Bhutan food is famous for the spices used as the core ingredient in nearly each and every cuisine. However, their food is mainly inspired by the Tibetan, Indian and Chinese culture. Chilies are considered as an important part of their dishes and they shall never like the food, if it not spicy at all. Spice is one typical thing about the Bhutanese cuisine. Chilies are not used as seasoning, but as an essential vegetable in their food. Red and green dried and fresh chilies are a must, if they really want to enjoy their meal and hence, their traditional cuisines are lavishly spiced up.
The Scrumptious Bhutan Food that you should not miss out!
Bhutan is the country of traditions and rich culture, you shall for sure love your stay here with so many places to visit in Bhutan, and of course their food. Similarly, Bhutanese food is their specialty and whether you love spicy food or not, you should try their hot and spicy traditional cuisines at least once. So, if you don’t know what to eat on your tour to Bhutan, then read on to know about their cuisines, which are recommended to have at least once:
Ema Datshi is the national Bhutan food, which is prepared with chili and cheese, therefore, it has been named Ema i.e. chili and Datsi i.e. cheese. This recipe has been spun differently to create other dishes like Kewa Datsi (potato and cheese) and Shamu Datsi (mushroom and cheese). Restaurants serve all these dishes with standard spice level, but you will have to tell the waiter how much spice you want in your serving.
Red Rice is very much preferred by the Bhutanese and it serves as a major portion in the Bhutan food. This rice is highly nutritious and very much similar to brown rice. Red rice is slightly pink and sticky after it is cooked and is served with dishes that have meat or vegetables either one or two sides. Red rice is replaced by buckwheat pancakes and noodles in Bumthang, because these two are their preferred staple.
Just one serving of Bhutanese red rice gives 80% of manganese, which is required daily by a human body and also, fulfills the need of phosphorus, which a human body requires approximately 20%. The uncooked color of rice is red, which is coming from the cancer-fighting antioxidant, the flavonoid anthocyanin.
Jasha Maroo or Maru:
Jasha Maroo or Maru is another famous Bhutan food, which is actually spicy chicken, prepared with fresh ingredients. You shall observe a great blend of garlic, onion, chilies, tomato, ginger and coriander leaves, which are mixed with perfectly diced chicken. However, it is also made with beef. This dish is also called stew, which is when served with a hefty portion of liquid along with red rice.
If you cannot afford to eat too spicy Bhutanese food, then don’t worry, a large number of Bhutan’s professional chefs take care of this fact that many foreigners can only take up to a certain level of spice. The restaurants in Bhutan therefore, offer Chinese, Bhutanese, Tibetan and Indian cuisines, which customers can choose as per their taste and preference. A large number of Bhutanese are vegetarian, hence, you shall be able to get a good variety of vegetarian Bhutan food as well.
Phaksha Paa’s main ingredients are pork and red chilies, having strips of boneless pork shoulder, which is simmered till it is tenderized with Mooli, Ginger, Bok Choy and of course red chili powder. When it is cooked, fresh green chilies and dried pork are topped at the stew and the dish is served with rice.
Momo is another famous Bhutanese food, which has been sampled by the Western travelers, since the time when Momo has migrated to India, however, it is very much similar to the Chinese dumpling. These buns are eaten as treats across the Himalayas, Tibet and Bhutan of course. These buns can be stuffed with anything, but usually its filling includes minced beef or pork, cabbage and cheese mixed with coriander, ginger and garlic.
Tripe once used to be a very famous food in a number of countries, but its popularity has somehow vanished, however, people in Bhutan still love this cuisine. It’s a meat dish which is prepared with loads of spicy chilies and chili powder.
Other Traditional Bhutanese Dishes to try
You can also try some other special Bhutan food, found easily across the country like Yak Skin – Fried and served as a snack, No Sha Huentseu – Stewed beef dish with spinach, Phak Sha Phin Tshoem – Pork with rice noodles, Bja Sha Maroo – Chicken in garlic and butter sauce, Dal Bhat – Simple rice and lentils, Kewa Datse – Potatoes with cheese sauce, Barthu – Fried noodles or noodle soup, Ezays – Spicy dips containing chopped onions and chili with cheese or red chili paste, Thueb – Porridge made from rice or flat noodles, topped with fried meat, Jasha Maroo – A curry minced chicken dish, Fing – Cellophane noodles that are popular with meat dishes and Khur-le – Buckwheat pancakes.
Bhutan Food for Tourists
Bhutanese cuisine is influenced by Chinese, Tibetan and Indian culture. The main dish, which generally includes white or red rice, seasonal vegetables, and meat (pork and chicken), is often cooked with chili or cheese. If you like Chinese food, you should be rather comfortable with Bhutanese food. However, do note that the Bhutanese like to cook their food with cheese, so you would often see a portion of the selection containing cheese. You may want to bring comfort food such as dried pork and chilies if you are particular about food.
Thus, when it comes to food in Bhutan, they have the best variety of local cuisine. For spicy food lovers eating out here is a great thing to do on their trip. However, apart from the spicy food, the Bhutanese have a lot more to satisfy the taste buds of everyone. Hope you have a great time eating here, if you have ever been there and enjoyed scrumptious food, then do share your experience with us in the comments section.