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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Gyabrag (Tibetan barley pancakes)

I started exploring Tibetan cuisine with the help of this book and I'm thrilled of the gems I discover. These pancakes made with barley flour and whey are a perfect example of the frugal but delicious culinary practices of the area. 
They are meant to be served with yak butter (I used buffalo butter, which I also used for making the Po cha drink from the high mountainous regions of Tibet). The butter is richer and more flavorful than the standard cow version, and melts onto the hot pancakes in an irresistible way.
Recipe source: Tibetan Customs.

Last year: nothing.
Two years ago: nothing.
Three years ago: nothing.
Four years ago: Bacon, corn, pea and red bean hash.
Five years ago: Gorgonzola and mushroom pizza with wholemeal crust.
Six years ago: Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbasi (Turkish red lentil soup) (vegan).
Seven years ago: Mauve rice with bell peppers, carrots, olives and pine nuts (vegan).
Eight years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).


  • 150 g barley flour
  • 100 ml whey, plus more if needed
  • 30 g butter (preferably buffallo or yak butter), plus more for frying
  • 30 g brown sugar
Put the barley flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the sugar and whey. Mix well into an even batter. Add more whey if needed, until the batter reaches a semi-fluid consistency (not too thin, but which can be poured).

Let the batter rest for 1 hour, at least.

Heat a large griddle pan and brush with yak butter. Add 1/3 ladle of batter to it at a time and fry well until golden on the bottom (2-3 minutes). Turn and cook the pancake on the other side as well. Repeat with the remaining batter and arrange all the pancakes on a serving platter as they get done.

Cut the butter into cubes and top the pancakes with it. Serve hot. It's done, dig in! :)

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