Food of Bhutan

Good Food is Good Mood

Author: G Vijay Iyer
Date: 2019-12-05

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When offered food, you may hear one say meshu meshu, covering one's mouth with the hands in refusal according to Bhutanese manners, and then gives in on the second or third offer.

Popular snacks of Bhutan include momo, shakam eezay, khabzey (dried fritters made with flour, water, and sugar, which are then deep-fried), shabalay, juma (Bhutanese sausages marinated in spices), and noodles. Restaurants in Bhutan can serve Chinese, Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian foods, which are very popular and in recent years Korean restaurant have opened due to the increasing popularity of Korean popular culture in the country. 
Dairy foods, mostly butter and cheese from yaks and cows are popular, and undeniably almost all milk is turned into butter and cheese. Popular beverages include butter tea (called suja), milk tea (called ngaja), black tea, locally brewed ara (rice wine), and beer. Spices include curry, cardamom, ginger, thingay (Sichuan pepper), garlic, turmeric, and caraway.

Here are some of the delicacies we tried on our way to Bhutan:

1. Shakham (Beef) Datchi
Shakam is Bhutanese dried beef, which is among the most well-known of meats. The beef is dried and preserved so it tastes similar to beef jerky, but thicker, and not quite totally dehydrated. For shakam datshi, dried beef is cut into bite sized pieces and boiled with cheese and butter. This is the common dish eaten with any kind of food. 

Rice- the staple food of Bhutan with ema-datchi, ezay, buttermilk and dal

Ema Datchi - one of the most popular foods of Bhutan

Ezay - a delicious side dish of Bhutan

2. Beef Momo and Pork Ribs

Beef momos and pork ribs

3. Buffet in Paro

Bhutanese red rice is a medium-grain rice grown in the Kingdom of Bhuta. It is the staple rice of the Bhutanese people. Bhutanese red rice is a red japonica rice. It is semi- milled—some of the reddish bran is left on the rice.

Buffet in Bhutan