Bhutan is the second largest Himalayan state in Asia, bordered by China in the North and India in the South, located on the southern slopes of Eastern Himalayas between latitude 26°N and 29°N, and longitude 88°E and 93°E, with the highest point being Gangkhar Puensum at 7570 m, which also happens to be the highest unclimbed mountain in the world and the lowest point of Bhutan to be Drangme Chhu at 98 m. It is a scarcely populated nation with varying climate with elevation and the home for more than 5400 species.
Bhutan Tradition and Culture
Bhutan sure is a tiny country but has a very rich and diverse culture. They are very religious and offer prayers to the Gods and perform intensive rituals in every important events of their lives, like when a baby is born, the family thanks the Gods for the blessing. They do not discriminate between a girl and a boy and takes special care of the baby as well as the mother. Similarly, in other important events like marriage or death or festivals they offer prayers and strictly follow their rituals.
Natural Food Habbits
When it comes to Bhutan food culture and information Bhutan is really dreamy Bhutanese usually prefer spicy food. The traditional Bhutanese eating habits’ are simple. The menu usually contains rice, pork or beef curry and Emadatshi.
As already mentioned, the natural Bhutan food habits’ are very simple. On a day to day basis they settle with simple rice, Emadatsy, beef or pork curry. Bhutanese people are not much of vegetable lovers; they mostly prefer hot spicy and fatty food. Researchers have been done by scientists on the food and lifestyles of the Bhutanese, Bhutan food habits’ do have its pros and cons. On the bright side the food sure is hot spicy and undeniably tasty but on the dark side they do have habits’ which could be a threat to their health. They have a habit of drinking plenty of suja, tea and carbonated drinks which contains a high level of sugar and adding to that they sleep right after their dinner when it is a healthy practice to stay up for at least three hours after dinner. The tap water when tested was found contaminated so it would be better if you prefer a packaged drinking water or a boiled one.
Bhutanese Food You Must Taste
The remarkable character of Bhutanese cuisine is that it is super spicy. It has a bit of an influence from its neighbors, China and India, but unlike them its slightly non oily. The vastness of the Bhutan food information and its varieties in all the courses of the meal will keep surprising you and will be a treat for your taste buds. Delicious of soups for starters, veg. or non veg., Rice usually forming the main part of the main course, it will be accompanied by beef/pork/chicken, if your taste is non vegetarian and vegetables like spinach or pumpkin or turnips, radishes river weeds etc., if your taste is vegetarian and the taste is worth indulging. During my Bhutan trips with my family I gather lots of Bhutan food information since I’m a madly food lover some Bhutan food recipes share with you which you must try during you vacation in Bhutan.
Bhutan Food Vegetarian Cuisine
Emadatsy is a spicy yummy national dish of the country. All most all the dish can suitable with this. It is perfect blend of the hot chilies, green & red capsicum and the spicy cheese.
- 250 gms of mildly hot green chilies
- 2 tomatoes
- 250gms of Danish Fetta cheese
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely crushed
- 3 leaves of coriander
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
This dish mostly similar of the Emadatsy but here instead of chilies people are using potatoes. It is perfect one for rice lover but it also a less spicy food then the other dishes.
- 4 potatoes
- 1/3 cup of cheese
- ¼ cup of chopped red onion
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
Cucumber with Onion and Cheese:
The cooler dish which soothes your tongue after a spicy treat. It is like the Indian raita. Fresh cucumbers and lot of onions blend perfectly with cheese; those who are not that into onions can reduce the amount of the onions.
- ½ seedless cucumber(about 6 ounces,170 gms)cut into 1 inch(2.5cm)
- 1 medium red onion (about 4 ounces, 110g) peeled and quartered
- ½ cup crumbled farmer cheese(about 3 ounces, 90 g)
- 1 medium fresh green chili pepper (about ½ ounce 15 g) seeded and diced.
- Salt and ground black pepper.
It is one of a superb Bhutan food for the vegetarian servers with the sharp flavor of pasta. It is perfect mixture of flavor and spicy, brings water in mouth one should try it while in Bhutan.
- 1 large head bok choy (about1 pound, 45g) stem removed and quartered.
- 3tbs poppy seeds
- ¼ tsp Chinese Szechuan pepper corns
- 2 medium garlic cloves (1/5 ounce total 6 gl. Peeled
- Fresh ginger peeled and cut into a ¾ inch2 cm cube.
