Bhutanese cuisine is mostly made out of meat items and more importantly chillies. Chillies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that does not include chillies. Green fresh chillies, dried red chillies or red chilli 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 accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are 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 chilli and datshi is cheese in Dzongkha. As the name suggests Ema Datshi is a dish prepared with the spicy mix of chillies and the delicious local cheese. Ema Datshi is the most popular dish prepared in Bhutan which 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 Tibetan-style dumplings are stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages and cheese. Traditionally eaten during special occasions, these tasty treats are a Bhutanese favourite. Momos are served in almost every restaurant in Bhutan and are in much demand throughout the year.
Phaksha Paa: Pork cooked with spicy red chillies. 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: This rice is similar to brown rice and is extremely nutritious and filling. When cooked it is pale pink, soft and slightly sticky. only grown in few of the fertile valleys of the country , red rice is high in demand due to its nutritional value.
Goep (Tripe): Though the popularity of tripe has diminished in many countries it is still enjoyed in Bhutan. Like most other meat dishes, it is cooked with plenty of spicy chillies and chilli powder.
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 chill winters.
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