Relish Your Taste Buds With 8 Delectable Bhutanese Staple Food

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

(Source: Youtube/ Geography Time)

By Zann Huizhen Huang | Daily Bhutan

Known for its pristine environment and organic produce, Bhutanese cuisine is not only healthy, its rich blend of flavours will leave you wanting for more.

If you are visiting the Land of the Thunder Dragon, make sure you take your taste buds on a wonderful ride of unforgettable flavours!

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

1.Bhutanese Red Rice

A staple food of the Bhutanese, red rice is somewhat similar to brown rice. When cooked, the fragrant rice takes on a pale pink hue and tastes a little chewy and nutty.

Said to be cooked faster than unmilled brown rice, it is gluten free and packed full of nutrients such as: zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, B group vitamins, manganese, selenium, protein and potassium. It is also known to contain more zinc and iron than its white, black or brown rice counterparts.

 Photo: Bhutan Natural

 

Its distinctive red tinge is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a flavonoid. This acts as a powerful antioxidant that can potentially curb the spread of cancer cells and thwart the formation of tumours. Anthocyanin also has anti-ageing properties and is beneficial to the skin.

Bhutanese red rice also has a lower glycemic index of 55, instead of the standard index of 70, it is therefore an excellent alternative for people with diabetes.

2. Ema Datshi

Touted as the Kingdom’s national dish, it is practically eaten in almost every meal and goes well with red rice and many other dishes.

This tantalising dish can be made using different varieties of chillies – the green, red or even white ones.

  

‘Ema’ means ‘chilli’ while ‘datshi’ means ‘cheese’ so this simple dish is made using yak cheese and chillies as well as a combination of garlic, onion and tomatoes. The final outcome is a creamy and savoury stew which is very both aromatic and appetising.

3. Jasha Maru

 

A traditional dish prepared using chicken, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and onions, it is one of the spiciest dishes in Bhutanese cuisine. Particularly popular, it goes very well with red rice.

4. Phaksha Paa

Prepared using pork, Phaksha Paa is a complex blend of spices, chilies and some mountain vegetables, as well as turnips or radishes.

They are all cooked in oil or butter while the pork is first stir-fried and then added to the blend. This is a staple Bhutanese dish which is also served with red rice.

5. Zow Shungo

Bhutanese never waste things that can be used in one way or another, and the preparation of Zow Shungo is a perfect example.

Made from leftovers of vegetables and red rice, this dish is an all-time favourite. 

6. Shakam Paa

An amazing Bhutanese dish made using ground beef, dried chilies, and radish. The beef in this dish is a bit chewy because it is first dried and then preserved before being used.

 

Shakam Paa is an excellent source of protein as well as one of the staple diets of the Bhutanese.

7. Goen Hogey

One of the lightest Bhutanese dishes, Goen Hogey is a traditional Bhutanese salad made using sliced cucumbers, onions, cilantro, cheese, and chili flakes. 

It is a refreshing alternative which will leave you invigorated, and is best eaten with Sichuan pepper.

8. Jaju Soup

Jaju is a traditional Bhutanese soup made of turnip or green leafy vegetables such as spinach. 

Boiled in a broth of butter and milk, this hearty soup is so much tastier when cheese is also added and is especially comforting during cold weather.


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