When you’re in Bhutan you’ll eat a range of Bhutanese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian food, which are all very common and well represented throughout Bhutan.
The staple foods of Bhutan are red rice (like brown rice in texture but with a nutty taste, the only variety of rice that grows in high altitudes), buckwheat and increasingly maize.
The diet in the hills also includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, prok fat and lamb. Soups and stews of meat, rice, ferns, lentils and dried vegetables, spiced with chili peppers and cheese are a favourite meal during the cold seasons.
Ema datshi is among the most famous dishes in Bhutanese cuisines recognized as a national dish of Bhutan It is made from hot chili peppers and cheese “ema” means “chili” and “datshi” means “cheese” in the Dzongkha language of Bhutan.
Different varieties of chilies may be used: green chili, red chili, or white chili (green chili washed in hot water and sun-dried), which may be dried or fresh.
The cheese in ema datshi is homemade from the curd of cow or yak’s milk. In the process, the fat is removed from the curd to make butter, and the remaining curd without fat is used to make the cheese.
Other foods include: Jasha maru (a chicken dish), phaksha paa (Dried pork), Jaju Soup – Traditional Bhutanese Soup, Thukpa (Noodles), bathup (flat noodles) Kewa Datshi (Potato & cheese) Shamu Datshi (Mushroom and cheese), Puta: noodles made from highly nutritious buckwheat which are grown in high altitudes, Khur-le – Buckwheat Pancake, Hoentey similar to momos, but they are made with a buckwheat dough wrapper and zaow: puffed rice