About "the Sauce"
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
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
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
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.
- expeller pressed canola oil
- red chilies
- sesame oil
- sea salt
- other spices.