Bhutan, a country of traditions and culture spellbinds every visitor; it is a taintless bliss that definitely blow away one’s mind by its unpolluted ambience, stately monasteries, opulent wildlife sanctuaries and majestic mountains. However, you cannot leave without tickling your taste buds by trying some of the flavoursome cuisine of Bhutan. The aroma of the curries which are mostly a blend of spices, and quite a lot of chillies may make you drool. Well, enough said, without wasting anymore time, let’s get to the chase. If you are ready, scroll through this top 10 dishes that you must try while in Bhutan.
A popular dish which also happens to be the national dish of Bhutan, Ema Datshi is an ubiquitous meal in the country and is loved by all. Infused with a spicy mix of chillies and local cheese (datshi), it has a variation of other spices and vegetables like ferns, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms and plenty of butter to balance its exquisite taste. Ema datshi is served perfect with red rice. However, it depends on how you would like your happy meal to be served, you can either have the dish with gravy or have it in a thick, sticky and creamy texture.
Phaksha paa is another dish for a round of applause, best made with pork. Yes, apart from the much-loved yak and beef, pork too occupies a small home in the hearts of the Bhutanese people. For this popular dish in Bhutan, slices of pork are stir fried and served with Hoentoe, a buckwheat dumplings along with green turnips, spinach/radish and most important ingredient of them all, datshi (cheese). Phaksha paa is best eaten with red rice.
Goep, once joyously savoured, today, its popularity has declined in almost all Asian countries, however, Bhutan seems to not let go of this scrumptious dish just yet. Goep is a tripe dish which has a chewy texture and is prepared using the lining of the large stomach of animals that are sliced cut into small strips adding a variation of chopped vegetables, dried chilies, onions and other spices depending on your taste.
One of the famous dishes in Bhutan, Jasha Maru/Maroo is prepared with chicken. In this dish, chicken is diced and then cooked with fresh ingredients like onion, ginger, chilies, garlic, tomato and coriander leaves. This dish can be converted into curry as well to be served with red rice.
Caution: Jasha maroo may make your mouth feel like it’s on fire, so it is always nice to ask the chef to serve you the milder version.
Who can resist the yummilicious dumplings (momo) that make a perfect snack everytime and everywhere. However, in Bhutan, unlike the rest of Indian states, it is called Hoentay. This dish is similar to that of momo, except, they are made with buckwheat dough. These dumplings are stuffed with chunks of meat (your choice) or filled with a combination of turnip, spinach, cheese, soyabeans etc, steamed or fried. This dish was originated from Haa Valley in Bhutan and it wins every foodies heart as a filling meal that tastes even better with a Bhutanese chilli sauce called ezay.
When you are in Bhutan, you may find almost every restaurant (especially during homestays) serving Khur-le. It is a Bhutanese pancake made in a simple and a healthy way using buckwheat instead of wheat flour. What makes this the best snack in Bhutan is the spongy texture and delicious filling. Khur-le blends well with side dishes such as (poached) eggs, ezay (chili sauce), Goen hogay (cucumber salad) and even shakam datshi, a beef jerky, only it is thicker.
Speaking of Goen hogay, this refreshing cucumber salad has a traditional Bhutanese taste to it. You can make it, spicy or tangy even at the comforts of your home by slicing cucumber and adding a stir of other toppings like tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chili flakes, Sichuan and pepper. Try adding a pinch of cheese on top for extra flavor and a little olive oil or mustard (go on an experimental spree!). This vegetarian dish of Bhutan, Goen hogay can best served as a side dish for all courses of meal.
Puta is the Bhutanese noodles made from buckwheat that kind of resembles the Japanese soba noodles. Puta is found everywhere in Bhutan so much so that in every restaurant you enter, you may find Puta in their menu list. Much like the normal noodles, they are boiled and stir fried in mustard oil adding light seasoning of sichuan pepper and salt to taste. Puta is indeed a must try dish when in Bhutan.
‘An interesting thing about Lom is that, it can be preserved and eaten in Bhutan throughout the year. This is so, due to limited outgrow of vegetables during winter season.’ Lom is a vegetable dish made from turnip leaves, they are sauted in mustard oil adding much loved spice, chilli. What makes Lom even more beneficial in both taste and look is when it is mixed in some main dishes, for instance sikam paa (dried pork).
Perhaps, it is a perfect way to exercise your mouth, tongue and jaws as Chogo requires biting, chewing and slurping. It is commonly called as chhurpi and they are found in Nepal, Tibet and many other Himalayan places. Its rock like shape made of yak cheese may consume a lot of time and energy but it gives a tasty milky flavour at the end (much like a surprise). We can say, it is one of those great snacks in Bhutan, while you go on a trekking expedition or simply roam in its cities.
These are just some of the famous dishes in Bhutan that are savoured by travelers and locales alike, and I bet your stomach is already growling. So, quickly make your plans to visit Bhutan and in case planning a holiday is a little hectic for you, you can always call us at +91-9212553106 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With Tour My India, you can simply choose a destination and leave all the worries to us. We will help arrange only the best accommodations and transportation and offer the best food tour in Bhutan to make your holiday a smooth sail.
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