Tsampa Snack Balls: Delicious and Nutritious!

Tsampa snack balls
Fancy tsampa snack balls. Photo and recipe by Ann Lachman of Purple Mountain Tsampa.

We are delighted to share these three beautiful new tsampa recipes by Ann Lachman, owner of Purple Mountain Tsampa. If you’re new to Tibetan food, tsampa is a hearty, nutty-tasting flour made from roasted barley. Ann’s recipes are a tasty, updated twist on the most traditional way of eating tsampa in Tibet, as pa — hand-pressed pieces of dough made from tsampa, butter from the female of the yak species, sugar, dried cheese and Tibetan tea. (Recipe for pa in Tibetan Home Cooking.) We are happy to recommend Purple Mountain if you’re looking for a source to buy tsampa.  Ann’s hulless barley produces particularly nutritious and tasty tsampa. 

Honey-Almond-Date Tsampa Balls

1 cup tsampa
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped pitted dates
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons honey or agave (use more or less to suite your tastes)
Drop of almond extract
Pinch of salt

Put all of the above ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined. [If you don’t have a processor, you can just mix well by hand.] Then add just enough orange juice or water, a little bit at a time, until the mixture holds together and will hold a ball shape. Form the mixture into balls, measuring with a tablespoon. Roll the finished balls in finely ground almonds.

Chocolate-Pecan Tsampa Balls

1 cup tsampa
1/3 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons sugar or agave (use more or less to suite your tastes)
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
Drop of vanilla
Pinch of salt

Put all of the above ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined. [If you don’t have a processor, you can just mix well by hand.] Then add just enough coffee or water, a little bit at a time, until the mixture holds together and will hold a ball shape. Form the mixture into balls, measuring with a tablespoon. Roll the finished balls in unsweetened cocoa.

Cinnamon-Maple-Walnut Tsampa Balls

1 cup tsampa
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons Maple syrup or agave (use more or less to suite your tastes)
Drop of vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Put all of the above ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined. [If you don’t have a processor, you can just mix well by hand.] Then add just enough water, a little bit at a time, until the mixture holds together and will hold a ball shape. Form the mixture into balls, measuring with a tablespoon. Finish the balls by rolling them in cinnamon.

Tsampa Snack Balls: Ingredients
Tsampa Snack Balls: Ingredients
Tibetan Home Cooking

Tibetan Home Cooking

Bring joy to the people you love by making your own delicious, authentic Tibetan meals

Updated on February 13, 2020. First published on March 23, 2014.

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Comments

  1. MB Doyle says

    Hello, thank you for the great recipes! I am excited to incorporate this into my diet. I had read an article recently about making the Tsampa balls for long term storage. I believe it said 7 years in sealed glass jars. Is this accurate? Would it depend on what other nuts, chocolate, grains etc. were in the balls?
    Thank you for any information you may have.
    🙂

  2. Ann Lachman says

    Hi MB. Sorry it took me so long to respond to your question –no, i dont think the tsampa balls would last that long..the nuts and butter would surely go rancid. And there would be mold, due to the moisture. But they would keep a good long while in the fridge.
    As for plain tsampa – it does keep a long time, especially in dry climates. It will not go rancid/bad, exactly, because it is already roasted. But it does lose flavor over time. I recommend keeping tsampa, or balls, in the fridge in a jar with a tight lid. I hope this helps! –Ann from Purple Mountain Tsampa

  3. Genny Soto says

    Dear Ann,

    Would you be able to tell me where can I get Tibetan Style Cereal to make Tsampas. I love to try it but I can’t get it here in Bendigo , a central town in Victoria, Australia.
    I have been cooking for the monks at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and I thought of making some for them to try. Of course, I want to try it first and see the result.

    Genny

    • yowangdu says

      Hi Genny,

      You may need to contact Ann through her website. She may not see these contacts. She’s at Purple Mountain Tsampa.

      Nice that you are trying to get tsampa for the monks 🙂

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