tsampa, momo, lephing and more!
For me, Droepa Khatsa brings back childhood memories of growing up in TCV – waiting in line at the TCV canteen where they would occasionally make it. It was one of the most delicious snacks they served – spicy with lots of chilies and turmeric. Usually, small groups of children would share a plate, eating sparingly, enjoying the heat of the chilies, licking the taste off of their fingers, giggling and sharing stories. Those were days when most kids didn’t have much, but we shared everything. I remember how we would always make sure that the small amount of treasured droepa khatsa would also be shared equally amongst our group of friends – and always, one last lucky person would get to lick the plate clean.
Droepa or Tripe is the rubbery textured lining of the stomach of cattle and when made right, it can be quite delicious. There are varieties of tripe available corresponding to the four sections of the stomach – usually the second part called “reticulum or honeycomb tripe” or the third part called “omasum or book tripe” are the ones seen more frequently in markets. For this recipe, we used the “omasum” tripe.
The two most important things to keep in mind when cooking tripe is that 1. Care must be taken to do a thorough and complete cleaning, and 2. the tripe needs to be boiled really well before cooking. Tripe needs to be boiled for a few hours before the actual cooking. The strong pervasive smell of the boiling tripe is not enjoyable at all – its best if you can do it outside the house, but if not, you’ll want to leave your windows open. We used a pressure cooker, which cuts down the boiling time, and also helps control the smell and steam (I highly recommend a pressure cooker if you like droepa.)
Below is the recipe for Droepa Khatsa – thanks to Tenzing Barshee la again – who always makes the best droepa khatsa in our neck of the woods.
2 lbs tripe
1 Onion (sliced)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
Few Green Chillies (sliced)
1 teaspoon Turmeric (let the turmeric soak in a small container with 1 tablespoon water)
1 teaspoon red Chilli powder
Wash the Tripe really well – running your hands over the surface and scrubbing it thoroughly until you are completely satisfied that it is clean. In the west, the tripe in the market is usually pre-cleaned but still, you want to make sure to clean it thoroughly.
Next, put the clean tripe in a pot, cover with water, add a tea spoon of salt, bring to a full boil and lower the heat and continue boiling for about at least 2 hours until it is completely cooked and soft. We cooked it in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes.
* Note: You can package the extra cooked and sliced droepa in freezer bags and freeze them for use next time – its nice to have them pre-packaged like this when friends drop by for drinks sometime – makes a quick, nice appetizer to go with an ice-cold beer.