What involves thoughts once you consider Tibetan delicacies?
It in all probability depends upon which a part of the world you reside in. In the event you’re in North America, it could be the well-known Tibetan butter tea, or bhocha, as it’s identified to Tibetans, which impressed the once-viral bulletproof espresso development. However when you dwell within the Himalayan area of India, Bhutan, or Nepal, house to a few of the largest Tibetan exile settlements of the previous seven a long time, you’ll seemingly know of momo, Tibetan dumplings which have develop into broadly adopted in these Himalayan international locations.
Tingmomo is one other Tibetan deal with you must know. A steamed bun with a tender, fluffy texture, its title, some say, is a contraction of tingba, the Tibetan phrase for “cloud,” and momo, the Tibetan phrase for “dumpling.” The buns, known as tingmo for brief, are sometimes paired with phing sha, a savory stir-fry of glass noodles with mokru (wooden ear mushrooms) and chunks of meat; or with shapta, thinly sliced meat stir-fried with velvety gravy that you simply sop up with items of tingmo.
My favourite childhood reminiscence of tingmo is definitely of the leftover tingmo that Tibetans prefer to eat for breakfast. Because the buns lose a few of their softness in a single day, they’re sliced into halves and evenly pan-fried in oil, which ends up in a dense flatbread with a scrumptious crunchy backside and a little bit of chew. In my household, we’d wash it down with some steaming scorching cha ngamo, or candy milk tea. And typically, if our modest revenue allowed it, we might benefit from the evenly pan-fried leftover tingmo with some strawberry jam or marmalade, which for me as a baby was utter bliss.
Over time, the making of tingmo has developed, very similar to my journey as a Tibetan in exile; I’m one of many third technology of Tibetans displaced from Tibet, and a first-generation U.S. citizen. Simply as a few of our Tibetan meals, like momo and thukpa (noodle soup dishes), have been broadly adopted by our Himalayan host international locations, you will notice that present variations of tingmo made by Tibetans in exile are influenced by the accessibility of substances generally used within the delicacies of our Himalayan host international locations.
So, whilst you can take pleasure in tingmo made the standard manner with simply flour and yeast, it’s more and more frequent to see Tibetans of my technology, who grew up exterior Tibet, making our tingmo utilizing ga-se (turmeric) and/or sonam penzom (cilantro). In the event you occur to see white tingmo at a Tibetan restaurant, it’s being served the standard manner. If it has a yellow hue or is flecked with inexperienced, you’re being served the extra modern model.
Neither is any much less genuine — the iterations of our meals are reflections of our journey as Tibetans. We try to protect roots which have been forcefully uprooted, all whereas attempting to suit into and survive as exiles in our host international locations, which, for a lot of Tibetans like me, are the one houses we’ve identified.
Tingmomo, Two-Colour Tibetan Steamed Buns
Makes 8 buns
For the white dough:
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon energetic dry yeast2⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided2 teaspoons sugar
For the yellow dough:
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon turmeric1 teaspoon energetic dry yeast2⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided 2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable or every other impartial oil for brushing
Make the white and yellow doughs:
Step 1: In two separate bowls, sift collectively the flour and salt. In a single bowl, add the turmeric and blend effectively. Set each bowls apart.
Step 2: In two separate bowls, proof the yeast by combining 2⁄3 cup heat water (105 to 115 levels, or heat to the contact), sugar, and yeast. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast, then put aside to sit down undisturbed for 10 minutes. When the yeast has completed activating, you’ll see frothy bubbles.
Step 3: Combine the white dough first. Put the dry substances within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (You may as well combine the dough by hand.) Add the activated yeast combination on a low pace till the dough comes collectively. Add 2 tablespoons water to additional hydrate the dough if it appears too dry. Swap to a dough hook and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes to develop the gluten.
If kneading by hand, knead on a evenly floured countertop for about 12 to fifteen minutes.
Repeat the identical steps to make the yellow dough.
Step 4: Flippantly oil two separate bowls and place the doughs inside them. Cowl with plastic or a moist towel, then place in a heat space of your kitchen, resembling an oven that’s turned off. Word that 77 levels is the perfect temperature for proofing.
Step 5: Proof the dough for about 1 to 2 hours or till it has doubled in dimension. (Proofing instances can range significantly; when you dwell in a heat local weather, the proofing could also be accomplished in as little as 45 minutes.) You possibly can test to see if the dough is prepared by poking it together with your finger — the indentation ought to stay however the dough will nonetheless spring again just a little.
Assemble the tingmomo:
Step 1: Beginning with the white dough, mud your work floor with flour and switch the dough to it. Flatten the dough right into a rectangle together with your palms. Then, utilizing a rolling pin, roll the dough as skinny as you possibly can into roughly a 15-by-17-inch sheet, sustaining its rectangular form as a lot as potential. Put aside; repeat with the yellow dough.
Step 2: Flippantly oil the floor of the white dough. Then place the sheet of yellow dough on prime and evenly oil its floor as effectively. Use a rolling pin to evenly press the sheets collectively.
Ranging from the brief finish, roll the dough into a decent log, jelly roll type. Trim each edges and minimize the dough into eight equal components. For smaller tingmomo, you possibly can minimize the dough into 10 components.
Cook dinner the tingmomo:
Step 1: Add water to a steamer pot (or any massive pot appropriate to accommodate a steamer). It ought to be at the very least a pair inches deep however not contact the ground of the steamer basket or rack. Carry the water to a boil.
Step 2: Flippantly grease your steamer basket with vegetable oil. Place the tingmomo within the basket, leaving at the very least 1 to 2 inches of house between every bun to permit for enlargement. Cowl and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 3: Take away the cooked buns from the steamer. Get pleasure from them scorching. You possibly can dip them in scorching sauce or chili oil, or use them to sop up stir-fry dishes. Acquired leftovers the subsequent day? Slice the tingmo in half and evenly pan-fry them, after which take pleasure in them with jam.
Kyikyi is a third-generation Tibetan dwelling in exile and a first-generation U.S. citizen. She does seasonal pop-ups, teaches Tibetan cooking, and writes about Tibetan tradition via the lens of meals with the aspiration to assist protect at-risk Tibetan heritage.Louiie Victa is a chef, recipe developer, meals photographer, and stylist dwelling in Las Vegas.Recipe examined by Louiie Victa