Everybody these days is looking for a variety of cuisine to try at home. To come up with this here I’m presenting the top 7 Bhutanese Foods you must try.
We Bhutanese are so honored and privileged to be born in the Land of Thunder Dragon for so many reasons like its majestic and rich bio-diversity, unique culture, traditional vegetables, unbelievable religious places, and Bhutanese Cuisine.
Also, under the god-like kings who sacrifice their lives for the people and the country. Long live our king.
Today in this article I a going to give you some tips regarding the 7 Bhutan traditional vegetables or Bhutan’s famous foods you must try when you are in Bhutan as I have already listed its biodiversity.
Some of the vegetables naturally grow themselves in the forest and they are zero chemical content vegetables, have so many health benefits, and also give an exquisite taste.
These vegetables mentioned are considered as the traditional food of Bhutan which you can find in every Bhutanese food menu.
Here are some vegetables you should try when you are in Bhutan.
1. Bamboo shoot (Pacha)
To the name itself, the young shoot of the bamboo is consumed as a vegetable. It is one of the top 7 Bhutan foods you can try.
The beauty of this bamboo shoot is, that it grows automatically in a higher altitude in the forest. people’s work done for growing this bamboo shoot is zero.
Fresh bamboo shoot is used for making a thin soup called “jaju” in Bhutanese. it’s made with milk and bamboo shoots.
It tastes a little bitter but once you get its taste, your affinity and wants for this bamboo jaju or bamboo soup will literally grow.
This is one of my favorite soups not only because of its taste but also because it has so many health benefits. Bamboo shoot is available only in their season.
Its season starts from spring to monsoon. So, if you happen to be there in Bhutan especially is that season don’t forget to taste this bamboo shoot soup called Jaju.
2. Fiddlehead Fern (Nakay)
The young curled frond of some certain ferns consumed as a vegetable, in Bhutan, we call it “Nakay”.
Fiddlehead Fern is one of the traditional vegetables of Bhutan. The fresh green fiddleheads begin to grow from the spring season and last till monsoon in Bhutan.
There are varieties of fiddlehead species some of which are not edible. So always stay safe when it comes to wild edibles.
The fiddleheads are used all over Bhutan due to their immense taste, availability, texture, and healthy health benefits.
Fiddleheads are cooked in many styles. Some fried, some steamed, some cooked with datshi stew. Fiddleheads are also used with the non-veg dish.
So, don’t forget to try this dish. You will definitely enjoy its flavour and texture. Nakay is grown in the forest and also in the valleys where the nearby flowing river is.
3. Spinach (Hantshey)
Bhutanese Spinach is different from other worldwide Spinach. Bhutanese Spinach is broad green leafy with a bigger stem compared to other Spinach stems.
Within local, we call it “Hantshey”. The best thing about it is not only it’s nutritious but also has no particular season to grow, it can grow through all types of seasons and weather conditions.
We eat spinach either half-boiled or fully boiled. It depends on individual taste but I prefer it half boiled. Moreover, half-boiled has more health benefits than fully cooked. One study showed Cooking removes about two-thirds of the vitamin C in fresh spinach.
We Bhutanese people hardly eat raw vegetables still we manage to eat half-cooked. It is also used to make a soup called Jaju.
So, if you are a raw vegetable eater you can try this exquisite Spinach of Bhutan you will enjoy it. Don’t worry about its chemical content and all our vegetables and fruits are organic.
4. Mushrooms (Shamu)
In Bhutan, Shamu is Mushroom and Datshi is cheese. We’ll be following the Cheese and Mushroom Recipe or Shamu Datshi in this article.
Everywhere broccoli is considered one of the healthiest vegetables due to its rich nutrition content it. It is one of the highly recommended vegetables for those who are vegetarian.
In Bhutan, broccoli is very cheap compared to the broccoli sold in other countries.
Moreover, it is organic, and fresh and has a strong flavour too. You can even eat it raw as I have already mentioned in other articles, we Bhutanese don’t have a good habit of consuming raw. So, we cook it either half or fully and serve it with rice.
6. Chilli (Ema)
The people’s affinity for chili in Bhutan is unimaginable. Only Bhutanese people will understand why we love chili so much.
For us, chili is a vegetable more than spice or condiments. A meal without chili is so bland and boring for us. We just feel like we have eaten something only when we finish our meal with chilies.
Chilli or Ema is the famous food of Bhutan.
We also eat raw chili with salt as salads. Chillies dish can be made in so many varieties one of which is famously known as “Ema Datshi”.
I have a recipe for Ema Datshi don’t forget to check it out. Its making procedure is very simple you can easily prepare at your home. Chilli has its growing season; it starts giving fruit i.e. chili from spring month and lasts till monsoon.
You can check this video to understand the recipe of Bhutanese Ema Datshi.
So, at the end of the monsoon season, we collect a huge quantity of green chili and let it dry in the sun for winter consumption.
So, don’t forget to taste our beloved chilies when you go to Bhutan and lose yourself for a few minutes by its strong and spicy flavor.
7. Elatostema Lineolatum (Dumroo)
Elatostema Lineolatum is one of the famous wild vegetables found in Bhutan. It is one of the traditional vegetables we Bhutanese have been consuming.
It can be prepared in so many ways but one of the most known this vegetable is for making vegetable soup.
Elatostema linoleum is found growing all over the forest in Bhutan in seasons like spring, summer, and monsoon. It is greenish in texture and tastes similar to meat.
The amazing thing about this vegetable is it has so many medicinal properties. You should probably try this soup out.