The diverse (and delicious)FOOD OF BHUTAN


Unlike other countries that follow a variety of cooking methods, in Bhutan, all savory dishes are cooked either by boiling, steaming, or stewing. It has little to do with baking, frying, grilling, roasting, or barbecuing. Most often, dishes are a beautiful amalgamation of various ingredients tossed together in a pot and boiled.

A Taste of Bhutan

The food of Bhutan takes your palate to a world of spices. Its perfect blend is a sensory treat that everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime. The diversity of taste and texture is wide. The culinary delights are influenced by India, China, and Tibet, but the local dishes remain unique. The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese food is its spiciness, with chillies being an essential part of nearly every food item. Additionally, delicious local cheese called Datshi makes its presence in almost every dish. Nearly all vegetarian delights are cooked with it, and hence their names always end with it.

Along with chillies and cheese, rice forms the base of a meal. Locals revere red rice more than anything else. With a nutty, earthy flavor and delicate texture, the heirloom grain is considered premium and precious. Farmers in the western-central regions have been cultivating it for centuries.

One can find chillies drying practically everywhere – on rooftops, hanging out of windows, and lying out on the ground. The kinds in which they are consumed are mind-blowing – red, green, fleshy, slender, dried, powdered, and pickled. A red chilli paste is also available, made from a combination of onion, ginger, red chilli flakes, and edible oil. Interestingly, from time to time, every house burns some chillies to keep the bad spirits or the demons away. Similarly, when brewing local liquor, 2-3 chillies are added to it – not as a topping for flavor but as a sign of good luck, so that it isn’t affected by any negative energy it comes in contact with.







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