Tibetan Tsampa Snacks

  Last year, I spent five months tutoring children at a community center for Himalayan immigrants in Queens.  I taught academic enrichment classes, and learned all about Tibetan cuisine from my students and coworkers. Located high up on a plateau in the Himalayan region, Tibet has a harsh climate. Wintertime temperatures often drop below zero, so traditional foods tend to be hearty, like momo (meat-filled … Continue reading Tibetan Tsampa Snacks


Parathas are a South Asian flatbread, typically served with eggs (unda in Hindi/Urdu) for breakfast. Flaky and somewhat thick, paratha dough is layered with oil or ghee and folded multiple times, much like puff pastry. Sometimes, the dough is stuffed stuffed with potatoes (aloo) or cheese (paneer.) I first attempted to make parathas in college, using a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East … Continue reading Parathas

Homemade Bagels

Even if homemade bagels weren’t so delicious, they’d be worth making for the experience alone. They’re an especially fun project for kids. I taught a group of elementary school students how to make bagels once, and they delighted in shaping dough by spinning it around their thumbs, cooking the bagels in simmering water, and sprinkling the … Continue reading Homemade Bagels

Chocolate Babka Loaves

I was looking through my cookbook collection the other day, and rediscovered a favorite from my pastry school days:  The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri, founder of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education. Sadly, the book seems to no longer be in print, but there are used copies available on Amazon. The recipes produce restaurant-quality baked … Continue reading Chocolate Babka Loaves

Pandesal: Filipino Bread Rolls

Next stop in my random geographic coordinates series? The Philippines. Two years ago, when I was teaching elementary school students about breads from around the world, I asked the children if they had a favorite type of bread. A fourth grader shared that she had fond memories of eating pandesal, a popular Filipino bread roll, when she visited her mother’s family in … Continue reading Pandesal: Filipino Bread Rolls