Tibetan Pan-Fried bread with flaxseeds

Test Kitchen–Tibetan Style


Testing takes discipline. Whether you test a new machine’s proper installation, or conduct a design study to see if your end users are satisfied with the Web application that you promised would bring convenience or new experience, it should be usable and useful.

Similarly, the principle applies to testing a recipe. It has to work for all levels of cooks: home cooks who have traditional cooking skills, professional chefs and, more importantly, curious people who have little experience in the kitchen.

Some thoughtful planning and checking nitty-gritty details are vital. Before the testing even begins, the recipe starts with an ingredient you love and then enhance it with something that’s good for you. A healthier, fortifying meal is the idea.

But then there is also the precise measurement of each ingredient, and articulation of the method in such a way that’s easy to follow. All comes after to ensuring that all ingredients are available locally, and determining if the recipe will serve two people or eight.

Tibetan Dara Thukba, thukpa, Buttermilk Noodle soup

Unlike America’s Test Kitchen, with its full staff and a digital photo studio with another group of professionals, I threw myself into this big job on my own. If I use a recipe, it’s typically only as a jumping off point, as an inspiration. Following a recipe exactly, particularly one written by myself, is challenging.

But I did it. Standing by my stove, I watched the bubbles and listened to the sizzles. I wrote down everything I observed—the perfect timing, the perfect heat, and the perfect texture.

I tested 12 recipes in the last several weeks. I will probably retest them to make sure they are absolutely right. I hope my time in the kitchen refining my recipes will eventually help you cook a comforting and delicious Tibetan meal at home. I hope my friends will no longer have to stand in my kitchen and take pictures of me with spices in my hand, to figure how much of this or that I’m using.

There is something undeniable about home-cooked meals: better life quality—bonding with your family while cooking fresh meals, and sharing the day. Then too, we’re stepping away from less healthful food and arriving at a better health and happier self.

Here you go, take a sneak peek into Jolma’s Test Kitchen—Tibetan style.





  1. Hello Jolma! Great Post and so true. Food Testing and Writing Recipes takes a lot of precision and discipline and is much more challenging than what simply appears at eyes view. There are a number of dishes I prepare 2 and 3 times just to insure the proper amounts and combinations so that they can easily be replicated by even those with little kitchen experience. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Peggy, it’s so nice to hear your insight about food testing and writing recipes. Yes, proper amounts and combinations are essential, and we’ll keep testing until we get it absolutely right. Smiles.

  2. I’m so happy that you are testing those traditional Tibetan dishes that are never recorded or written on a book. Not only younger Tibetans can learn from the recipe, but also people with all cultural background can enjoy Tibetan cuisine. Keep it up!

    • Yes, Tsego. Rich as its culture, Tibetan food is nourishing and fortifying. I’m sure people will enjoy cooking authentic Tibetan dishes as much as I do.

    • Thank you, Sherrie. The photos are not too bad, given some of them are captured using my phone. And yes, I will share recipes with you when they are retested and the combinations work perfectly.

  3. Hey, Jolma! I see you are making some new dishes. Looking good, girl!

    • Yes, Sara. I threw myself into this task lately–cooking and taking photos. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. How wonderful! Are you making a cookbook? I hope so! I’ve been out of the blogging world for a while but I am back! I’d love to learn how to make some of the delicious looking foods you have shown us! Take care

    • Welcome back, Nama. The idea of putting together a Tibetan cookbook is daunting. But I will keep drafting one recipe, one story at a time and see what happens. My recipes are here to share, and I will do so in due time.

      • It would take a lot of hard work. Take your time. Also including stories with the recipes would make them even more special. I’m happy to be back, and having a great time!

  5. Jolma, Thank you for sharing the Test Kitchen. You are hardworking with a ‘can do’ mindset. It is paying off with excellent results.

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