The staple Tibetan food is barley flour (rtsam-pa), which is consumed daily. Other major foods include wheat flour, yak meat, mutton, and pork. Dairy products such as butter, milk, and cheese are also popular. The people in the higher altitudes generally consume more meat than those of the lower regions, where a variety of vegetables is available. Rice is generally restricted in consumption to the well-to-do families, southern border farmers, and monks.
Two beverages--tea and barley beer (chang)--are particularly noteworthy. Brick tea from China and local Tibetan tea leaves are boiled in soda water. The tea is then strained and poured into a churn, and salt and butter are added before the mixture is churned. The resulting tea is light reddish white and has a thick buttery surface. Chang, which is mildly intoxicating, is thick and white and has a sweet and pungent taste.
Due to the high altitude of Tibet, the water boils at 90 degree Celsius, and cooking with water is impossible. The diet and foods are peculiar in Tibet. The Tibetan diet consists mostly of meat, milks and other high-protein foods. The main staple is `tsamba'. Tea is a necessary. Travelers usually bring dried meat, tsamba, and tea for foods.
Main Types of Food
Big chucks of fresh meat are boiled in a pot. Salt, ginger, spices are added. The meat is served when it changes colour. People take the meat by hands and cut them with the carried knives. The breasts and spareribs are for the guests. The tails of white sheep are for the guests of honor. If a young man is treated with a tail of white sheep in his girl friend's house, it implies that he can hope.
There are four different sausages in Tibet: blood, meat, flour and liver.
Milk is drunk fresh or made yogurt, or is separated by churning into butter and curds.
The Tibetan butter is home-made and can be further processed and refined into butter known elsewhere. Butter is used for food with `tsamba', tea etc., or for the fuel of lamp.
After butter is made from milk, the remain becomes sour and can be made curd. Milk curd placed in the mouth and sucked on helps to quench thirst and can be mixed with barley flour to make curd-pastry, a holiday delight.
The milk is boiled first, after removed from stove, some old yogurt is added. Yogurt will form in a few hours. In the central and western parts, the yogurt is thin and smooth. In the east, it is too thick to stir. Yogurt is mentioned in the famous poem `the story of Gesar', and has been a Tibetan food for more than 1,000 years.
`Tubo', a savoury evening gruel made of lumps of wheat flour, tsamba, dried meat and a tuber called `yuangen'.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger,
garlic and onion and stir-fry over medium to medium-high heat for 1/2 to 1 minute. Add
Preheat oven to 375F.