Bhutan- The Kingdom of Peppers

Email

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

One of the reasons why Bhutan is unique from the rest of the world is because of its simple yet healthy culinary lifestyle. If you planning to travel to Bhutan to binge on all the fast-food franchised restaurants and cafes, then you are on the wrong track. Bhutan offers her visitors homely and healthy food. In rural regions, families gather around the bonfire and watch mothers cook meals for the family. Food are then served to the eldest member of the family first. 

One of the distinctive qualities of Bhutanese curry is its ‘hotness’. There are several varieties of chillies being grown and used in Bhutan. “Chilli is omnipresent in the Bhutanese kitchen.” On average, a household consumes more than 1 kilo of chilli in a week.

'Ema Datsi' is the most popular chilli dish in Bhutan. Ema is just the Bhutanese word for chilli. Ema Datsi is made of chillies and cheese. Most Bhutanese dishes have chillies in some form or other. In several Bhutanese homes and restaurants, it is customary to serve ‘ezay’ Bhutanese version of chilli sauce/ pickle ’ as a condiment to the main course 

Types of Chillies in Bhutan 
Today, there are more than 400 different varieties of chillies found all over the world. Some of the 'hottest’ chillies are grown in Asia including the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The “hotness" of chilli is due to a component present in it called capsaicin. Unlike what most people believe, it’s not the chilli seeds or flakes that make it spicy. Rather, it’s the inner membrane inside the chilli that contributes to the pungency. 

Since chilli is the main ingredient in almost all curries, Bhutanese have learned to preserve seasonal chillis for all seasons. Bhutanese farmers in the western part of Bhutan sundry or smoke-dry chillis. A kilo of sun-dried chilli can cost more than Nu 1500/-, and it is considered the best delicacies from the west. 

Most spicy chilli in Bhutan 
Dalle Khursani known as the fireball is one of the hottest chillies in the world. 1-2 of these blazing red balls are enough to set your mouth on fire. Living up to its name and fame, the chilli is super-hot and is not for the faint-hearted. When fully ripen, this bright red-round-cherry-sized ball spices up all the taste buds it comes into contact with. If you are looking for some fireworks in your mouth, then Dalle Khursani is your go-to chilli. 

Besides its addictive taste, Dalley Chili is known for its medical properties. With its unique taste, many Bhutanese folks have found love in this fiercest chilli. Local vendors from Tsirang and Wangdue districts are some of the main suppliers of Dalley Pickle. The fermented pickles are supplied to the rest of the districts and some are exported beyond Bhutan also. 

Aside from the use of chillis on the platter, Bhutan is also a place reported to use burning chilli pepper to drive away evil spirits. 

Related Posts

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products....

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives...

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09

Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs from Eastern Bhutan

Every district and village produce distinct products in Bhutan. To encourage rural communities to produce more authentic...

Dec 25, 2020 22:13

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Latest

News

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through gong therapy

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

First tourist arrived in Bhutan after more than a year

After more than one and a half years of hiatus caused by the pandemic, Bhutan received its first tourist on Aug 9.

Aug 10, 2021 11:13

Features

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Atsara: the Bhutanese clowns who are not just clowns

On top of being clowns, they are also storytellers, spiritual teachers, and the master of ceremony. The bright red mask and giant phallus...

Aug 25, 2021 14:09

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 29, 2021 17:06

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

The different types of prayer wheels in Bhutan

You'll find prayer wheels all over Bhutan. Inside each prayer wheel is a tightly rolled-up scroll of mantras. Spinning the wheel is...

Sep 02, 2021 11:22

Blessed Rainy Day: the festival where Bhutanese bath outdoors together

The holy bath is believed to wash away bad luck, bad karma, diseases, sins, or any other negative influences.

Aug 31, 2021 11:12

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!