Bhutan – My Culinary Expedition – 2
Eventhough Bhutan is a Budhist country, with a good majority practising and believing Budhism, non- vegetarian dishes were easily available. These dishes were mainly prepared with beef or pork. Killing of animals is prohibited in Bhutan and so meat is imported from India. Dishes with dried meat were more common. Chicken dishes were available only in bigger restaurant. Smaller restaurants had beef and pork dishes. I was not able to taste some of the non-vegetarian cuisines and had to be satisfied with the view from my lens.
Gondo Datshi ( Egg andCheese)
It is kind of scrambled egg. Eggs are scrambled with cheese, butter and chillies. Even though scrambled eggs are my personal favourite, I didn’t like the taste of this dish much. It was sour tasting probably because the cheese used to prepare it was sour. I tasted it when my hosts prepared it during my homestay in Phobjikha.
- Shakham Datshi (Dried Beef and Cheese)
Dried beef is called Shakham in Dzongkha (Bhutanese language). As in other Datshi preparation, beef is boiled with cheese, butter, onion and green chilly. Dry beef is supposedly very hard to chew.
Spicy stew / curry made with diced chicken, onion , garlic , chillies , tomatoes and ginger. Bhutanese spices add give it a tempting aroma. In Bhutan , the chicken is cooked with skin. Hence the preparation was very oily. I had it when my friend in Pheuntsholing invited me for lunch at his home.
- PhakshaPaa (Pork with Red Chillies)
Paa means curry with gravy. It contains pork, red chilly , ginger and bokchoy. Bok choy or white mustard cabbage is peppery to taste with celery like stalk and dark green leaves. It’s a personal favourite of the Bhutanese. I came across this dish at Hotel Thimbu, in Thimbu.
- SiccamPaa(Sun dried prok belly curry)
Sun dried pork belly is prepared similar to Phaksha paa. It is not very common in restaurants. It is supposedly tastier than PhakshaPaa. I photographed this at Hotel Thimbu.
- Ribs Paa(Pork ribs curry)
Pork ribs are cooked with Bhutanese spices and red chilly. I saw this in a local restaurant in Thimbu market.
- ShakamPaa(Dried beef curry)
Dried beef is cooked with chilly and sometimes radish or tomatoes are added. In the photos, there is a dried beef version and a fresh beef version of ShakhamPaa.
- Goep/ Geppa
Slices of pork intestine ( tripe) fried with dried chilly and green onion). It is very rare dish. Saw this dish in a local restaurant while travelling from Phobjikha to Punakha.
- Juma (Sausage)
Bhutanese sausage made with minced meat and rice. It is available in local restaurants and grocery shop. It is supposed to be very spicy.
Street vendors sell thuppa – a type of rice porridge made with rice and spices. Non-vegetarian version has dried beef in it. Cost is Rs. 40 for a 250 ml cup.
Bathup (Flour soup)-
Flat rice noodle prepared with spices. It is mainly served for breakfast at local restaurants. I came across the Beef Bathup when I was travelling from Thimbu to Punakha and the bus stopped at a local restaurant for a break. The lady gave me a small quantity in a tiny bowl for taking snap.
Momos are available everywhere. They are dumblings prepared with beef filling .