Foods of Bhutan

The culinary traditions of Bhutan are a true delight to the senses, bearing a striking resemblance to those of its neighboring countries, such as Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. It comes as no surprise, given that Bhutan is situated at the crossroads of these four nations and shares a rich cultural history with each. Yet, the cuisine of Bhutan stands out for its exquisite taste, a culinary experience that one can savor and relish most sublimely.

Foods of Bhutan

Ema Datshi

Ema Datshi is the most beloved and iconic dish in Bhutan, proudly standing as the national dish of the country. This mouth-watering delicacy is created by stewing fresh-out-of-farm green or dried red chili with traditional Bhutanese cheese. The cheese, which is typically white and turns yellow when sun-dried, is preferably used in its latter form to create this scrumptious dish.


Puta, which closely resembles Japanese Soba noodles, is an authentic buckwheat noodle unique to the Bumthang valley. The noodle is made using a traditional puta (noodle) machine and then boiled separately with the help of a bamboo strainer. It is then stir-fried with onions, chilies, scallions, and sometimes eggs, before being finished with sprinkles of Sichuan pepper.


Momos, originally from China and also a staple in Tibet and Nepal, are a delightful delicacy that you wouldn't want to miss. These wheat-flour dumplings are stuffed with your choice of seasonal meats onions, and cabbages, and then steamed to perfection in a momo steamer. Once served, these delectable treats are scorching hot and usually accompanied by ezay (red chilli sauce) and a special 'momo soup'

Jasha Maru

This Bhutanese chicken stew is a perfect blend of spiciness and flavors. Tender chunks of chicken, diced or shredded, are cooked with a mix of garlic, onions, tomatoes, ginger, and chilies, and topped off with a garnish of coriander or chili sauce (ezay). The dish gets its robust flavor from the chicken bone stock boiled with salt. This stew is a treat for your taste buds and is best enjoyed with a serving of rice.

Phaksha Paa

Phaksha paa is an incredibly delicious dish that features boneless pork cut into big slices and cooked with dried whole red chilies. Although any variety of chili works, the dried whole red chilies are usually preferred. The pork is first stir-fried and later added to the mix of sauteed chilies, onions, and vegetables. This dish can either be simmered into a stew or brought down to a gravy, and it is undoubtedly best eaten with rice, just like many other Bhutanese dishes.

Kewa Datshi

Kewa Datshi is an immensely popular dish in Bhutan that combines potatoes (Kewa) and cheese (Datshi). It is a hot favorite among the younger generation and is an excellent option for those who prefer a milder taste. In Bhutan, Kewa is revered as much as chilies, making it the next go-to vegetable after the fiery chili.

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