For the authentic taste of Ladakhi buckwheat tea and other snacks, one should head to the Ladakhi women’s caféinLehthatislessofacom- commercial enterprise but provides seasonal employment to women and contributes towards the welfare of Ladakhi women in distress.
The menu of the café, run exclusively by women, includes a number of local del- icacies such as mint tea and chamomile tea that can be sipped in the relatively cold weather by paying a small amount of Rs 10 for a cup.
Buckwheat was first cul- tivated in South Asia, around 6000 BCE, and from there it spread to Central Asia and Tibet that influenced Ladakh and adjoining areas. Thinlas Chorol, who runs the café, said that she also serves apricot and seabuckthorn juices that are not only refreshing but also have medicinal values.SKU, Ladakhi noodles cooked in gravy and vegetables, is at times the local delicacy for lunch.
However, the butter tea that is a staple drink of Ladakhis continues to be most popular with visitors in the café.
Thinlas said the café was started two years ago in 2016 with two primary reasons, first to provide off-season employment to women and secondly to raise funds for the Ladakh Women’s Welfare Network (LWWN) which is working to help women in bad situations such as rape victims. The café donates 10 per cent of the sale price of its delicacies and juices to the LWWN.
The café has several local delicacies on its menu so that tourists can have a taste of the staple food of Ladakhis. Kambir, the Ladakhi bread filled with cheese and mushrooms, has also become popular among visitors as it is available only in Ladakh and that too for Rs 10.
The café also serves buckwheat and barley pancakes that are relished by tourists with the evening tea after visiting the monasteries and other places around the Leh town.