Bhutanese cuisine is mostly made out of meat items and more importantly chilies.
Chilies are not considered as spice unlike in most countries, Bhutanese treat it like a vegetable and it plays an essential and important part of making meals delicious. Green fresh chilies, dried red chilies or red chili powder is used in almost every Bhutanese dish. Everyone enjoy eating spicy food, including children and senior citizens.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is complemented with side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. The meats like chicken, pork, mutton, and beef are the favorite of most and eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat, and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate.
The following is a list of some of the most popular Bhutanese dishes:
Ema Datshi: Ema is chili and datshi is cheese in Dzongkha. Ema Datshi preparation is very simple, it is the spicy mix of chilies and the delicious local cheese. The most popular dish of Bhutan is considered Ema Datshi as it suits every occasion. This dish is a staple of nearly every meal and can be found throughout the country. Variations on Ema Datshi include adding green beans, ferns, potatoes, and mushrooms in the dish or swapping the regular cheese for yak cheese. If you decide to taste this dish, ordering a glass of cold water beforehand might be helpful.
Momos: These dumplings are stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages, and cheese, Tibetan also prepare it similarly. Conventionally it was prepared during special occasions, most Bhutanese will say it is their favorite. Momos are served in almost every restaurant in Bhutan and are in much demand throughout the year.
Phaksha Paa: Pork cooked with spicy red chilies. This dish can also include Radishes, turnip or Spinach according to taste. A popular variation of this dish is the use of sun-dried pork (known as Sikaam) and Hoentoe, Aromatic buckwheat dumplings stuffed with turnip greens, cheese, spinach and other ingredients.
Jasha Maru: a typical curry type of dish prepared with a mix of minced chicken with seasonings, served with rice.
Red Rice: It is very slightly sticky and soft resembling like brown rice, it is filling and very nutritious. It is grown mostly near the river banks of the country that are fertile, especially places like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and some part of western Bhutan. Red rice is high in demand due to its mineral composition and good supplementary for people who have to give the special care of diet.
Goep (Tripe): Tripe is still popular in Bhutan though it is diminishing in other counties, it is a meat that is cooked with plenty of spicy chilies and chili powder. It is still famous because of Bhutanese has a good procedure to make a delicious Goep.
juma(sausages ): juma is very famous in Bhutan and is used in abundance. Unlike in the western countries, juma is not used in hotdogs or along with buns. Juma is used independently according to taste and dishes can be prepared according to choice.
suja(salt tea) : suja is a tea prepared with salt and yak butter. Usually the tradition of nomads in the high Himalayas, suja is now famous all over the country and is a great method to keep oneself warm in the winters. The salt and butter acts as a great warming agent in the body and keeps the body warm in winter. Suja is a good companion in the chilly winters.
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