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Bhutan Cuisine

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. Red rice is like brown rice in texture, but with a nutty taste; it's the only variety of rice that grows in high altitudes. Other staples include buckwheat and increasingly, maize.

In Bhutan it is forbidden to sacrifice animals and this is because the country is a Buddhist one. Nonetheless, Bhutani people cook very good meat dishes like: phaksha paa with onions, fresh ginger, white radishes, butter, chili powder, boneless pork shoulder, salt, water, bok choy, dried pork and green chilli peppers; tshoem or beef and mushroom, with curry, fresh ginger, garlic, boneless beef chuck, butter, salt, water, fresh green chilli peppers, fresh oyster mushrooms and ground black pepper; kewa phagsha or spicy pork with potatoes; and jasha maroo or minced chicken.

Soups and stews of meat, rice, ferns, lentils, and dried vegetables spiced with chillies and cheese are a favourite meal during the cold seasons. Spices include curry, cardamom, ginger, chillies, garlic, turmeric and caraway.

Zow shungo is a rice dish mixed with leftover vegetables. Ema datshi, made very spicy with cheese and chillies, similar to chili con queso, might be called the national dish for its ubiquity and the pride that Bhutanese have for it.

Dairy foods, particularly butter and cheese from yaks and cows, are also popular, and indeed almost all milk is turned into butter and cheese.

Popular beverages include butter tea, black tea, locally brewed rice wine, and beer.

On special occasions, 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 the 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.





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