Lhamo’s Kitchen Pt 3 – Bread

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.

First things first though, we had to make enough dough for the three main recipes.


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.

Special Bread


1tsp salt

1tbsp minced ginger

2tbsp chopped tomato

1tbsp minced garlic

1tbsp chopped coriander

1tbsp chopped spring onion (green parts)

4tbsp oil

2tbsp cheese

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

1tbsp garlic

1tbsp coriander

3tbsp oil

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.

Party Bread


1/4 tsp salt

1tbsp carrot

1tbsp chopped tomato

1tbsp spring onion

1tbsp garlic

2tbsp oil

Fold in the same way, cutting off 4 fingers, twisting around and pinching together this time into horseshoes- again steam for 15 minutes.

Sweet Breads

I’m not talking offal here, these are actually just really sweet breads done in slightly different styles.


1 Egg

1tbsp oil

1tbsp sugar

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.


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