Tibetans make so many kinds of bread, but these small, round breads are among the very easiest to make. This recipe is very popular in Central Tibet, where it is made at home, but also easily purchased at little shops or stalls on the street. Lobsang’s recipe combines whole wheat and white flour, because we like the taste of the whole wheat, and the way that the white flour keeps the bread softer and higher rising. In Tibet, these days, balep korkun is almost exclusively white bread, though traditionally, in the days before more modern milling machinery, they would have been whole wheat. In Lhasa, balep korkun is sold either sweet or plain. The sweet versions, which carry a small red mark, are made with purang, which we believe is concentrated sugar cane juice, like Indian jaggery.
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 balep korkun. 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.
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By Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon