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 are 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 is 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

Relish Your Taste Buds With 8 Delectable Bhutanese Staple Food

One of the best places to try authentic Bhutanese cuisine is through a homestay, where you will get to sample what most...

Jan 19, 2020 21:08

The enormous role of hydropower in Bhutan

Bhutan uses hydropower to conserve the environment, produce electricity, and achieve economic self-reliance.

Jan 25, 2022 11:43

Online businesses are becoming more and more popular in Bhutan

Even though the Internet was developed in the 1960s, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan was only introduced to it in...

Jan 20, 2022 12:41

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

Latest

News

Colours Beyond the Wall Volume II: Reformation through Art

‘Do you see the eyes?’ ‘Look closely and you would see the eyes with tears streaming down. And this is the nose,’ Kinga (name changed) said...

Apr 26, 2022 22:01

Travel to Bhutan: go off the beaten path in eastern Bhutan

You will find settlements on high grounds and isolated valleys. You will see rolling hills, deep gorges, and green pastures.

Mar 28, 2022 15:44

Features

What went on at Miss Bhutan 2022 preliminary competition

The 3rd edition of Miss Bhutan is underway and the Preliminary Round was held and broadcast live on BBS Channel 2 on 15th May 2022 from...

May 19, 2022 21:11

Check out Drunken Yeti Bar for the best cocktails in Thimphu

Named after a mythical Himalayan creature and perched on top of a distinct and unique 3-storied building in Thimphu, lies a unique bar that...

May 17, 2022 21:11

Business

The enormous role of hydropower in Bhutan

Bhutan uses hydropower to conserve the environment, produce electricity, and achieve economic self-reliance.

Jan 25, 2022 11:43

Online businesses are becoming more and more popular in Bhutan

Even though the Internet was developed in the 1960s, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan was only introduced to it in June 1999.

Jan 20, 2022 12:41

Sports

Outstanding individuals, schools and clubs awarded for their contributions to grassroots football

On December 22, 2021, the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), a bronze member of the AFC Grassroots Charter,presented awards to unsung heroes...

Jan 11, 2022 14:15

Bhutan's national women cricket team won ICC Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier 2021 opening match

The United Arab Emirates is currently hosting the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier. The two ICC Academy grounds in Dubai Sports City...

Nov 23, 2021 11:13

Travel

Trace the footsteps of the Divine Madman on this hiking trail

There is no better way to connect spiritually with Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madman”. The trail will take you downhill for about four...

Apr 28, 2022 22:30

Been to Bhutan before? Stand a chance to win FREE flight tickets to back to Bhutan!

If you’ve been to Bhutan before, we want to hear your story.

Apr 15, 2022 19:49

Lifestyle

The hot springs of Bhutan are believed to have miraculous healing properties

The Bhutanese believe that hot springs are a blessing from the Buddha.

Apr 08, 2022 21:52

What are the five main fruits in a Bhutanese fruit bowl 'thokay'?

There are usually five fruits that make it to the 'thokay' (fruit bowl) placed on the altars or in front of the King, Chief Abbot and Lamas.

Mar 08, 2022 15:54

COVID-19

A detailed summary of Bhutan's COVID-19 management and plans moving forward

With offices and all businesses open, movement of vehicles allowed and critical services resumed from 21st March 2022, Bhutan braces for a...

Mar 22, 2022 11:23

Vaccinated tourists to undergo 5-day quarantine in Bhutan from April 25

What you need to know about entering Bhutan from April 25.

Mar 14, 2022 14:21

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!