You would be hard pressed to have a meal in Lhasa, and in Tibetan communities in exile, without being offered a healthy serving of fiery Tibetan hot sauce. While Tibetan food itself is very rarely spicy, Tibetans love to spice up whatever they are eating with dollops of the sauce. And that really means anything, including balep korkun (pan bread) or even pa (tsampa with butter tea)! The sauces vary, and some include more of a tomato base, or some kind of greens. This recipe, an extremely easy, fast and fantastic one, comes to us from our friends, sepen masters Nyima la and Kelsang la. Be careful, this is extremely hot!
We’re proud to say that our sepen recipe has been featured in the New York Times dining section along with an article that quoted Lobsang Wangdu talking about Tibetan food in exile.
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 sepen. 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