Food of Bhutan: Famous dishes of Bhutan
7 months ago
Bhutan has some of the best food cultures across the Asian Sub-Continent. It is generally seen that the food culture of the mountain and valley tracks are unique as compared to others and Bhutan is no stranger to that. The food in the hilly regions is generally boiled and served hot. There is a lot of veg and non-veg items that comprise the Bhutan cuisines. Bhutan food is a mixture of Bhutanese, Nepalese, Tibetan, and Indian food and although each cuisine is different from one another, it looks similar when blended.
Let’s look at some of the best food items of Bhutan
1. Ema Datshi
This is the most popular food item of Bhutan and can be found everywhere. The best thing is you can have it during breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well. This is a stew made up of chilly and cheese (datshi means cheese in their native language). Though the item is quite spicy, it is taken to be the national food of Bhutan.
2. Kewa Datshi
Kewa means potato and the dish is cheese and potato served together in a blend. It is a mild dish and not so spicy. The potato is sliced according to the need and is served hot.
3. Shamu datshi
This is another cheese item served with mushroom. The dish is a stew served with Bhutanese butter and is also cooked with Bhutanese cheese. The mushroom is locally grown giving a native taste of Bhutan.
4. Shakam Datshi
We move to the first non-veg item and it is the Shakam Datshi. It is beef and cheese and is quite popular among the Bhutanese people as well as other foreigners who visit the country. The meat is dried but not dehydrated gives a unique taste. The meat is exotic and is quite thicker as compared to others.
5. Shakam Paa
Shakam paa is beef served with dried chilies. The beef is kept thicker and is a great source of Protein among the Bhutanese people.
6. Shakum Shukam Datshi
The Shakum Shukam Datshi is one of the rarest dishes that is found in Bhutan and is not made everywhere. As you can guess with the name the dish contains cheese slices of beef and chillies but the Shukam here stands for dry white chillies. The white chillies add another level of spiciness to the food and make this a very rare yet popular dish in Bhutan.
7. Red Rice
Red rice is the staple food of Bhutan. It is found in the valleys of Paro and the rice takes very less time to be cooked as compared to other rice. This is because the rice is partly milled and thus gives a reddish-brown tinge when cooked properly. The rice is completely gluten-free and is a great source of mineral for the body. This dish is often accompanied by the various Datshis the Bhutanese make.
8. Jasha Maru
The Jashna Maru is the typical Chicken Stew that is found in every Hill station but this is different in its way. The dish is made of diced chicken along with garlic and ginger paste and with coriander leaves to give the food the required essence. This is generally served with rice.
9. Phaksha Paa
Just like chicken and beef or yak, hill stations are also famous for pork dishes. Paksha Paa is pork that is served with red chilies and is quite spicy. The pork and chilly are stir-fried and are served with mountain vegetables like radish and spinach. A traditional Bhutanese vegetable known as Bok Choy is also added which is white mustard cabbage.
10. Sikam Paa
When there is talk of meat how can we forget the bacon? Sikam is the transparent pork belly that is dried out in the sun and is fried with chilies. The food is quite rich and has a lot of spices and is delicious when served and eaten.
11. Yaksha Shakam
If you are fond of beef then you must try Yaksha Shakam. The meat is not beef but dried yak is used. The food is made by drying up the yak and fermented yak cheese which gives the food a great essence and taste.
12. Gondo Datshi
This is a fried egg served with cheese and the dish is made up of butter instead of oil. This is the Bhutanese version of scrambled eggs which contains a lot of butter and as usual contains the special Bhutanese Chilies.
If you go to any hill station Momos are a must to find the dish. These are a special type of dumplings that are either served boiled or deep-fried. There is a lot of variety of momos ranging from chicken, beef, pork, yak veg, or even cheese momos. They are served with the special Bhutanese red chutney which is quite spicy.
14. Jaju Soup
This is the traditional Bhutanese soup and is served as a starter. The soup is made up of leafy vegetables like spinach or even turnips. The broth is made with butter or milk and is served hot.
Puta is the traditional Bhutanese noodles. They are quite healthy as compared to the other noodles as it is made up of buckwheat. The noodles are generally served boiled and at times act as an alternative to rice.
The above shows a list of some of the best food items that you can try out in Bhutan. The food here is generally spicy and boiled but you will get a different taste to everything that you eat.