Bhutanese Foods to Try
Traditional Bhutanese food has been influenced by its neighboring countries, China, India and Tibet. The difference is that it’s less oily than Chinese and Indian foods while spicier than Tibetan food.
Spiciness is truly popular. They put chili. Not one, but many chilies in their foods. Chilies are not considered to be a seasoning, rather, a valuable vegetable in Bhutan. And that just totally make every dish produce a burning feeling in the mouth for non-spicy eaters.
Rice, just like in the Philippines, is the staple food in Bhutan. It is served with most Bhutanese dishes. Their red rice is more coarse but tasty and more fibrous than normal rice Filipinos eat.
Also, Bhutanese people like eggs and cheese. Once you get to travel to Bhutan, your first chance is to taste their Bhutanese national dish called “EmaDatsi” which means chillies (ema) cooked in cheese (datsi). It’s made with green, yellow or red chilies, cow or yak’s milk, cheese, onions and tomatoes. The chilies are enough to make someone really sweat. It is also served with red rice washed down with Bhutan’s only brewed beer, Red Panda, a light drink to lessen spiciness.
“JashaMaroo or Maru”
The “JashaMaroo or Maru” which means spicy chicken mixed with chilies, tomato, garlic, onion, ginger and coriander leaves. This is a fantastic dish to refuel after a day of hiking.
Boneless pork simmered until tender with daikon radish, ginger, bok choy and chili powder topped with green chili strips is called “PhakshaPaa”.
Dumpling or “Momos” are steamed buns filled with minced pork or beef, cabbage, fresh cheese, garlic, ginger and coriander.
A unique dish made from buckwheat noodles served with curd found in the area of Bumthang is called “Puta”.
For refreshments, Bhutan offers a variety of drinks including green or black tea, wine and beer. In the local, brewed “Ara” is served, which a fermented drink is made from rice or wheat. During morning and evening, “Po cha”, a butter tea made with fresh yak butter, is a must try.
There is a tip taught that when you’re offered food, you can say “meshumeshu”, covering your mouth with hands which means refusal according to Bhutanese manners, and then give in on second or third offer.