Food and Drinks in Bhutan

The Bhutanese diet is rich in meat, poultry, dairy, grain and vegetables. The national dish is ema datse (chilli with cheese) – be warned – Bhutanese chillies are very hot. The chilli is used as a vegetable in its own right, not just as a spice, and the sight of bright red chillies drying on rooftops in the sun is not to be missed. If you are looking for dishes which aren’t spicy try kewa datse (potatoes with cheese) or shamu datse (mushrooms with cheese). Other national favourites are phaksha paa – a dish made of pork, chillies and vegetables; and tukpa – a kind of noodle soup.

Suja, salted butter tea with hot water, is served on social occasions. Locally brewed beer, alcohol, and spirit ara, are also common, especially in eastern Bhutan. Doma is a delicacy made of betel nut with lime wrapped in betel leaf; it produces a red juice when chewed and is offered as a customary gesture of greeting