BANGALORE, Dec 7: The residents of Bangalore savoured the flavours of Tibet during a Tibetan food festival that was held in the city on Saturday. Hosted by Think Tibet and co-ordinated by the Ants Store, which is a platform for Tibetans and Indians to work together to contribute to the community in exile, it had chef and restaurateur Amdo Tsering cook up a staggering 50 dishes.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that every Tibetan must contribute to the cause in his own way and my contribution is through food. I wanted to demonstrate that Tibetan food is unique, and different from that of Chinese or Nepali food,” said Amdo Tsering, who runs a popular Tibetan restaurant in Bangalore’s Austin Town.
Close to a 100 guests were treated to an array of traditional Tibetan dishes at the Ants Store, which was the venue for the evening. The terrace café of Ants Store, which sells handicrafts and products from North-East India, was transformed to accommodate the elaborate buffet.
The evening began with some wonderful Tibetan music by Tenzin Dawa, a young college student, followed by hot cups of Amcha (tea made in Amdo region of Tibet) and herbal tea. Amdo Tsering cooked up a menu that included favourites like Momo and noodles and a host of other dishes like Gunkha, Sha Baley, Amdo Baley, Shatakma, Phingsha, Bhaktsa Martsu, Tsampa, Tingmo and Amthuk.
On display for sampling were more unusual dishes like Yakra, Lolo, Knanyok, Youse, Shim and the piece de resistance – Tsampa Cake. The guests, who included several Indians and foreigners besides Tibetans, enjoyed the spread that was laid out before them. For some, it was an experience that brought them closer to their Tibetan roots, or rather palate.
“This is a great event especially for those of us Tibetans who don’t know all these recipes,” Deki, a young Tibetan mother, said. She had brought a group of family and friends and was especially happy to showcase Tibetan cuisine to them.
Vimala, another guest, was surprised to see so many non-Tibetans enjoying the new cuisine. Her favourite was the Bhaktsa Martsu, she said.The other projects that Think Tibet, which coordinated the food festival, is working on include book publishing, theatre and film, besides organising events like film screenings, art exhibitions and lectures.