Tingmomo is a Tibetan remedy you should know. Here’s how to make it.

What comes to your mind when you think of Tibetan cuisine?

It probably depends on what part of the world you live in. If you’re in North America, it might be the famous Tibetan butter tea, or bhocha, as Tibetans know it, which inspired the once-viral bulletproof coffee trend. But if you live in the Himalayan region of India, Bhutan, or Nepal, which houses some of the largest Tibetan uninhabited settlements of the past seven decades, you will know about momos, the Tibetan dumplings that are widely used in these Himalayan countries. have been adopted.

Tingmomo is another Tibetan remedy you should know. A steamed bun with a soft, fluffy texture whose name, some say, is a contraction of tingba, the Tibetan word for “cloud” and momo, the Tibetan word for “dumpling”. The buns, called tingmo for short, are commonly paired with phing sha, a savory stir-fry of glass noodles with mokaru (wood ear mushrooms) and chunks of meat; Or with shpatta, thinly sliced ​​meat stir-fried with a velvety gravy that you drink with chunks of tingmo.

My favorite childhood memory of tingmo is actually leftover tingmo that Tibetans love to eat for breakfast. Since the buns lose some of their tenderness overnight, they are cut into halves and lightly fried in oil, resulting in a dense flatbread with a deliciously crunchy bottom and slightly chewy. In my family, we used to wash it down with some hot cha nagamo, or sweet milk tea. And sometimes, if our modest income allows it, we’ll enjoy lightly fried leftover tingmo with some strawberry jam or marmalade, which was an absolute pleasure for me as a kid.

Over the years, Tingmo’s creation My journey as a Tibetan in exile has evolved; I am one of the third generation of Tibetans displaced from Tibet, and a first generation American citizen. Just as some of our Tibetan foods, such as momo and thukpa (noodle soup dishes), have been widely adopted by our Himalayan host countries, you will see that current variations of tingmo made by Tibetans in exile are commonly used ingredients. affected by access. In the cuisines of our Himalayan host countries.

So while you can enjoy Tingmo made the traditional way with just flour and yeast, it is common to see Tibetans of my generation, who grew up outside Tibet, make our tingmo using ga-se (turmeric) and/or sonam penzom . (coriander). If you see white colored tingmo in a Tibetan restaurant, it is being served the traditional way. If its color is yellow or full of green, you are being served a more contemporary version.

Neither is any less authentic – the repetition of our food is a reflection of our journey as Tibetans. We live in exile and try to survive in our host countries, trying to preserve the roots that have been forcibly uprooted, which are the only home for many Tibetans like me that we know.

Tingmomo, Two-Color Tibetan Steamed Buns

Makes 8 buns


For White Flour:

2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 teaspoons sugar

For the yellow dough:

2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 teaspoons sugar

Vegetable or any other neutral oil for brushing


Make white and yellow dough balls:

Phase 1: In two separate bowls sieve the flour and salt together. Add turmeric to a bowl and mix well. Keep both the bowls separate.

step 2: In two separate bowls, proof the yeast by mixing 2/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees, or warm to the touch), sugar and yeast. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast, then set aside to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. When the yeast is activated, you will see foamy bubbles.

step 3: First mix the white flour. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also mix the flour by hand.) Add the active yeast mixture on a slow speed just until the dough comes together. If the dough seems too dry, add 2 tablespoons water to further hydrate it. Switch to a dough hook and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes to develop the gluten.

If kneading by hand, knead on a lightly floured countertop for about 12 to 15 minutes.

Repeat the same process to make yellow dough.

step 4: Apply light oil in two separate bowls and knead the dough in them. Cover with plastic or a damp towel, then place in a warm area of ​​your kitchen, with the oven turned off. Note that 77 degrees is the ideal temperature for proofing.

Step 5: Proof the dough for about 1 to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. (Proofing time can vary greatly; if you live in a warm climate, proofing can be done in as little as 45 minutes.) You can check to see that the dough is ready by poking it with your finger. Or not – the indentation should remain but the dough will still spring back a bit.

Assemble TingMomo:

Phase 1: Starting with the white flour, dust your work surface with flour and transfer the dough to it. Flatten the dough into a rectangle with your palms. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out as thin as possible, while maintaining its rectangular shape as much as possible, into an approximately 15-by-17-inch sheet. To cancel; Repeat with yellow dough.

step 2: Apply a little oil on the surface of the white dough. Then place a sheet of yellow dough on top and apply a little oil on its surface also. Use a rolling pin to press the sheets together lightly.

Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight log, jelly roll style. Trim off both the sides and cut the dough into eight equal parts. For smaller tingemos, you can cut the dough into 10 portions.

Cook Tingmomo:

Phase 1: Pour water into a steamer pot (or any large pot suitable to accommodate a steamer). It should be at least two inches deep but not touching the floor of the steamer basket or rack. Boil the water.

step 2: Lightly grease your steamer basket with vegetable oil. Place the Tingmomo in the basket, leaving at least 1 to 2 inches of space between each bun for expansion. Cover and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.

step 3: Remove the cooked buns from the steamer. Enjoy them hot. You can dip them in hot sauce or chili oil, or use them to make stir-fry dishes. Got leftovers the next day? Cut the tingmos in half and fry them lightly and then enjoy them with jam.

because There are third generation Tibetans living in exile and first generation American citizens. She does seasonal pop-ups, teaches Tibetan cooking, and writes about Tibetan culture through the lens of food to help preserve at-risk Tibetan heritage.
louis control He is a Las Vegas-based Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Stylist.
recipe tested by louis control

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