Simply Tibetan, Simply Delicious

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Borom Garma

garma final copy

With Losar just around the corner on February 11, we finally got around to begin our Losar preparations this past weekend. Losar is a time when all Tibetan families look forward to preparing and enjoying special Losar treats – and our family is the same. We try specially hard to make Losar as special as we can for our son for whom Losar is one of the only Tibetan cultural holidays he gets to experience living in the West.  So, this time, we made some Amdo senz, some regular khabseys,  we prepared a batch of dre-chang to ferment for the customary Losar kon-dhen (chang-koe), and for something new this year, I made some borom garma. As a child, my friends and I made it every winter but I haven’t had a chance to try it since. So, depending on some not so clear childhood memories, I prepared borom garma.  It turned out alright (could be better though!). But, what really thrilled me was, when I offered a piece of garma to a Tibetan colleague at work.  He said, “What is it ?” I said, “Try it.” He unwrapped it and popped it in his mouth and literally almost jumped out of his pants! He yelled, “My mother used to make this when I was a child. I haven’t had this taste in so many years.” And that just made my day.

Sucking on a piece of garma, I post this recipe for you, my friend. The recipe is not perfect but I’m hoping that some readers will know how to make really good borom garma, and will share some tips in the comments section below for you and I.




2 Lbs Jaggery

2 Tablespoon Butter

2 Tablespoon water

  1. Chop the Jaggery into small pieces so it’ll melt easilyborom chopped
  2. Add all the ingredients in a pot and put on low flamegarma
  3. Keep boiling and stirring until the mixture turns smooth and there are no lumps. This can take a while.
  4. To test readiness, let a drop of the mixture drop into a bowl of water, and see if it hardens. If it is soft, then let it develop a little more. If the drop hardens then it is ready.garma 2
  5. Pour the mixture onto an oiled flat container preferably lined with parchment paper (I poured it on to an oiled ceramic plate and had quite a bit of trouble getting it off!!).garma 3
  6. Optional – When it cools a bit, but before it completely hardens, you can take a knife and make bite size indents so its easy to break off afterwards.garma 4
  7. It’s ready once it’s completely cooled and hardened. I broke them into bite size pieces and wrapped them in small pieces of parchment paper and wrapped it in saran wrap.garma final copy

6 comments on “Borom Garma

  1. Kelseyelsey
    January 26, 2015

    Thanks for these recipes! The doormen in my building are Tibetan and I would like to give them a gift for Losar. Do you think making this garma recipe is a good idea, or do you have any other suggestions?

  2. Tashi
    November 28, 2013

    As a kid I make gurma every winter with my grandmom and she puts tsampa in it and make it into a small balls

  3. Nina
    October 29, 2013

    Simply…as kids we had something just like this called gurbuns….chewy and sweet and oull your dhaats out…..yummy thank you . I just love your stories too

  4. TMC
    February 9, 2013

    Amazing! I’ve never heard of this Tibetan recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m definitely going to give it a try.

  5. simplytibetan
    February 6, 2013

    Thank you Dapel. I will try with tsampa next time.

  6. Dawa Pelmo
    February 5, 2013

    To make the garma unsticly, you can use tsampa n put in airtight container. You can add some tsampa on to the remaining borom in the pan n make ball out of the mixture. Be careful not to burn your hands. Applying butter on the palm will ease your rolling. I like that way with less sweetness.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2013 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , .

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