Tibetans make so many kinds of bread, and different areas make unique styles. This recipe shows you how to make Central Tibetan style bread, a kind of flatbread called Balep Korkun. Round and quite thin, it is very easy to make. You just need flour and water.
This recipe makes bread for two people.
- Two cups of all-purpose flour (Any kind of flour is okay, like wheat, all-purpose, or self-rising. If you use all-purpose flour, you will need some baking powder.)
- One tablespoon of baking powder
- One cup of water
Preparing the Dough
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. Then knead the dough very well until the dough 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.
I cook my Tibetan bread in a large non-stick pan with some no-stick spray. You can use a little oil or butter if you want. First you should heat up your frying pan on high until it gets hot. Turn down the heat to medium, put the bread in the pan and cover it with a lid. Cook fifteen minutes on medium heat. You should turn over the bread every four or five minutes, so both sides of the bread get cooked well.
For a variation: If you like, you can add a bit of butter, or applesauce to the flour before you begin adding the water, for special flavor.
We are interested to see how other people make balep korkun, and also how this recipe turned out for you. Please let us know in the comments below.
You can find an updated version of this recipe, along with a video showing step by step how to cook balep korkun, as well as the round, yeasted loaves of amdo balep, and fried bread (numtrak balep), in our Tibetan Home Cooking ebook and video series >>
By Lobsang Wangdu