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Bhutan - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Bhutani Cuisine HistoryEdit

The country of Bhutan which seems to hide between the Himalaya Mountains, has always been a place characterized by magic, mystery and beauty. There is no doubt that the magnificent Bhutanese landscape matches its varied cuisine. Bhutanese methods of preparation are of a great importance and, furthermore, every region respects its own specialty. In this country, people relish a completely vegetarian dish containing cheese and chilli, even though they also love Yak meat. The most popular vegetarian dish is “Ema Datshi” which is served hot. Chilli has always been an essential ingredient to Bhutanese cuisine, together with rice, Chicken, and many other dishes. corn is also an important element in the life of Bhutanese people who also eat Pork, Beef, fish, poultry, yak, and goat. Upland people often have yak cheese as a part of their diets. Daily food consists of corn or rice, meat soups, and spiced chilies, and, as far as beverages are concerned, these include buttered tea and beer obtained from cereal grains.

Cuisines of Bhutan Edit

Map of Bhutan

Map of Bhutan- Click to enlarge

Bhutanese exotic cuisine is also based on rice, which is the only crop cultivated in this country and which is of two types: the urban areas like Pato, Thimpu, and Phuntsholing use white rice while red rice is used in the rural areas. Some rice dishes include “Desi”, a delicious combination of white rice, Sugar, butter, golden raisins and saffron, and “Zow” or fried rice combined with Sugar, butter and oilseeds. Even though they like eating meat, the slaughter of animals is restricted because Bhutan is a Buddhist country. Anyway, a very popular meat dish is “Pa”, which consists of chunks of meat mixed with fresh vegetables and chillies and broiled in order to make a curry. As a matter of fact, Bhutanese cuisine, especially that from the urban areas, tends to adopt some features of western countries.

Preparation Methods for Bhutani Cooking Edit

Bhutanese cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbours and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Bhutanese cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Bhutanese cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential - either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Bhutan is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all Bhutanese regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Bhutanese dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Bhutani Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Bhutanese cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Bhutanese dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Bhutanese food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Bhutani Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

On special occasions the Bhutanese serve rice which is prepared in a lot of ways. In the eastern part of the country, Wheat is cultivated, especially for making noodles, while in the southern part corn kernels are dried in bamboo shoots and then ground coarsely to make “Kharang”. Another common dish is “Thukpa” or porridge. Some Bhutanese drinks are “ Suja”, “Ara” or butter tea, which is a locally made wine made from any local grain, Wheat or Barley, and rice. In traditional feasts butter is heated with eggs and “Ara” is poured over. As far as Kheng region is concerned, together with raw meat people have special drinks, but in weddings or other traditional Bhutanese gatherings, the Bhutanese inhabitants always eat foods from their own local cuisine.

People in Bhutani Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking methods for traditional Bhutanese dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Bhutanese chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Bhutanese chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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