- 1 small red onion (about 2 ounces, 55g) peeled and quartered
- ½ cup crumbled farmer cheese (about 3 ounces 85 gms)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces, 110g)
Jasha Maroo (Vegetarian):
It is one of the spicy and oily mouthwatering dishes for adrenaline peace. The dish’s scent stimulating your taste buds.
- 1 lb gluten strips, chopped into small pieces
- 5 TB sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- TB Shaoxing wine
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
Red Rice Pilaf:
Bhutan is surprising country where rice red and by this red rice people can prepared lot of dishes which are really mouth watering. With the other spices it will surprise your taste buds with its magical taste.
- 1 cup uncooked Bhutanese red rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small-medium onion, minced
- 3-4 finger-hot chilies, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated or minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, peeled and diced
- Zest of 1 mandarin orange (if unavailable, substitute other orange zest)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, roasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon perilla seeds, roasted and ground
- 2¼ cup water
Christmas Rice Terrine:
It is a perfect blend of spice and fruits and Vegetables with red rice. During your Bhutan you must try culinary of Bhutan.
- 1 Cup uncooked Lotus Foods Organic Jade Pearl Rice (do not rinse)
- 1 ½ Cups Water
- 1Pinch Sea Salt
- 1Cup uncooked Lotus Foods Bhutan Red Rice, rinsed
- 1 ¾ Cups Water
- 3 Small Beets
- 1Tbsp Olive Oil
- To taste Apple cider vinegar
- 3 Normal Scallions, thinly sliced(both white and green parts)
- 1Bunch Broccoli (or 1 1/2 cups finely chopped regular broccoli)
- To taste White Wine
- ½ Cup Dried cranberries
- 1 Garnish Sliced almonds and chopped parsley
The most popular and mind blowing dish of Bhutan. Scent, colour and look must be attracting you and one should try it.
- 5 lbs. calamari tubes
- 3 lbs. cooked Bhutan Red Rice
- 1 /2 lbs. (16-20 white prawns) (coarse ground)
- 3/4 lbs. shiitake mushrooms (fine chopped)
- lemongrass 6 stalks (fine chopped)
- 2 oz. ginger (fine chopped)
- 12 bulbs garlic (fine chopped)
- 6 serrano chilis (fine chopped)
- 10 oz. hoisin sauce
- 6 oz. oyster sauce
- 1 cup sherry wine
- juice from 5 limes
- 1 bunch cilantro (fine chopped)
- 1/2 bunch mint (fine chopped)
- 1/2 bunch basil (fine chopped)
- 1 oz. peanut oil
- Cilantro Grapefruit Glaze:
- 4 cups water
- 4 stalks lemongrass (fine chopped)
- 2 bulbs shallots (fine chopped)
- 3 oz. ginger (fine chopped)
- juice from 3 grapefruits
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (fine chopped)
Cannellini Bean and Rice Bowls:
It is one of an unforgettable food for the people. Local are preparing with love and affection so the food is the excellent mingle of spices and vegetables.
- 3 cups cooked Bhutan Red Rice (follow package directions)
- 1-2 cups cannellini beans, cooked
- Optional: Canned beans work as well.
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced (add another clove if you’re a garlic lover)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (to sauté veggies)
- 1-2 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Porridge:
No healthier way to start your day. A perfect bowl of healthy tasty and non spices helps you to jump whole the day.
- 2 Cups Cooked Bhutan Red Rice
- 1 ¾ Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
- ¼ Cup Raisins (or more if you wish)
- 1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- ½ Cup Berries of your choice (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
- ½ Cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
Insalata Degli Asparagi E Pignoli:
This special dish‘s surprising flavor encouraging your taste buds, main ingredients of this dish is red rise.
- 1 Cup Bhutan Red Rice, cooked per package directions
- 1 Bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, and cut onto 1-inch pieces
- 1 Pcsred pepper, diced (if desired, roast the pepper)
- 3 Rib scelery, thinly slivered
- 3 Pcs green onions, thinly sliced
- 1Pcs onion, cut into thin slivers
- ½ Lbs mushrooms, sliced
- To Make Olive oil for sautéing
- ½ Cupolive oil
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs prainy Dijon mustard
- To Taste Salt and pepper
- ¼ Cuppine nuts (Toasted in a pan, if desired)
Thanksgiving Rice Pilaf:
The wonderful flavor of white truffle oil will just be perfect to light up the ambience with the first spoon of the thanks giving Rice Pilaf.
