Rice Cooker and Dough Maker at Dolma Ling

In the spring of 2021, the 247 nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute asked for help to buy the following items:

  • An electric rice cooker
  • A dough-making machine
  • A refrigerator
  • Two water boilers
  • Two new gas burners for the kitchen

Here’s our report to you on the impact of your generosity. Our thanks to the Dolma Ling Media Nuns for the great photos.

Helping the Nuns Cook Rice Safely

Thanks to you, the new rice cooker at Dolma Ling makes the daily job of cooking rice safer and easier. Cooking rice for over 300 was very dangerous because the nuns had to use a huge cauldron over a large gas burner. When the rice was half-cooked, two strong nuns had to carry the giant pot across the kitchen to drain the excess water. Each day, the nuns were in danger of being scalded by the boiling water and steam.

new electric rice cooker at Dolma Ling Nunnery

The new rice cooker makes the daily job of cooking rice safer and easier. It also saves on fuel costs and produces better, more nutritious rice.

Having the new electric rice cooker means that the rice cooks more evenly and keeps more of its nutritional qualities so it is better for the nuns’ health. With the old method of cooking rice in the giant caldron, the rice did not cook evenly and had to be frequently stirred. The new rice cooker also saves on fuel costs.

Tibetan Buddhist nun cooking rice at Dolma Ling

The new rice cooker has the capacity to cook up to 77 pounds of rice safely and efficiently. Since the nuns and staff at Dolma Ling eat rice every day, this new rice cooker is a huge help to them.

Your donations enabled the nuns to buy a rice cooker with a capacity of up to 35 kilograms (77 pounds) of rice which is the biggest they could find in their area. Normally, the Dolma Ling nuns cook 20 to 25 kilos (44 to 55 pounds) of rice for one meal, so it is great to have a bigger capacity for special occasions.

The New Dough Maker

Each day the nuns on kitchen duty prepare traditional Tibetan bread and steamed buns for hundreds of nuns. Until now, the nuns had to mix the dough by hand. This was very labor intensive and less hygienic than using a machine.

Here’s a slideshow we’ve made you showing the new dough maker in action.

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Mixing dough by machine takes only 15 to 20 minutes, so it is much easier to prepare multiple batches for bread, buns, and noodles. Normally the nuns up to 20 kg (44 pounds) of flour at a time. The new machine is used for at least two meals a day.

Tibetan Buddhist nun making dough with electric mixer

Mixing dough by hand was hard work when you have almost 300 people to feed. The nuns use the new dough maker at least twice a day to make bread, buns, and noodles. Thanks to you, the nuns were able to buy a dough maker with a capacity of 55 pounds or 25 kg.

The nuns make dough daily for Tibetan bread (Amdo baleh) and steamed buns (tingmo) and also, on special occasions, for paratha, fried flatbreads and khapse which are fried Tibetan biscuits. At Losar, Tibetan New Year, every member of the nunnery gets a large bag of khapse to celebrate Tibetan New Year so preparing large quantities is a great deal of work.

making dough, Dolma Ling Nunnery, inside the kitchen at Dolma Ling Nunnery

Before the nuns had to knead dough by hand which was was an incredibly labor-intensive process. The new dough mixer makes daily tasks so much easier and gives better results!

The Nuns Say Thank You!

Venerable Samten Dolma, the nun in charge of the kitchen this year, said, “Before, I had to check regularly to see if the rice was cooked perfectly or not. Now, with the new rice cooker, I don’t have to worry about rice being undercooked or soggy.”

She’s also delighted with the new dough-making machine. “I never knew it was this easy to knead dough. At first, I was very fascinated to see the flour becoming dough. So soft and fluffy!”

Another nun on kitchen duty said, “Every day five nuns have to prepare a day’s meal. In the morning while preparing lunch, we used to have two nuns in charge of the rice and three nuns to cut and prepare the lunchtime vegetables. But now, with the rice cooker, it is so much easier. All five nuns can cut and prepare vegetables for lunch. While we eat our lunch, we can use the dough machine to prepare the dough for the evening. Now we have more time on our hands.”

A third nun working in the kitchen said, “We are very happy with the new rice cooker. Now we Just have to wash the rice, put it in the rice cooker, add water, close the lid, and press the cook button. So easy and safe! We don’t have to worry about the hot rice water. The dough machine also saves us a lot of time and energy.”

Finally, the staff at the nunnery are also grateful. “The rice is so delicious now and every time it is evenly cooked. The bread and tingmo (Tibetan steamed buns) are also fluffy.”

Everyone is extremely grateful for the new kitchen equipment!

New Refrigerator Saves Costs and Prevents Waste

Dolma Ling’s old, large, 4-door refrigerator was bought a very long time ago. It was frequently repaired over the years and in the spring of 2021, it broke down completely. Thanks to you, the nuns were able to purchase a new fridge in time to store food during the summer heat.

A nun shows the new refrigerator at Dolma Ling

When the old refrigerator broke down, you kindly helped the nuns buy a new one, just in time to keep food from spoiling during the intense summer heat. The temperature in the kitchen is regularly in the 90s during the summer.

The nuns follow a vegetarian diet and without a fridge vegetables and fruits quickly rot. Milk, butter, cheese, and tofu also need to be refrigerated. Especially during the pandemic, it is not possible to get fresh supplies daily and the nuns must buy in bulk. The new fridge enables the nuns to store food safely, avoid waste, and save money.

The new fridge helps the nuns and staff healthier and happier! Without it, their diet was monotonous. Especially during the pandemic and times of lockdown, everyone looks forward to lunchtime and with the fridge, the nuns can prepare a wider variety of dishes.

New Hot Water Boilers

The nuns like to have hot water to drink in their rooms while they are studying in the evening. The nunnery has a small covered facility in the courtyard with hot water boilers where the nuns can fill their thermoses to take to their rooms.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns get clean boiled water

Drinking hot boiled water is common Tibetan practice and additionally it is needed when taking Tibetan medicine. Now the nuns have enough boiled water for everyone.

However, since each boiler takes about four hours to heat 100 litres (26 gallons) of water and there was not enough capacity for everyone to get water. Thanks to you, that problem has been remedied.

water boiler Dolma Ling

The nuns needed two new water boilers because there wasn’t enough capacity and some nuns were forced to get up in the middle of the night to fill their thermoses.

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