April 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
I spent the last few days of my trip in one of my favourite places in India, McCleod Ganj, home to the Dalai Lama. When the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, India opened it’s doors to him and the Tibetan refugees. McCleod Ganj is up in the mountains and about a 12 hour windy bus ride from Delhi.
I arrived in the evening and the first meal that I had was a vegetable thukpa, noodle soup. It comes in a bowl with thin noodles, veggies, and lots of broth. The thing that I like about it is that it’s hearty and filling but easy to digest so you feel light after eating it. Like all Tibetan food it leaves a warm fuzzy feeling in the body.
The next day I awoke early to head to the Dalai Lama’s temple for his annual public talk for Losar, Tibetan New Year. I am fortunate to say that it was my second time seeing His Holiness up close and being in his divine grace. The temple grounds were full of Tibetans chanting mantras with a handful of foreigners trying to get a glimpse of him. He spoke in Tibetan and some had radios where they could tune into various stations to hear the translation in other languages.
The early morning talk had stirred my appetite and I went for breakfast. I absolutely love Tibetan food and I have tried many different things. I can’t seem to get enough of it, well that is except for butter tea which is basically tea with a big chunk of butter in it. For breakfast I had Tibetan bread with an americano at a popular restaurant that overlooks the valley and the mountains. The Tibetan bread is pan-fried and quite dense and the americano went with it perfectly.
Street stalls selling momos, Tibetan dumplings, are scattered all over the town. For 20 cents you get 5 vegetarian momos either steamed or fried with hot sauce. I usually get the steamed version as it’s healthier. The soft and chewy dumplings have crisp and flavourful veggies inside, usually grated cabbage, carrots and tofu lightly seasoned with soy sauce. Momos are a Tibetan snack food staple that I love.
If you would like to try cooking Tibetan food for yourself, I came across a great website by a Tibetan chef. His website has many amazing Tibetan recipes with clear instructions including youtube videos, visit his website at yowangdu.com.