- 1 teaspoon grape seed oil, or cooking oil of your choice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup minced carrot
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup Bhutan Red Rice
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup sliced, toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
It is excellent mixer of Red Rise, Kalijira and forbidden rice, taking one spoon you will feel like in paradise if you are perfect foodie one.
- 1 cup of Bhutan Red Rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon
- minced onion
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Kalijira Rice Pilaf:
- 1 cup of Kalijira Rice
- Forbidden Rice Pilaf:
- 1 cup of Organic Forbidden Riceor Forbidden Rice
Red Rice Jook:
This dish gives you completely different flavor of red Rise until you taste. Red rise dishes taste can make you confuse about rice can be change the taste.
- ¾ Cup Lotus Foods Rice (Bhutan Red Rice and Forbidden Rice are best, but any of our rice makes a good
- ¼ Cup Cold Water
- 4 Cups Chicken or vegetable stock
Bhutanese Red Rice Stuffing With Soy, Orange, And Toasted Almonds:
It is look and name like salad but it is more than a salad. People used various fruits, spice and vegetable and red rise to perfect healthy dish.
- 1 Cup Bhutan Red Rice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Cups diced onions
- 1 Tbsp minced orange zest
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- ½ Cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Cup natural (skins on) almonds, toasted*, coarsely chopped
- 1 Pc jalapeño, trimmed and finely chopped (1-2 tablespoons)
- To make Stuffed Cornish Hens:
- 1 Cup orange juice
- ¼ Cup honey
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 4-6 Pcs Cornish Hens
Bhutan Food Non Vegetarian Cuisine
Noodles is always in the top of the list of the foodie people. In Bhutan Noodles have another flavor with the mixing of Bhutanese tradition and spices.
- 1 pk (2 ounces 55 g) bean threads or cellophane noodles
- 1 medium onion (about 4 ounces, 110g), peeled and quartered
- 1 medium tomato (about 5 ounces, 140g), quartered
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces 110g)
- ½ pounds pork shoulder (680 g) cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- ½ cup water (120 ml)
- 3 medium fresh green chilli peppers (1 ½ ounces total 45g), seeded and cut into julienne strips
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pork lover should not miss the Phaksha Pa while in the Kingdom of Bhutan. if you don’t try this as a lover then you missed the biggest taste of Pork.
- 1 medium onion (about 4 ounces, 110g), peeled and quartered
- Fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a 1 inch (2.5cm) cube
- 1 medium daikon or white raddish (about 3 ½ ounces, 100g) peeled, halved length wise and cut crosswise to fit the fit tube
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces, 40g)
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder (450g), cut into6 by ½ inch (15 by 125cm) strips
- ½ cup water (120 ml)
- 2tbs chilli powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 large heads bok choy (about 3 pounds total 1.3 kg stems removed and leaves cut into ½ inch (1.25cm)strips
- 6 ounces dried pork (170g)cut into 3 by ½ inch (7.5 by 1.25cm) strips
- 1 large fresh green chilli pepper (about ½ ounce 15g) seeded and cut into julienne strips
Tshoem (beef and mushroom):
Perfect combination of beef and mushroom definitely one should try it. If you want mushroom in different taste then this is for you.
- 1 large garlic dove (about 1/6 ounce, 5g), peeled
- Fresh ginger peeled and cut into a ¾ inch (2m) cube
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces 110g)
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck (450g) cut into 1 inch (2.5cm)cubes
- ½ cup water ( 120ml)
- 1tsp salt
- 2 medium fresh green chilli peppers (about 1 ounce total 30g), seeded and cutinto julienne strips
- 1 1/3 cups fresh oyster mushrooms (about 2 ½ ounces, 70g)
- Stemmed freshly ground black pepper
This pork and potatoes mixer is giving you unexpected taste when try it. The taste of pork really amazing with potatoes it is just unbelievable.
- 350g of pork (thigh)
- 2 potatoes peeled
- 3 green chillis
- ½ onion
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 piece of ginger (finely chopped)
- ½ tbs canola oil
I never taste the trotter’s curry ever in my life but when I taste the Kangchu Maroo and I just think it really amazing to taste.
- 2 lbs (900gms) Trotters (pig’s feet)
- Scallions a bunch (about ½ lb or 25 gms)
- 2 pcs garlic
- Ginger a small amount
- 2tsp salt
- 6ps of hot chillies
Fish and Mandarin Orange Curry:
Sea food lovers, here is a treat for you. Definitely should be added to your must have dishes whenever you go to Bhutan.
