In this recipe, which comes from a family living in the countryside outside Lhasa, “dro” means wheat and “thuk” refers to thukpa, the general term for noodle soups and porridges. Traditionally in Tibet, drothuk would be made from crushed buckwheat, but since it is a challenge to find this outside of Tibet, we use oatmeal instead like many Tibetans in exile do. We use steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats because we think they are closer to the Tibetan porridge. Drothuk can be prepared anytime in Tibet, but it is most commonly eaten as the first dish on the morning of the first day of Tibetan New Year — Losar. One reason for this is that buckwheat is one of the staples of Tibetan food so eating a steaming, delicious bowl of it on Losar is an auspicious start for a plentiful year!
If you would like to explore and share the wonderfully comforting, unusual flavors of traditional Tibetan food, please see our Tibetan Home Cooking eBook and video series for detailed written recipes and step-by-step videos showing you exactly how to cook almost every classic Tibetan food, including drothuk. This series focuses exclusively on authentic recipes that are commonly cooked in Tibetan homes, and includes the most beloved dishes that have been passed down in Tibetan families for hundreds of years.
Also, when you sign up for our Tibetan culture newsletter in the box below, one of the bonus video recipes you receive will be Lobsang showing you how to make drothuk.
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By Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon