Last updated by iris at 2014/10/30
The Ngari diet belongs to the system of Chiang cuisine. The major materials are cheese, cow hoofs, acidophilus milk and ghee. Chiang cuisine tastes salty, light, fresh, sour and delicious and it can help people adapt themselves to the cold climate of the plateau.
Nagri Featured Food:
Highland Barley Wine
Made from the highland barley, the main food produced in Tibet, Highland barley wine (also called Chiang in Tibet) is the wine favorite to Tibetan people and is a necessary part at festivals, marriage feasts and on some other important occasions.
Method of brewing the wine: clean the barley grains quickly (the washing can not take so long a time) before putting them into a large deep pot, pour in water, of which the amount is two thirds that of the grains and cook them. After the barley grains absorb all the water in the pot, burn the fire less brilliantly. Stir the grains with a crabstick so as to cook them fully. Pinch a piece of barley grain to see whether it is soft enough to be pressed flat. Add some water to continue the cooking if the grains are not soft enough. When the grains are 80 percent cooked, take the pot off the fire and cool down the barley for 20 to 30 minutes until after the grains absorb all the water in the pot. Lay open the barley grains on a piece of clean
Zanba（roasted Highland Qingke Barley Flour）
The staple food of Tibetan people is Zanba, a kind of dough made with roasted highland qingke barley flour and yak butter with water. Method of making: grind the roasted Highland Barley into flour, and mix it with ghee. It is similar to parching wheat flour in northern China. People in northern China grind the wheat into flour before parching it, but Tibetan people do the opposite. They roast the Barley seeds before grinding them into flour. What’s more, Tibetan people do not remove the husk of the Barley.
When eating Zanba, Tibetan people put some ghee in a bowl, pour some boiled water into the bowl, then put some roasted flour into the water, and mix them with one hand. When mixing the tea, they press the flour slightly against the edge of the bowl with their fingers to avoid spilling the tea. After mixing all the roasted flour, the tea and the ghee until the thing gets thick, people knead it into dough balls and eat them. Tibetan people use hands instead of chopsticks or scoops w
Tu-pa is the food similar to Jiaozi (the Chinese dumpling), which is the favorite food in China, especially northern China. Method of making: put some chopped meat on a piece of flat round dough strip and roll up it, put the ends together, just as how Chinese people make Jiaozi. Tu-pa is the food for the family reunion dinner, usually held on December 29 of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Sometimes small pieces of stones, capsicums, charcoals or wool threads are put in Tu-pa, each representing a special meaning. Stone means that the people who happen to pick up this Tu-pa will be stonehearted in the next year. Woolen thread means a kind heart. Charcoal means the vicious mind. Capsicum means a loose tongue. Of course those special Tu-pas do not really mean those bad things. They are just for fun. No matter who happen to take that Tu-pa, they immediately spit it out. People laugh happily then. This habit really adds to the fun and happiness of the festival.
The Buttered Tea
Buttered tea is the favorite drink of Tibetan people. It is made of boiled brick tea and ghee. Ghee, which looks like butter, is a kind of dairy product of fat abstracted from cow milk or sheep milk. Tibetan people like the ghee made of yak milk. When they make buttered tea, they mix boiled brick tea and ghee in a special can, add some salt, pour the mixed liquid into a pottery or metal teapot and finally heat up it (but not boil it). Different people have different tastes for the buttered tea. Some people like salty flavor, others prefer to light flavor. People who do manual labors, especially men, like the strong-tasted, cream-like buttered tea. Old people, children and women like light-flavored tea. People usually heat up the buttered tea because cold buttered tea is not easy to be digested and does harm to one’s stomach.
In Tibetan region, when the peasants or the herdsmen butcher the sheep, they always save the sheep blood to make some blood sausages, the delicious local food. They not only cook some of the sheep blood to eat, but also put the sheep blood in a long tube of skin, cook it and eat the food served in thin slices. The cooked blood sausage tastes delicious and tender. Method of making: chop the sheep meat into pieces, add some salt, some Chinese prickly ash powder and some Zanba powder in the meat and mix them together. Then put the mixed material in the cleansed tube, tie the tube once every few decimeters with threads. The cooking of the blood sausage is also special: cook the prepared sausages in the soup until they rise and turn grayish white. Take out the sausages, which are about eighty percent done, put them on a plate. The whole families sit around on the ground, cut the blood sausages into thin slices and eat.
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