Aila (liquor)

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Aila
Newari Anti with Khola.jpg
Traditional container and cup used to serve Aila
Courseliquor
Place of originNepal[citation needed]
Main ingredientsrice, grains and millet

Aylā (Nepal Bhasa: अयला:) is a Newari beverage prepared by distillation of fermented ingredients such as rice, grains and millet. Apart from casual drinking, Aila is an important part of festivals in Nepal.[1] This liquor is usually homemade and prepared by traditional methods. Its preparation is not yet commercial in Nepal, however it is sold in restaurant that serve Newa cuisine.[2] It is about 60% alcohol and can be bought in local Newari restaurants .[3] CNN has noted it as being one of the "50 most delicious drinks in the world".[4]

Preparation[edit]

Aila is usually prepared by Newari women before any festival or socio-cultural event. Rice along with many other ingredients is mixed with Marcha, a local organic fermenting compound, and fermented at least four to five days to ensure the preparation of a good quality Aila. Millet is used instead of rice for an even stronger flavor.[5] The final product is obtained after distillation. This is done by using traditional clay and brass vessel designed specifically for this purpose. The raw fermented mixture is cooked over a wood fire stove.[6] Temperature of flame and cooling water are the two factors controlling the quality of this beverage during distillation.

Religious significance[edit]

Consumption of alcohol is not just allowed but generally encouraged in Newari culture. This is a religious practice promoted by Tantric traditions. According to the Tantric practices, foods are divided into three groups: mamsa (meat), matsya (fish) and madya (alcoholic beverages). It is believed that offering alcohol would satisfy the Tantric gods who in turn grant followers good luck.[7] Aila is first offered to the gods before every religious festival and cultural activities, and then it is served. One such famous Newari festival is Yenya.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aila:(Nepal) Made from Rice". February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Shrestha, Bijay (July 2003). "Aila...The Mystical Taste of Nepal". ECS Nepal. Archived from the original on 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2013-04-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ Bell, Thomas (March 1, 2012). "Nepal's local eateries". BBC Travel.
  4. ^ Cheung, Tim (December 9, 2011). "World's 50 most delicious drinks". CNN Travel.
  5. ^ Basnet, Ayushma (n.d.). "Think Local, Drink Local". Friday Weekly. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Shrestha, Bijay (July 2003). "Aila...The Mystical Taste of Nepal". ECS Nepal. Archived from the original on 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2013-04-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ "Food In Newari Culture". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)