I wouldn’t say Nepal is the best destination if you are looking for culinary adventures, though it is pretty good. Staples include Indian dishes like curries and dal bhat, Newari (ethnic group) dishes, and momos (like steamed/fried dumplings).
One of my favorite, albeit simple, was advertised as ‘Tibetan bread.’ I didn’t really notice it until we were well into the mountains on my trek. Basically, it’s just a simple flat bread that is fried in a little butter or oil. Depending on the cook it ranges from crispy to doughy and is quite delicious.
I found the following recipe for a Central Tibetan style bread, called Balep Korkun, that looks about right. I’d love to hear if anyone has any other ways of making this.
Tibetan Bread Recipe
This recipe makes 4 pieces of bread (about two people).
- Two cups of flour (Any kind of flour is okay, like wheat, all-purpose, or self-rising. If you use all-purpose flour, you will need a bit of baking powder.)
- One tablespoon of baking powder
- One cup of water
For the most simple version of this bread, you mix the flour and a little water very well by hand and keep adding water until you can make a smooth ball of dough. If you like, add a bit of butter or applesauce to the flour before you add water for special flavor (I imagine yak butter gives the most authentic flavor). Knead the dough very well until the it is flexible.
When you have finished kneading the dough, separate it into four pieces and roll them into ball shapes. Then leave the dough balls in a container with a lid on for fifteen to twenty minutes.
After that, place one of the ball shapes on a flat surface and roll it out with a rolling pin, making a flat, round shape about 1/2″ to 3/4″ high. Repeat with all your dough.
Cook in a large non-stick pan with some no-stick spray. You can use a little oil or butter if you want. First, heat up the frying pan until it gets hot. Turn down the heat to medium, put the bread in the pan and cover it with a lid. Cook 15 minutes on medium heat. You should turn over the bread every four or five minutes, so both sides of the bread get cooked well.