Laaphing – The Fiery Cold Tibetan Mystery : By Anuradha Gupta

As you walk inside the little Tibet in Delhi (Majnu ka Tila) you can’t help but notice these small tables where a lady/man is very meticulously almost in a Zen like state making some dish and people around are sitting in a equally calm state relishing it! 

As you move closer you see very neatly stacked yellow pancakes, some jugs with different colored liquid and orderly lined different salts. Everything is methodically arranged. You wonder is it Vegetarian, Noodles, Soup, Savory?

Laahing – Soupy version with gluten/soya granules

Meet Laaphing (Due to different accents, it can be spelled as Laphin, Lapin, Laping etc) – a super mysterious Tibetan street food you will find in our very own little Tibet (Majnu ka Tila) This dish is as much a mystery as this market is – very few people know about this insanely flavorful yet so simple dish, leave alone how many of them know what it is made of.

This is how their counter looks like
Residents of Majnu ka Tila savoring their share of Laaphin
They cut slices from this slab of starch
Soya Granules or Gluten. Not sure.
This is a cold starter/soup with slimy jelly like texture with burst of flavours. As you look at it in wonder what is this wobbly, squishy thing made of! 


Liang Fen as it is called in Sichuan Cuisine, it of two kinds: yellow and white. 

By the looks of it the the yellow laaphing is nothing but pancakes of starch, rolled with some gluten/soya, granulated salt, roasted chili paste, seasame oil, garlic paste and pinch of MSG in it and then chopped. But as they say looks can be deceiving, the exceptional amalgamation of such distinct flavors and the texture is simply mind blowing. It can be made using Potato, Mung Bean, Rice or Corn starch. 

That granulated salt, smokiness of red chili, the nuttiness of the sesame oil and the kick of garlic is nothing but an intoxicating blend of flavors. It is unlike anything in this world. And yes, while they are rolling the Laaphing {now I know why I love it so much – it is rolled ;)} but wonder is it the distant cousin of Gujju Khandvi.

Another version of Laaphing
You can have the soupy version of this, wherein they add some soy sauce, garlic water, rice vinegar and some more chili paste and trust me despite being cold noodle soup it warms up your soul and be careful with spice level, it can even make you sweat in this freezing cold. HELP The fairer version of laaphing seems to be made of the corn starch. Thick slippery slabs which resemble scallops topped with same spices minus the gluten. The white Laaphing is little more soft and melt in our mouth kinds.
Ready for take-away
Dry version of Laaphing
As you roam in the Tibetan market, you will find lots of people selling Laaphing but I love the guy who has a small shop opposite to the Rigo Restaurant. You can sit on small stools inside the shop, soak in the calm vibe and not help but get enchanted with reverberating Tibetan music! 

By the way this scrumptious and very exotic dish costs just Rs. 25. 

It cannot get more exciting than this, in a nondescript part of bustling Delhi – you can be transported to the super exotic, calm and very charming mini Tibet, MKT and get high on this International Sadakchaap glimmering beauty! 


Wriiten by Anuradha Gupta


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Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

5 thoughts on “Laaphing – The Fiery Cold Tibetan Mystery : By Anuradha Gupta”

  1. After your detailed review, I couldn't resist going to this place. I had this wonderful dish called "laaphing" from the place you suggested and found it to be exactly the way you explained. Cold yet en-thrilling.. a mild taste of garlic and very spicy..

    Thanks for guiding me to this place. Keep it up (y)

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