The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish in Bhutan.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate.
Some of the most popular Bhutanese dishes are:
- Ema Datshi: This is the National Dish of Bhutan. A spicy mix of chillis and local cheese known as Datshi. This dish is a staple of nearly every meal and can be found throughout the country.
- Momos: These Tibetan-style dumplings are stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages and cheese and are cooked during special occasions.
- Phaksha Paa: Pork cooked with spicy red chillis.
- Jasha Maru: Spicy minced chicken, tomatoes and other ingredients that is usually served with rice.
- Red Rice: The rice is similar to brown rice and is extremely nutritious and filling. When cooked it is pale pink, soft and slightly sticky.