tsampa, momo, lephing and more!
I’ll like to start this foodblog with Lephing as this is one recipe that everyone asks me for. An all time favorite tibetan streetfood, Lephing is sold on the streets of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city and Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. It is a spicy mung bean gelato flavored with garlic and chillies. The gelato itself is very simple and kind of flavorless but the sauce that covers it, is full of flavor and it will absorb that flavor. Everyone has their own version of the sauce and here’s mine.
Lephing (Spicy Mung Bean Cake)
7 Tablespoon Mung Bean Flour-Phingtsam
4 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
(Mung Bean flour is available in asian/korean grocery stores and sometimes labeled as Green Bean Flour)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 Tablespoon water
4 Tablespoon Soya Sauce
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
Chilli to taste (dried chilli powder or bottled/homemade chilli sauces)
Cilantro – chopped
Chives – chopped (if available)
Mix the Mung Bean powder with 1 cup of cold water until the powder completely dissolves – this will make a milky liquid.
Bring the rest of the water to a boil in a saucepan. As soon as the water starts boiling. turn the heat low, add the salt and slowly pour the mungbean mixture into the pan little by little while constantly stirring with a whisk or spatula. (Quick and constant stirring is the key to great lephing – continue until your liquid is colourless and the mixture is thick and gel-like.)
Pour into a slightly oiled container – (you can use cupcake holders if you want individual servings or just use a large rectangle dish). Let this set at room temperature. After about 15 minutes, when the surface of the lephing is hard to touch, you can cover it with cold tap water – this helps the lephing set faster and keeps it from drying).
Your lephing should be ready in about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Cut into bite size pieces, add your sauce and serve with Bhaley(Tibetan Flat Bread – recipe coming) or pita bread. (There is a trick to cutting lephing – you have to wet your knife .. a wet knife will just slice through your lephing otherwise it will stick).
In a small container, mix the garlic and water – let stand while you make your lephing. This garlic water forms the base for your sauce. You can just use the water or use it with the garlic which is my preference.
Add the rest of the ingredients stir well and your sauce is ready. (Use chilli generously as this is a dish meant to get you sweating – the spicier, the better)