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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Eat Drinks and Dishes in Bhutan

Bhutan is one of the most intriguing countries in the world, especially since they measure their prosperity through Gross Domestic Happiness. Their food is just as unique as their culture.


Ema Datshi

If you ask anyone with experience in Bhutanese food about what you should try, they will definitely recommend this. It is a comforting and indulgent mix of chilli and cheese. It resembles a thick cheesy curry, and is made from yak's curd, that has been formed into a buttery sort of concoction. Several varieties of chilli can be used to make this dish, and all of them are incredibly high in terms of spice so eat this cautiously. The dish's main purpose is to make people sweat even in the coldest climates. There's a similar dish to this called Kewa Datshi, which has only has one difference, where the chillies and switched out with potatoes. From any Bhutan restaurant to a Bhutan luxury hotel such as the COMO Uma Paro, you're bound to find this iconic treat.


Jasha Maroo

This is also a very spicy dish to help people keep warm in harsh winters. It's made with chillies, onion, tomato, garlic ginger and coriander leaves. It is a meat based dish and the most commonly used ingredient is chicken, although beef varieties are available too. It resembles a stew with a lot of flavoursome soup-like broth contained in a serving.


Phaksha Paa

This is another highly indulgent meaty treat and the star of the dish is pork that has been cut up into thin boneless strips. The pork is slowly simmered until the meat is tender in the presence of daikon radish, which is referred to as mooli. Later, ginger, bok choy and a generous amount of chilli powder. Once the stew is ready, it is topped off with more dried pork, strips of chill and is served on a bed of red rice.



These are the most celebrated snack of Bhutan, and are reminiscent of so many similar dishes available all over Asia. It resembles Chinese dumplings and if fried, can easily resemble certain patties. These delectable treats are doughy creations can be filled with a variety of fillings, but are usually stuffed with pork or beef, cabbage and fresh cheese. The usual spices such as garlic, chilli, ginger and coriander are also added.


Red Rice

This is the most commonly consumed base food in Bhutan, except for momos, all the above-mentioned delicacies are served with rice as the main accompaniment. Unlike bread or white rice, the red rice of Bhutan is incredibly healthy since the paddy fields which yield this unique substance is irrigated with glacier water that are rich in minerals. One serving of this dish will provide twenty percent of the human body's required phosphorous and eighty percent of the daily required manganese.



There are a variety of unique cultural drinks to be had with your meal, such as black or green tea. One of the most iconic local drinks is arag, which is a fermented rice drink that tastes like extremely potent sake.

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