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About "the Sauce"

The story

Legend has it that travellers of unknown origin would occasionally visit the market towns nestled up against the Himalayas, paying for food and supplies with ancient coins of a civilization long lost. When questioned, these mysterious visitors would invariably vanish into the hills. A rumor circulated that these wayfarers were citizens of the mythical Kingdom of Shambhala, a land ruled by an enlightened king and populated by a benevolent society. A plan was hatched to trap one of these visitors.

Using a wooden bird call, townsfolk managed to enchant a young man from the market into a storehouse. Due to karmic impurities, the young Shambhalian was unable to distinguish the sound of the bird call from the bird and he fell into the trap. The townsfolk questioned the young man but were unable to get any meaningful information about the legendary Kingdom from him. Only some foolishness like "we are there already."

Eventually, the young man convinced his captors to let him go in exchange for a recipe. An ambrosia, an enchanting sauce the color of gold. When the sauce was produced an alluring fragrance floated through the market attracting all to the cauldron which still bubbled. The ginger and chilies seemed to give wings to an ancient story, told by the unfolding flavors on the tongue. A smoldering heat blessed all those who ate the sauce.

The travellers disappeared after that, but the sauce continued to be made, passed down from generation to generation, and brought to the West by Tibetan students of visiting Tibetan lamas. Since then a growing society of "Tibetan Hot Sauce Enthusiasts" pay tribute to the delicious heat of this unique sauce.

How the sauce is cooked

The technique for making Tibetan Hot Sauce is a lot like Wok cooking, and its unique approach was necessitated by the shortage of fuel for cooking in the high mountains of the Himalayas. With short supplies of firewood, it is more efficient to quickly heat a pot of oil than to simmer it over long hours. In this approach a small pile of fuel - most often yak dung - is used to quickly heat a kettle of oil until smoking. (Blessed with plentiful cooking fuel in the West, we use no Yak dung in our cooking.) The tremendous heat in the smoking oil is enough to flash cook the ingredients, instantly caramelizing the onions, garlic and chilies.

Until you see Tibetan Hot Sauce made you can't imagine the sweet clouds of steam that rise up from a roiling cauldron of "the sauce".

This particular recipe has been handed down through the generations and gently modified to reflect the unique flavors and produce of the local region. In this case only locally grown produce.

Ingredients:

  • expeller pressed canola oil
  • red chilies
  • onions
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • sesame oil
  • vinegar
  • sea salt
  • other spices.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SACRED WORKS PROJECT CLICK HERE
FOR RECIPES CLICK HERE