Tsampa (Barley)

Tsampa ( Barley) (རྩམ་པ། ) is one of the main cuisines in Tibet. Tibetan crops must be able to grow in the high altitudes of Tibet. The most important crop in Tibet is barley.  Flour milled from roasted barley, called Tsampa, has been the staple of Tibetan food for centuries. This cereal is an integral part of Tibetan people’s life. Most of Tibetan people grow up by eating Tsampa. If you get the chance to visit Tibet, you must try the taste of Tsampa!

Tsampa (Barely) Products

We call barley wine “chang” in Tibetan. Tibetan barley wine is brewed from fermented barley grown in the highlands. Some wine is mild, sweet and it has little alcohol. Some wine is very strong. Each glass Tibetan Chang is different from another due to the brewing method and duration. It is the most popular alcoholic drink in Tibet. You can easily get it in any Tibetan area.

Barley Beer

Tsampa (Barley) Making Process

  • We have to choose a sunny day to wash and dry the barley
  • Once it is mostly dry, it is ready to roast
  • Heat the sand on the hot stove
  • Pour some barley on top of the heated sand and roast the barley, shaking it together with the sand in a big pan
  • Put the barley and sand to the sifting pan to sift out the sand
  • Finally, grind the roasted barely into Tsmapa flour

It's ready to make the roasted barely into Tsampa Flour

How Tibetans drink/eat Tsampa (Barley) soup and bread?

  • Prepare the butter, dry cheese, sugar and tea
  • Put the butter and cheese in a bowel
  • Pour the tea in the bowel and let the butter melt and the cheese to become soft
  • Drink the tea until you have space to add the Tsampa
  • You can either make Tsampa soup with a spoon or make Tsampa bread with your hand. You can put sugar in it if you want it to be

Tsampa (Barley) Bread