morsel is placed on the wooden floor as an offering to the deities and spirits. With modernization, eating habits have changed and in urban areas, people usually eat with spoons and make use of dining tables and chairs. Bhutanese Traditional Dishes were cooked in earthenware, but with the easy availability of imported pans and post, the use of earthenware has been replaced. Usual meals consist of rice, a dish of chili and cheese known as Ema Datshi, pork or curry, or lentils.
Certainly! Bhutanese cuisine is known for its unique flavors and emphasis on spicy dishes. The food culture in Bhutan is deeply rooted in tradition and reflects the country’s heritage, environment, and way of life. Here are some popular Bhutanese traditional dishes:
Ema Datshi: Considered the national dish of Bhutan, Ema Datshi is a spicy chili and cheese stew. “Ema” refers to chili, and “Datshi” means cheese. The dish typically includes green or red chili peppers cooked with local Bhutanese cheese called “datshi,” which has a texture similar to cottage cheese. The dish can be made with variations such as adding vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, or ferns.
Jasha Maroo: This is a Bhutanese chicken dish. “Jasha” means chicken, and “Maroo” means chili. It is a spicy and aromatic stew made with boneless chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, and of course, chili peppers.
Red Rice: Bhutanese red rice is a staple food and a significant part of every meal. The reddish-brown rice is grown in Bhutan’s high-altitude regions and has a nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture.
Momos: While momos are popular in various parts of South Asia, Bhutanese momos often have their unique twist. These are steamed dumplings filled with a mixture of meat (pork, beef, or sometimes yak), vegetables, and traditional Bhutanese spices.
Goep: Goep is a traditional Bhutanese dish made from tripe (the stomach lining of a cow or yak). The tripe is cleaned thoroughly and then cooked with various spices, making it a flavorful and hearty dish.
Suja (Butter Tea): Suja is a popular Bhutanese tea made with butter, salt, and tea leaves. It is a staple beverage in Bhutan, especially in the colder regions. The tea is churned with butter to give it a creamy texture and is enjoyed with a pinch of salt.
Hoentay: Hoentay are crescent-shaped dumplings filled with turnips, spinach, and other vegetables, and sometimes cheese. They are typically served with a spicy sauce.
Kewa Datshi: Kewa Datshi is a potato and cheese dish, similar to Ema Datshi, but with potatoes instead of chili peppers. It is a milder alternative for those who can’t handle very spicy food.
Bhutanese cuisine is not only about the taste but also about the cultural significance and the use of locally sourced ingredients. When you visit Bhutan, trying these traditional dishes is a must to experience the country’s unique culinary heritage.