Tibetan cuisine shows Tibet’s local customs and environment. In Tibet, the most integral crop is barley; in fact, the flour coming from milled roasted barley, which is termed as tsampa, is Tibet’s staple food. The Tibetan bread often consumed for breakfast and lunch is called Balep; while Thukpa is eaten during dinner time. It is comprised of noodles of different forms, with broth and veggies. The dishes in Tibet are eaten with bamboo chopsticks, quite the opposite to other Himalayan dishes which are eaten using the hand. Tibetans utilize small soup bowls and the elite Tibetans eat from gold and silver made bowls.
The meat dishes in Tibet are made from mutton, goat or yak and they are oftentimes fried or cooked as piquant stew mixed with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet that is why many cuisines employ mustard seed. Tibetans love yak yoghurt, cheese and butter, in fact well-prepared yoghurt is a prestige item in Tibet.
Yoghurt is an integral part of the Tibetan cuisine as Tibetans love this as a daily beverage. It is a creamy milk created by Yak cow. Eastern Tibet nomads create yoghurt in a specialized process, where milk is boiled first ten after removed from heat, old yoghurt is poured in. For a thousand years it has been patronized by Tibetans.
Dried beef and mutton stripe is also a known local food especially in the winter, prepared by cutting the meat into long stripes and hung is air dried shaded area. It turns out to be crisp and is very tasty; and it is said that it can be eaten raw because the coldness of winter they say killed the bacteria in the meat.
Sha Balep is bread filled with seasoned beef and in semi-circle form or circle shapes and in regional variations is pan fried or deep fried.
Balep korkun is another Tibetan pastry, a central Tibetan flatbread prepared using a skillet instead of an oven.
Thenthuk is a soup fit in cold weathers. It is cooked with noodles and veggies.
Tsam Thuk is also a soup that uses sheep or yak stock, but compared to De Thuk, it is combined with roasted barley flour and different Tibetan cheeses.
Tingmo is steamed bun, a Tibetan variation of the Chinese baozi.
Dre-Si is a sweet dish in Tibet which uses rice cooked in unsalted butter, combined with raisins, droma, dates and other types of nuts. It is a special dish cooked only during the Tibetan New Year celebration.
Juema or Gyurma is the Tibet’s blood sausage with sheep or yak’s blood plus rice or roasted barley flour.
Next we have the Tibetan biscuits or cookies called Khapsey, which are deep fried and prepared during special celebrations like the Tibetan New Year or weddings. They are formed in many different detailed textures and shapes. There are some sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Buttered tea is a well-loved drink of Tibetans. It is prepared with ghee and boiled brick tea.