If you came by the restaurant last week you may have been lucky enough to taste these – Tibetan sesame snaps. During Tibetan New Year Yeshi’s family make this delicious sweet snack in industrial amounts, and Yeshi knows no other way. So when he set to making some for our book launch, we finished up with rather more than we could chew. We shared where we could!
Sesame seeds are not native to Tibet, but they are used in Chinese cookery and are now widely available on the Plateau. Yeshi says that when he was little he often had his eye on the sesame bars that you could buy in the convenience stores in town, but his family would never buy pre-prepared foods. They cooked everything from scratch and knew no other way: nothing in plastic was to be trusted.
Sweet treats are not enjoyed year-round in Tibet. They are mostly a New Year thing, but made in vast quantities they can last through till early summer. The Sweet Tooth chapter of Taste Tibet gives you everything you need to know about how desserts are done in Yeshi’s corner of Tibet, plus a few extra recipes that are purely for the fun of things: chocolate momos, anyone?
If you’d like to have a go at making your own Tibetan Sesame Snaps, this is one of the easiest recipes in our book! Let us know how you get on. Here’s the recipe, which serves 4-6:
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sesame seeds
150 g (2/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
150 g (51/2 oz) runny honey
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the sesame seeds into a wok and toast them over a medium heat, stirring frequently to make sure the heat reaches all the seeds, until they are golden brown and smell nutty. This will take about 7–8 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the sugar and honey into a heavy-based saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown – this should also take about 7–8 minutes.
When the sugar and honey start to bubble but are still very runny (you don’t want the mixture to harden), tip the sesame seeds into the pan and mix well over the heat.
Empty the sweet sesame mix onto the baking tray, pressing it down evenly with a lightly oiled spatula or palette knife. Leave to cool and set for a few minutes before cutting into snack-sized pieces.
We are open Wednesday – Saturday as usual this week, opening hours as follows:
Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Thursday – Saturday: 12-3pm (lunch) & 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Our menu is live on the website now. Come for takeaway, to dine in.
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318