How To Make Tsampa

Tsampa – Recipe


2-3 lb. Hulled Barley (or any amount); the bag I bought at Publix was a 3 lb. sack.

Put the barley in a large container and wash it under cold water until it’s clean – unless you buy hulled barley (which is available at Publix), you will have to wash until the hulls pop off. If you bought barley already hulled, still wash it like you would vegetables.

Tsampa 1

Put the washed barley in a strainer and let the cool water drip out.

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.

Let the water cool a bit and then gently pour the hot water over the barley. Cover the barley bowl with a clean cloth and let stand for about 15 minutes. The steam help to cook the barley a bit, which makes the next steps easier.

Again, strain the barley and spread the barley out on a clean towel and let dry overnight. I used an old towel; think large surface area.


Heat a big pan or skillet – once it’s hot (think medium heat or 5-6 on your stove-top), add a portion of the washed, dried, barley and keep stirring, until all of the barley is roasted. (It’s like making popcorn). Make sure to constantly stir and break apart the clusters of barley that form.


Final step is grinding.  I used a coffee grinder and got great results, you just may have to grind it for a bit longer than if you were using a flour grinder.


Once you have the ground barley flour, it’s time to make butter tea. You can’t (well I guess you could) just eat ground barley flour so these next steps are crucial.

Butter Tea – Recipe


4 Cups of water

Plain black tea (Lipton Black Tea will work)

¼ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of butter

⅓ cup half and half, or milk

Bring four cups of water to a boil in a tea pot or whatever you have.

Put two bags of Lipton plain black tea in the water and let it steep for a few minutes (3:30). You can add or take away tea bags to get the desired strength of the tea. Some like their tea lighter or bolder than others. Take the bags out after the tea has steeped.

Add ¼ tablespoon of salt to the steeped tea.

Add 1/3 cup of milk and stir until mixed thoroughly.

Keep stove running to keep the tea hot.

Add tsampa (small handful) to the bottom of a small serving bowl.

Pour over your newly mixed butter tea. Remember that it is best served hot. Enjoy!

For Tsampa and other Tibetan recipes, visit the website here.

Tsampa is a staple Tibetan dish that includes ground barley flour with butter tea served hot. When eating tsampa, you first drink the butter tea off the top then use your fingers to eat the globby mixture at the bottom. The tsampa soaks up the butter tea and creates a mixture you eat with your hands. This is an acquired process and it’s tough to eye-measure the correct ratios of tsampa to butter tea. The globbed-up tsampa should look something like this:




About Davis Meschke

Full time climber looking for a creative outlet.
This entry was posted in Fall 2014 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s