Monday, July 19, 2010

Samma So! Introduction

What is Samma So? Samma So is Khampa dialect for "Eat food!" the cry of every Khampa hostess to her guests. It's not particularly formal, or even polite, it's more like when a Jewish mommy (or, I'm told, Italian, Greek or pretty much any other Mediterranean group...) says "Eat! Eat! You're getting too skinny!" It's a command of love.

I like food. A lot. I especially like Tibetan food and some of the surrounding regional foods that I've learned to cook from my Tibetan friends. Some are pretty easy, but the problem is that some of my favorite Tibetan foods are pretty obscure and definitely not simple to make.

At the urging of a few friends, I've created this blog and I hope to post Tibetan recipes as I learn them, as well as any other interesting recipes or Himalayan food tidbits I pick up along the way. If I get batteries for my camera, the recipes will have pictures too!

Although I hope to cover all the basics (Momo, Thukpa, Phing sha, etc...) my goal here is to cover some of the foods that you won't find in restaurants or cookbooks, either because they aren't popular with the non-Tibetan crowd (like Gyuma, blood stuffed sausage, or Dropa Khatsa, spiced tripe), because they are considered too simple or street foods (Sha Kampo, dried meat, or La phing, a street gelatin snack), because they are isolated to one region of Tibet (Pholo, a Tibetan jelly donut) or because they are Tibetan home cooking foods that you won't find outside of the nomad camps of Tibet. These are my absolute favorites, and you can't find them anywhere outside of Tibet unless you take the initiative to make them yourself.

So, if you want food that you can get in a restaurant, then go to the restaurant. These aren't quick dishes to make.

But if you want to join me as a recreate my culinary experiences in Tibet, this is the place to be.

Disclaimer: I am not Tibetan. I just love Tibetan food. While some recipes will be posted as close to the original as I can possibly muster, I also like to tweak recipes to serve my personal tastes, and those may be slightly inauthentic. However, they are in my opinion, tasty.

A note on Tibetan cooking (and ethnic cooking in general): No one measures anything. My descriptions will very rarely use measurements and more often use indicators, such as "If it pours like elmers glue, add more flour." If that sort of thing makes you crazy, hopefully the photos will help!


  1. jejeje, I am excited for this

    ps I like pictures :)

    I have regressed to a child, it seems.

  2. Here's a twist for you. Im a vegi. I didn't tell the monks where I was staying cause I didn't want to be a pain. When, at the end of my stay there they found out they started making the most delicious vegi food. Lots of local greens, peas, potatoes, onions, rice dishes with fabuous hot sauces.Vegi momo too. So... the gauntlet is down. I look forward to seeing what you know about Tibetan vegi cooking. I know it seems an oxymoron but I met a few while I was there. Even a number of children who were vegi much to their parents dismay.
    Love that you are doing this even if I don't like beast best.

  3. Francisco: Photos are forthcoming once I get batteries!

    Lauren: I hope to post as many recipes as possible, including some tasty veg ones! I'll tag all vegetarian entries as vegetarian, and all vegan as vegan so, I think, if you click the tag you can see all Veg entries.


    By the way, I hope you guys test run some of these and tell me how they go!