In the heart of Delhi lies a neighbourhood that is lovingly called ‘Little Tibet’ — Majnu Ka Tilla.
Like much of the capital city, this colony is an example of the cultures and people who come from across the globe to make Delhi their home.
Nestled beside the Yamuna, this colony is home to Tibetans who arrived in India in exile.
The small bylanes of the area sell several iconic items — from the White Rabbit candy to rice puffs and more.
And among these items is the handmade traditional Tibetan snack that has become a favourite of Delhiites — Laphing.
Laphing is a delicious snack that is made out of starch from moong dal, potato, or wheat flour.
This dough is then sliced into thin sheets and made into rolls stuffed with soya chunks, which are mixed with a concoction of garlic, vinegar, and homemade chilli oil.
Another way of eating this snack is by stuffing it with the Northeast’s iconic noodles — Wai Wai.
It’s a street snack that is starkly different from your regular
, and yet, its affordability and taste resonate with the thousands who flock to Majnu ka Tilla every day.
Laphing made its way into the city back in 1959-60, after the Tibetan Uprising, when many citizens had to flee to neighbouring countries, as the Dalai Lama went into exile in Dharamsala.
In India, the community has settlements in several states such as Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, and Karnataka.
As per a Times of India report, “A handful of Tibetans started living in a small refugee camp on the banks of Yamuna. Soon the Government of India allotted this small patch of land to the refugees.”
With them, they brought their vibrant culture, great quality winter wear, candies and, of course, the delicious Laphing, which has slowly become a favourite among visitors.
Have you been to Majnu Ka Tila and tried the dish yet? If you visit, check out Tenzing Aunty’s stall for a bowl of Laphing you’ll never forget.