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tsampa / pak - tibetan roasted barley dumplings

tsampa is a staple tibetan food made of roasted barley flour - the dalai lama's daily breakfast for 70 years running - it is wholesome, nutritious, delicious, energizing, easy to make, and has instantly become a favorite here - excellent in the morning, afternoon, or at night - amazingly grounding while still being light and simple - make and share it often!

rinse 2 cups organic pearled barley and soak overnight in enough water to cover about 2 - 3 inches above the surface of the grain... rinse grain well and let sit for a few minutes in a strainer, or pour into a clean tea/dish towl and gently wrap and squeeze to dry more thoroughly... heat a pan on high, add half of the grain and with a wooden paddle or spoon stir continually to dry roast... the grain with turn a bit transluscent at first as the water evaporates, then will become opaque again, and as it cooks it will become dry, gravelly, and will turn a beautiful nutty brown color when done... grind grain in a home mill or coffee grinder, and use a fine strainer to sift to flour quality - it is now ready to be used

to make tsampa: the ratio can vary depending on flour quality, but its roughly 3 tbsp. liquid to 2 tbsp. flour (as you make it you will get the hang of adding just the right amount) - pour hot tea or soymilk into a small bowl, add barley flour and begin mixing in a circular motion with your finger, swirling around the edge as the flour absorbs the liquid and becomes thick enough to easily roll everything into a ball inside the bowl - size can vary by preference, adjust amounts to your hunger level

it can be made with any tea, and can be eaten salty or sweet - the tibetans have it with yak butter tea, which is salty, or with sugar added to the flour for a sweet treat... here, we like it with stevia-sweetened tea or stevia-sweetened soymilk best - a little vegan butter can be melted in your liquid if desired, especially during winter months

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