It tells you something about Tibetan cuisine that a basic veggie dish like shamey tsel translates as “meatless vegetables.” Literally, it means sha (meat) + mey (without) + tsel (vegetables). Because few vegetables grow in the high-altitude farmlands of Tibet without the help of greenhouses, Tibetans traditionally ate few vegetables. The vegetables that are grown and eaten tend to be hardy: cabbage, radish, turnip, carrot, potato, onion, radish, and celery. Shamey tsel could be any of these veggies, but Lobsang’s tasty version is a cabbage dish beautifully flavored by shiitake mushrooms.
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