- 2 pounds of fish, gutted and heads removed
- 4 tablespoons sweet butter
- 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, peeled, thinly sliced and separated into crescents
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 large thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced (2.5 in. x 1 x 1)
- 8-9 Finger-hot chili peppers, minced, but with seeds and placenta intact
- 1 large tomato, cut into a large dice
- 1/2 cup water or orange juice
- 1 cup fish stock
- 1-2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated, and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
- 1 teaspoon perilla seeds, lightly roasted and ground
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
Bhutanese Pork with Radish Stew:
Yes the magical taste of radish along with perfect ratio mixer of the all ingredients you never so don’t miss it to taste during Bhutan trips.
- 2 lbs pork loin (cut into thin slices)
- ½ lb Chinese radish/ daikon (peeled and slice thinly)
- 1 large tomato (cut into small pieces)
- 1 thumb-size ginger (grated)
- 2 red or green bird’s eye chili (seeded and chopped)
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- 5 shallots (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp of oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Few sprigs of cilantro leaves for garnish
Bhutanese Chilli Chicken:
Chili chicken is very popular and common dish among us but Bhutanese chili chicken is not common taste and dish it is one step more than the chili chicken.
- Chicken– 500 gms
- Maida/all purpose flour– 3 tbsp
- Cornflour– 3 tbsp
- Pepper– 1 tsp
- Ginger paste– 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds– 1 tsp
- Onion– 2 (cubed)
- Bhutanese chillies– 5-6 (slit)
- Soya sauce– 1 tbsp
- Tomato sauce– 1 tbsp
- Garlic– 5-6 flakes (chopped)
- Oil– for frying
- Salt– to taste
It quite common in Bhutan and enough to spend your bucks on with this amazing Beef Dumplings.
- 1/2 pound ground yak or beef.
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped.
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced.
- 1 ounce xiaoshing (Chinese wine, found in most Asian grocers)
- 2 tsp flour.
- 2 tsp soy sauce.
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely minced.
- 1 package round wonton wrappers.
Bhutanese Red Rice, Mango and Smoked Chicken Salad with Lemon Dressing:
A very interesting blend of chicken and fruits specially created just so you can please your taste buds.
- 1 Cup uncooked Bhutan Red Rice
- 1 Cup mango, seeded and diced
- 1 Cup smoked chicken, shredded into thin strips
- ½ Cup callions, trimmed and cut diagonally into thin slices (about 3)
- To make Lemon Dressing:
- ¼ Cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Tsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ Tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 Clove garlic, crushed
Red Rice, Corn, Leek and Smoked Duck Soup:
It is unbelievably tasty food of Bhutan mingles of Red rice, Corn, Leek and Smoked in Bhutanese ways.
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Ears corn (kernels shaved off)
- 2 Leeks (white part only, washed and chopped)
- 1 Qt chicken stock
- 1 Cup dry sherry wine
- 1 Cup diced smoked duck or apple wood smoked bacon
- 1 Recipe Red Rice Pilaf
Flavor of mint is always sweet and tasty and when it is with Chicken oh my go the simple word will come from mouth.
- garlic oil or flavored to -taste
- fish Sauce
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 1/2 cn Of bamboo shoots
- 1 large-sized stalk of green onion, diced
- 1/4 c of Chicken or Shrimp (cut into marble sized pieces)
- Fresh mint, about 3 leaves
- Crushed red chillies (optional)
- white rice
- deep saute pan or wok
Gulai Merah (Beef Short Ribs):
Yummy the only word can come in your mind after trying the Gulai Merah in Bhutan and the recipe is very unique and amazing.
- 4 Shallots, sliced
- 3 Garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 Piece of fresh ginger, -sliced
- 4 Or 5 hot red chile peppers, -seeded, sliced
- 2 ts Ground coriander
- 1/8 ts Ground turmeric
- 1 ts Salt, or to taste
- 2 c Water
- 2 lb Lean short ribs of beef, -cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 tb Corn oil
- 2 Salam leaves
- 2 sl Laos (Finger-root;Krachai)
- 1 Stalk lemon grass
- 1 sl Lemon
Excellent sea food for the food lovers. Jellyfish the most expensive and rare food ingredients. We never think about the taste of the Jellyfish but when I tasted it in Bhutan was just speechless.
- 125 g (4 oz) salted jellyfish
- 1 large cucumber
- ½ cup small peeled cooked prawns
- 125 g (4 oz) roast chicken, preferably breast
- 2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)
- fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- black pepper
- 2 tbsp pickled carrot
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped