It is the Tibetan New Year - Losar. We explored some traditional foods and customs of the season, asking Tibetans what they eat during the New Year.
On first day we start our breakfast with white sweet rice called Dayse. Other dishes include Luke Tingmo and Thukpa, noodle soup. What I love is that on the first day, we do not work at all. We are suppose to enjoy the day.
There can be no Losar without 'khapsey. Another important item is the 'Dresil' which is sweet buttered rice usually garnished with raisins and nuts and if you're lucky, with 'Droma' as well. Droma is a kind of sweet potato (the size of black gram) dug from the ground by nomads in Tibet. My mother always has a stash of Droma, sent from Tibet by relatives, etc., which she keeps for important occasions. Dresil is usually had in the morning and is usually served to symbolise auspiciousness.
My mother grew up as a nomad and during Losar, the first thing that she makes is 'Thue,' which is kind of a Tibetan dessert. It is made purely from butter, Tibetan cheese and sugar. I am very fond of it.
Since beef is the closest thing to yak meat in India, boiled beef is also an indispensable item during Losar.
Of course, there is the usual fare of Momo (beef, mostly) and Thukpa (for dinner only). A dish called 'Aloo Phing Sha' (phing = vermicelli noodles, sha = meat) is also a regular feature and is usually served with Tingmo (steamed buns).
The most trademark food during Losar is the Khapsey: it is a fried flour cookie. We make it in several different styles and the most popular ones are the Bhungu Amjo (literal translation is donkey's ears) and Rhukruk (smaller sweet ones). People also enjoy Changkoe (rice beer) especially with their Khapseys dunked in it.
If you are craving some Tibetan fare head to Tibetan Mother’s Kitchen in Koramangala, Snow Lion - Flavors Of Tibet on Brigade Road or Peace Restaurant in Shanti Nagar.