tsampa, momo, lephing and more!
My mother-in-law called me around two weeks ago, to tell me that this year, she would prefer that we didn’t bring her losar gifts but that she would like us just to bring her some Amdo Khabsey. I try to make this every year and this is how she describes it, “some khabsey are too sweet, some too hard, some too much butter but this amdo khabsey with some salt and emma flavor is just right,” – so how can I not make some this year. Some Amdowa’s call it “Sog Sog” but in our household, its called “Senz” – which is the Siling term for it. It’s quite a bit of work but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too hard. Senz is quite addicting – crunchy and delicious, whether eaten by itself or dipped in butter tea. Once you start, you just can’t stop. Here’s the recipe …
5 lbs Flour
3 Tablespoon Salt
1 Egg (Optional – makes it slightly softer)
1 Cup Emma (SichuanPepper)
Oil for deep frying
1. Put about 4 cups of warm water in a container and add all the Emma to this, and let soak overnight. This will be strained afterwards and the liquid will be used to make the dough – it will be slightly reddish and have a slightly spicy smell and taste of the emma. Emma or Sichuan Pepper or Szechwan Pepper is also known as ‘prickly ash’ and can be found at korean and chinese grocery stores.
2. Prepare the dough with this Emma water. Add the salt to the flour (add one egg if you are like it softer). Slowly mix the flour as you add the liquid. The dough consistency should be supple, not too firm and not too soft. The kneading is very important and the more you knead the better it will be.
After kneading, you can flatten the dough, and roll into longish, inch thick strands. Oil the strands and line then up in a large container or plate. Cover and let sit overnight or at least 5-6 hours.
3. Now is the fun part. Heat the oil for deep frying in a large deep container, and start preparing the Senz. Take one long piece of dough and start rolling and pulling like you are making long noodles, keep pulling and twisting the strands around like a wound up strand of wool.
When the oil is hot enough, start by dipping the center of the strands in the oil, swish it around gently so the strands separate, and then let one end down into the oil. Using a long chopstick, separate the strands, hold it in place and then fold over the other end onto the oil, with a little curve. The chopsticks come in handy here to pull and fold the strand over. Let it get golden brown and your Senz is ready.