Yes, I guess that it must be a bit unexpected to read a Tibetan food post within the Indian Food section in our blog but it has a very easy explanation: McLeodGanj! McLeodGanj has a very tight relation with Tibet, and when we were there we saw advertisements for Tibetan cooking courses so we didn’t miss the opportunity. The course consisted of three lessons where we learned how to make Tibetan breads, soups and the famous momos (of which we have been talking so much).
Our first lesson was breads. Sangye showed us how to make Tibetan brown bread, tigmo and bhalek. While the procedure for making the dough was very similar for the three types of breads, the ingredients and the cooking was different.
- The brown bread, made with whole wheat flour and cooked in a frying pan with a bit of oil, was the sweetest of the three. It’s a great type of bread to have for breakfast with a bit of honey or butter.
- Bhalek is a thick white bread stuffed with spiced vegetables, that is also cooked in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Tasty but very, very filling!
- Tigmo was probably the strangest of the three types we cooked. As Bhalek, it is made with white flour but this one is steamed and not fried. It is usually served as accompaniment of fried vegetables, soups..
Lesson two was a little bit more hands on than the previous one and we learned how to make Thentuk and Thukpas, which are two kind of noodle soups. Both types of soups can be vegetarian or can include egg, chicken, lamb… The main difference between the two is the type of noodle used, thick flat noodles for the first one and thin long noodles for the second one. Apart from learning how to make a very flavoursome broth, the best part of the class was to learn how to make the noodles from scratch! I never imagined it could be so easy! I can see myself cooking this two soups soooooo many nights during the cold winters. Healthy, super tasty and super fast!!
The last lesson was the star lesson, Momos (Tibetan dumplings)!! We were really looking forward to learning how to make our favourite Tibetan snack. The dough is made with a simple mix of flour, water & baking powder which after kneading is left to rest for at least 5 mins before shaping into dumplings and filling them with the desired mixture. Momos can have a few different shapes. During our class we learned four of them, this was for sure the best part of the class. Isma and I kept competing against each other to make the best momo!! We are still arguing whose was the best. The fillings for the momos can vary, from salty to sweet, from veg to non veg… We made four types spinach & cheese, potato, mixed veg and chocolate, but you can be as creative as you want! After steaming them for about 20 minutes we ate all our wonderful creations.