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Laphing At Majnu ka Tila – Popular Tibetan Recipe

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I’ve always wondered why is Butter Chicken considered a typical Delhi dish and not Laphing. Both dishes have been around long enough, but Butter Chicken is now famous across the world and Laphing hasn’t really come out of the lanes of Majnu ka Tila. This’s in spite of the fact that all the cool kids at Delhi University hang out at Ama Thakkali and the other non-touristy spots in Majnu ka Tila. Be it beer on one of the rooftops, hanging out at Laphing Centre, or Tee Dee’s, Majnu ka Tila has been part of so many people’s lives. Hence I’ve always wondered why has Laphing has remained a dish found just within that area.

Majnu ka Tila is named after. Yes, you guessed it right – Majnu. But not the Majnu from the Laila-Majnu of folklore. This Majnu was an eccentric fellow who used to ferry people across the Yamuna for free, as a service to god. In 1505, Majnu met Guru Nanak who was visiting Delhi, on the banks of the river Yamuna. A gurudwara was built on the mound or hillock where they met and the Gurudwara and surrounding areas got the name Majnu ka Tila.

Laphing at Majnu Ka Tila

Laphing at Majnu ka Tila

Majnu ka Tila is now officially called New Aruna Nagar. But it also goes by the names Chungtown and Samyeling. As the Tibetan refugee colony is situated in a part of Majnu ka Tila. The Tibetan refugees came to Delhi in 1959 after the Tibet uprising. They came in bigger numbers post the Sino-Indian war of 1962, as many refugees who had earlier settled in the border areas, shifted to Delhi. I’ve always liked the Laphing at the Laphing Centre. It’s a bit away from the Monastery, where you have other stalls of Laphing. You can ask anyone for directions. This’s where the locals eat Laphing.

Laphing is a popular Tibetan snack both in homes and as street food. Thin pancakes are made from wheat starch and steamed. There are two versions – the white and the yellow Laphing. The colour of the pancake changes with the addition of turmeric. In the street version of Laphing, garlic water, a special chilli paste and salt are first spread on the Laphing pancake. The vegan meat (soya chaap bits) is then added. The pancake is rolled and cut into thick roundels and served in a bowl. The home version is a bit more interesting as the spiced pancakes cut into roundels are served in a sauce made from soy sauce, chilli oil and Tibetan spices. I’ve included a recipe of how to make the home style Laphing from scratch at the end of the blog.

Here’s a video of how Laphing made at Majnu ka Tila

Here’s the recipe of how to make home style laphing from scratch

Happy Laphing and chowder on!

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