What to eat in the most magical place on earth
Himalayas. Tibet. Something cosmic and ethereal sounds already in the very names. They attract travelers from around the world. Before anyone could not resist the magical charm of Tibet, including our team, which has made a two-week journey through his ten cities.
In Tibet everything is unusual and usually at the same time. Harsh climatic conditions, high mountains, hot sun, strong winds and sandy soil have a primary influence on the cuisine that does not have a particularly diverse.
The basis of the diet is milk and yak meat, and more specifically, in the case of milk - do not yak and dri (Lady yak, as they say themselves, Tibetans), and barley flour. Sometimes also used goat meat and mutton. At any point above 4000 meters above sea level, it offers exclusively dishes from these products.
A typical Tibetan Cafe. It should be noted that it is very dirty in the cafe. In the highlands, where to go far to fetch water, you will give the general spoons and forks from the same bowl, and there is no certainty that they wash. A little shocking at first, but then I did not even pay attention.
In big cities, located just below, at an altitude of about 3600-3800 meters above sea level, you can already taste the fruits and vegetables, most of which are imported to the Chinese.
Menu. We were lucky, as two of our company are studying the Tibetan language.
The most popular vegetables - a tomato and onion. Tomato soup can be enjoyed anywhere, but the texture and flavor are very different.
The soup is very tasty and is sometimes so thick that is more like a sauce to the meat. And it is sharp, and almost flavorless. This is probably the most delicious dish in Tibet.
And every morning in every cafe serves omelets. Where to take the eggs at an altitude of 4000 m above sea level, it remains a mystery to us. We have not seen any chicken. Even soup with egg actually is a soup with sliced omelette. I think that they do it out of the dry mixture, and especially for foreigners. Tibetans themselves every morning start with tsampa ...
Zampa - the most common dish. This is not the delicacy and Tibetans eat it not a good life, but simply because there is often more than simply nothing.
Zampa is a mixture of milk dri (female yak), oil and barley flour. Barley, according to Tibetan medicine, a good product to give effect. In barley a lot of iron, and his frequent use eliminates the traditional problems with anemia associated with poor nutrition in the mountains. In addition, the good barley eliminates swelling, often emerging from the monks of sedentary lifestyles and long sitting in one position. Iron also has a good effect on the lungs and bronchi, which often have problems from the mountain wind and cold.
By itself, barley (t. E., If you eat it like porridge, Brew ordinary barley) is considered to be "cold" in its properties. If you grind the barley and fry, then its properties will change to warming. This is very useful for dealing with meditation, because they often accumulate heat in the head and below the heart - solid cold and the internal organs problems. It is said that yogis kidney infection - so to speak, an occupational disease.
Every morning, in any cafe or dining room guesthouse you can treat tsampa. It tastes like milled oatmeal, which is given to babies years old. We were treated to free tsampa, is the cheapest dish. You are served a large bowl of flour, a thermos of salty Tibetan tea, sugar and butter, and you will at its discretion, mix the ingredients - some people like the liquid, some thick tsampa. Tibetans usually make very thick and eat tsampa her hands.
The second most popular national dish - a momo dumplings. If there is a single dish, which can be represented Tibetan cuisine, then this is it. Momo - it's dumplings, steamed and served them on any weekday and holidays. There is only one exception - momo never eat on the first day of the new year, because the meat is left to the dough, means to hide luck.
Preparation Momo takes a lot of time, so several people are working on them. Men tend to cut the meat, and women mold dumplings. All cooking techniques momo subtleties aimed at preserving the juices inside. Therefore, the meat is better to cut than the grind, and vegetables should be handled very carefully. Moreover, Momo can not digest.
Also, there are some nuances and eating momos. First you have to bite off a piece of dough and drink juice, then scoop up the sauce and eat the rest. Momo are delicious in any form.
Another very popular dish is soup - thukpa and thentuk that differ form of noodles. In thukpa add long noodles, and thentuk - flat.
thukpa meat. One such piece immediately and replaces the first and second. The soup is very tasty, but the meat of yak - on the fan.
thukpa with vegetables.
thukpa of wide noodles.
Chicken soup - oddly enough, the worst soup with a strange taste. Eat it failed one.
The Tibetans bake their national bread, which, as in many Asian countries, in principle, similar to our pita. The only exception is the steam bread tingmo, which is likely, too, came from the Chinese cuisine.
cakes with spicy sauce.
Steam fried bread. Steamed bread is very specific - for example, we could not eat it. The taste resembles breadcrumbs soaked.
In addition to the momo and thukpa, you fed rice with meat or vegetables and noodles, which, again, has spread under the influence of China. Portions are usually very large, and even a man enough food.
Rice with vegetables. Figure in Tibet simply excellent - and with vegetables and meat.
Figure yak meat and vegetables.
noodles with meat and vegetables.
Noodles with scrambled eggs and meat.
In some cafes near the border with Nepal can be enjoyed almost European cuisine. For example, fried fish with french fries.
or fried potatoes. However, with a hot potato in the Tibetan problem, especially for those who live high in the mountains. We could not explain what it should fry longer. We ate almost raw, but in those conditions and it was a delicacy.
In some monasteries have their own kitchen, where you can for 40 rubles very tight lunch. Money is almost gone, and at 40 rubles we got here is a portion of delicious rice and grilled vegetables - it was probably the most delicious our dinner.
As for drinks, the most popular, of course, is tea. In Tibet, there are two unique kinds of tea. First - Ngam cha, for Tibetans foreigners call it "suites ti" ( "sweet tea"). Is a female yak boiled milk, butter, a little black tea and sugar. Very tasty and satisfying.
Second - cha suyma, also known as "butter tea", "salty tea", "tea brought down." It is prepared from pressed Puer, which is cooked in milk and then whipped with melted yak butter and salt in a special wooden churn Donme. In our time, this is a traditional fixture replaced the electric whisk, which is available in any family, because the salty Tibetan tea is drunk in vast quantities, and adults and children. Tibetans carry a thermos with drink everywhere: at work, in the field, for a walk. Any Tibetan gladly treat you to tea with milk. He warms to protect against penetrating Tibetan wind. Also cha suyma is used to make tsampa.
In Tibetan restaurants can be found and other beverages, borrowed from India and China. For example, who came from the province of Yunnan tea Woman ( "Eight Treasures"). This traditional Chinese mixture of the eight types of flowers and dried fruits. You can also come across popular in India and Nepal tea with ginger and lemon, but it will be quite expensive in these parts. Of course, civilization has penetrated even the most remote corners of the earth, and tea bags you can buy everywhere.
Maybe the story of Tibetan cuisine would not be complete without a mention of Tibetan drinks selling chang, chang or ne. This barley wine, which in the West is often referred to as beer, distinctive taste and is not very strong - only 3, 8%. In stores you can buy it in blue or red jars, but restaurants have the opportunity to taste homemade chang. Traditions of its use are slightly different from one region to another - for example, in Shigatse in a glass of Chang decided to add a little tsampa, which had never done in Lhasa. But in any case, fans of Chang in Tibet very much. As for real beer, here it is represented by only one local brand - "Lhasa". However, find popular European brands of beer there is not a problem. lunch cost varies depending on the location and availability of products. The average dinner costs 25-40 yuan. In big cities you can buy a large portion of French fries on the street for 5 yuan, or go to the local dining room measuring 10 square meters, and buy an enormous portion of the soup for 7-10 yuan.
Bon appetit and amazing trip!