Harpeen is a traditional dairy product produced by the Afghan Kochi nomads who raise sheep in the district of Mansehra, in Pakistan.
Their nomadic ancestors used to produce harpeen for their own consumption but, as most of the Afghan Kochi people are gradually abandoning sheep farming, this dairy product is no longer commonly produced and the knowledge needed to prepare it is in danger of being lost.
It is basically made with yogurt, with a very long process that starts by placing the yogurt in a large container for a week or two to ferment it further.
During this time the container containing the yogurt is shaken on several occasions and after each shaking the butter is collected.
At the end, after having removed practically all the fat part, the remaining liquid part is stored for 2-3 days in a cloth bag where it solidifies.
This now solidified product called chaka is then transferred into a container and put on the fire where it resumes its liquid form.
The chaka is poured into another cloth bag and the watery part is collected in a container that is put back on the fire until it becomes a solid substance again: this is harpeen.
The harpeen, solid but still soft, is placed in the sunlight and left to dry to be stored – and consumed – all year round.
It is eaten dried with green tea (sheen chai), but can also be boiled in water and consumed as a broth, it could be also fried with tomatoes.