Tibetan Vegetarian Recipes


Despite what the "People's Republic" of China would have you believe, Tibet is still, in the hearts and minds of its people, a nation of its own, with a unique cuisine and culture that has survived many hardships through the centuries.

Tibet's cuisine is dominated by its landscape, high on the Tibetan Plateau in the shadow of the Himalayas. Very few crops grow at such an altitude, and even fewer animal species are available for domestication. This, combined with the Mahayana Buddhist attitude on the consumption of meat, makes Tibet one of the most vegetarian-friendly food cultures on the planet, albeit a limited one.

Hardy crops such as barley and potato (rice is not able to be widely grown in Tibet) and dairy products from the trusty yak form the basis for Tibetan cuisine. While spices and seasonings remain simple, the influence of Tibet's giant neighbors, India and China, is frequently seen in the masalas and stews of Tibet.

With the continued introduction of a larger and larger population of Han Chinese into Tibet by the Chinese government, traditional Tibetan culture, including foods and cooking methods, are slowly dying out as Tibetans become a minority in their own land. Luckily, centuries-old Tibetan traditions and culture persist in places like Bhutan and Northern India, providing a lasting chance to experience the Tibetan culture.

Check out the menu on your right for our list of Tibetan vegetarian recipes!