FOOD IN BHUTAN
Bhutan is known for being one of the cleanest, naturally blessed and scenically beautiful countries in the world. However, not everyone is aware of the enticing flavours that this place holds. The kingdom’s strong culture and traditions reflect in their food too leaving the visitors spellbound with its amazing aroma. Bhutanese cuisine is among the most indigenous cooking styles. Here are the few dishes that you should not dare to miss on your holiday trip to Bhutan.
A traditional Bhutanese stew, Ema Datshi is made using yak cheese and a lot of chilly. Datshi translates to cheese and Ema means chilly. It is the national dish of Bhutan and unarguably the most popular among locals. Onions and tomatoes are also included sometimes. Shakam Datshi and Khewa Datshi are the two variations that can also be tried. Shakam Datshi comprises of dried Bhutanese beef simmered in cheese and Khewa Datshi involves chillies with potatoes and mushrooms.
Bhutan’s momos are certain to put you in a food coma. These are dumplings which are usually stuffed with a variety of ground meat like mutton, chicken or lamb. It is also a dish for vegetarians where the dumplings comprise of vegetables or cheese. They come in two forms where it is either steamed, grilled or fried in a tandoor. Momos are most commonly available in all restaurants. In short, momos are the quintessential Bhutanese snack and a must-have when you plan a trip to this Himalayan kingdom.
This is a traditional meat dish from Bhutan. Phaksha paa is another applaud worthy dish that is best made with pork. It can be gravy or a soup like where slices of pork are stir-fried with chilli pepper and some mountain vegetables. It is then served with buckwheat dumplings called Hoentoe. It is best eaten along with red rice. There are many versions as well of the dish incorporating ingredients like spinach, radish and bok choy.
This in other words is Bhutanese spicy chicken stew that makes for delectable dinner when served with red rice. Chicken is cooked in a medley of leeks, onions, ginger and tomatoes and is garnished with coriander leaves. If you stroll around the many markets and side streets, you will find its versions to try as well. This is an absolute must-try dish the next time you are in Bhutan and are craving for chicken curry.
Red rice is staple rice of the people in Bhutan. It is pretty famous for its health benefits in the world. It is supposed to have more nutrient value and is irrigated by glacial waters of Himalayas. Packed with potassium, fibre and magnesium, this rice pairs well with vegetable curries and chicken stews and also make a colourful side to grilled chicken or vegetables.
Goep is a tripe dish that is prepared using the lining of the large animal stomach. It is sliced cut into small strips after which, a variation of chopped vegetables, onions, dried chillies and other spices are added to it. It has a chewy texture and is also prepared with rice. The aroma of the curries will have your mouth water in barely a few seconds.
Shakam ema datshi
Made using dried Bhutanese beef, it is among the most famous of meat dishes in the country. It is known for its high protein value. It tastes similar to beef jerky, but is thicker in consistency. The dish is simmered with cheese and butter and is served with rice. Chillies and leeks are also added for flavour.
Tea and coffee have always been part of every individual’s life and Bhutanese people are no exception to that. Suja is a Tibetan butter tea made from tea leaves, salt, water and yak butter. a wooden churner is traditionally used to churn the butter for the tea. Suja is also available in little packets for sale in the Bhutanese markets. It is especially a must for celebrations like weddings, the Bhutanese New Year Losar and also for religious events and rituals.
Bhutanese are known for making optimum use of available resources and not wasting. And this preparation stands evidence of that. Zow Shungo is a rice dish that is prepared by mixing the leftover vegetables. It can be prepared almost instantly and easily and hence is a common favourite dish among many households in Bhutan.
Jaju is a Bhutanese vegetable and milk soup. It is originally made form dried turnip leaves or any number of light leafy vegetables. Its taste is fairly quite mellow and plain and hence, you will see this where they have other main dishes cooked in less water. You will experience different versions of jaju while you are in Bhutan and none will disappoint you.
Has this got your mouth watering already? Make a checklist of these delicious preparations and do not leave the pristine country without an overall experience of tingling taste buds.