We are delighted to report that the new tofu-making machine is now in use at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in northern India, home to over 230 nuns.
Thanks to some very special donors, in particular Norman Steinberg and another private donor from Canada, this spring the nuns were able to fulfill their long-term dream of purchasing a new tofu machine and establishing it in a purpose-built facility. In April we shared a blog post with a video made in 2012 by the nuns of the old tofu-making process at the nunnery.
The nuns at Dolma Ling make tofu every Saturday. The new tofu machine allows the nuns to produce more tofu more efficiently. It takes the nuns much less time to make tofu for the nunnery and for other customers.
The nuns at Dolma Ling follow a vegetarian diet so tofu is an important source of nourishment and protein for them. The tofu is supplied regularly each week to the nunnery kitchen for consumption by the nuns and 2kg is bought every week by the nunnery café.
At the moment the nunnery is also getting regular orders for tofu from Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala and sometimes from a few local Tibetan restaurants in the nearby refugee settlement of McLeod Ganj, located above Dharamsala. Both the monastery and the restaurants order as per their needs.
There are six nuns at Dolma Ling who know how to make tofu. Each Saturday a team of three of those nuns makes the tofu, with the nuns taking turns to do the work. They start working at 6am and finish normally by 2pm. However, on occasions when they have large orders, their work ends at 10pm.
The market value for tofu is 150 Indian rupees per kg (about US$2.36) while the nuns sell it for Rs.130 per kg or approximately US$2.05.
The Tibetan Nuns Project is extremely grateful to Norman Steinberg and the other donors from around the world who made the new tofu-making facility possible.
If you would like to learn more about how the nuns are moving towards greater self-sufficiency, or to help fund these efforts, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate at https://tnp.org/youcanhelp/donate/.
All photos are courtesy of Venerable Delek Yangdron.