After Tushita I decided to complete the Tibetan Cooking class I had started and persuaded Juanse to join me.
We would be making Special Bread, Tingmo, Party Bread and also some sweet breads. In Tibet it is pretty rare to have an oven so the majority of breads are either steamed or baked in a dry pot.
1/2 Kilo white flour
2tsp baking powder
300ml water (room temperature)
Combine in a bowl, mix well and kneed for 5 minutes. Divide into three portions, one for each recipe and then cover leaving to rise for a minimum 5 minutes and a maximum of 8 hours (overnight) according to my instructions. Only in Tibet would you be likely to leave the dough overnight but I guess it’s like the “Any kind of flour” thing – not an exact science.
1tbsp minced ginger
2tbsp chopped tomato
1tbsp minced garlic
1tbsp chopped coriander
1tbsp chopped spring onion (green parts)
So, take the dough, and then kneed and roll it out on a floured surface to 1/2cm thickness, although “More thinner, more taste” remember. Then spread the ingredients over the surface.
Then, taking one end of the dough, fold the outside edge in 1/4 of the way. Repeat on the opposite side of the dough, then fold the first side once more and repeat. Finally, fold one side of the dough over the other, pinch the ends of the folded dough tube and then knot the dough in the desired shape – thusly:
So for the traditional cooking method, put a dry pot on a very low heat and bake for 15 minutes on each side, shaking the pot every 5 minutes. The oil infused in the dough will come out of the bread into the pot and cause the outside to brown and crisp up slightly. Alternatively, bake in the oven for 30 mins at 200c
A traditional steamed bread usually served with soups or butter tea
1/4 tsp turmeric
1tbsp green pepper
Now these are slightly more tricky. You roll the dough to 1/4cm thickness and then make 3 rolls on one side and fold over leaving it for three minutes to stick together. Then cut 4 fingers lengths and take 2 chopsticks, twisting, pushing on to the hand and removing “one by one” creating this “rose” shape that opens when cooked. Simply steam for 15 minutes.
1/4 tsp salt
1tbsp chopped tomato
1tbsp spring onion
I’m not talking offal here, these are actually just really sweet breads done in slightly different styles.
1tbsp cold water
Mix together then add 2 handfulls of flour to the mixture.
Make it very, very thin, paper thin, 4 fingers, then 2 and roll like a sausage, twist 7 times and join up.
Using very, very hot oil (3 glasses added to a hot pot) put the twist into the pan for 2 1/2 minutes.
We also made smaller ones 1/2 a finger with a nick in the middle and pulled through to make bows, these needed frying for only 1 minute.
After all this bread we were unsurprisingly totally stuffed. It was great to learn but perhaps a combination of a bread and a soup might have made the eating part slightly less heavy. I’d recommend any of Lhamo’s classes, his food was undoubtedly some of the best Tibetan I ate on my trip and I hope one day he manages to open a restaurant.