The Qinghai-Tibet plateau has a pretty inhospitable environment because of its average altitude which is above 4000 meters. Thus these extreme conditions force the people living there or the Tibetans develop a very unique style of diet which is mainly based on the major resources available there. The Tibetan cuisine is largely influenced by the Buddhist culture followed there, the alpine environment and also the neighbouring countries, such as Nepal and India. Yet the special Tibetan cuisine is world famous and found in various regions of different countries.
There are even special restaurants which are dedicated to this cuisine and only prepare their dishes. There are many Tibetan delicacies which are favoured by many across the globe and some have even become the favourites of quite a number of people. Some of these popular yet original Tibetan dishes which you should try are:
- Tsampa– this barley flour is made from highland barley and is the staple food of the Tibetans. It is extremely important to their culture. It is used in many of their festivals as a sign of peace and prosperity. This is mainly consumed with the salty flavoured butter tea of Tibet. The butter tea and the flour are mixed well together to form dough and then consumed. It is also packed with nutrition and thus provides the appropriate energy for surviving in such a plateau.
- Tibetan Yak Meat– in such high altitudes such as Tibet, yaks are found to be the most commonly available livestock. As these animals live in an environment which has less density of oxygen, their red blood cells are much greater than normal cows. Thus their chewy and highly nutritious meat has become a trademark of many Tibetan dishes, also because of its different and delicate flavour.
- Momos– these are quite similar to the Chinese traditional dumplings. But these are made in different forms. They are made in either round or crescent shapes. The momos recipe, quite often include yak meat as their filling along with other ingredients. Vegetarians have theirs filled with onions, cabbage, mushrooms etc. You can try the steamed ones or the fried ones with the spicy sauce. They are even found in some soups.
- Thupka or Noodle Soup– the noodle soup of Tibetan origin is quite famous for is unique taste. It is also part of their culture. Some even prefer it as a comfort dish. The mild flavour of the noodles along with a yummy bone broth, some shredded yak meat and other vegetables are pleasurable to people of all ages.
- Tibetan Yogurt– this obviously falls in the category of the favourite pastime snacks of the locals there. It is available in the restaurants and also in the streets. It is fairly common and unbelievably tasty with added raisins. It is made of yak milk and contains no additives like the other commonly available yogurts.
- Dre Si- this amazing dessert is available mainly during the Tibetan New Year as it is considered an auspicious dish.