Khapse while the page loaded, they did look crunchy

  17. Archana, I have the same problem as well..I had checked the day you posted and today as well..the post is not loading up..only the linky tool is shown. Your Khapse looks very good from the linky us once you are able to resolve, I would love to read the story you seem to have written from what others have said..:)

  18. That excerpt gave an insight into the lives of armed personnel once stationed in NE indian regions. Loved reading it.
    Loved the shapes you made with thosee khapse. each one looks gorgeous.


Your kind words mean a lot to me. Please do comment as it encourages me to do better.
Please do not leave any links in your comments I will be forced to delete your comment. Thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...