I've recently had the privilege of visiting one of the most beautiful country on earth - The Kingdom of Bhutan. It is one of the most isolated countries in the world! So isolated that Internet and TV was only introduced in 1999 and 2000 respectively! The result - one of the most beautifully preserved landscape ofHimalayan mountains, alpine valleys and snow-fed rivers; decorated with rich Bhutanese culture and traditions.  

It was raining when we arrived in Paro Airport.

But when the rain cleared.. it was just amazing..

During my duration there, I stayed in 'down town' Thimpu. And when I say 'down town', it just means roughly around 3-4 rows of shop lots. I managed to try a couple of great restaurants in Thimpu, but most of the time I was with our host - the Bhutan Football Federation. So it was rather inconvenient for me to take the camera out and snap away at every dish laid infront of me. So during one of our closed lunch sessions, Bryan and myself seized the opportunity to indulge ourselves with some local Bhutanese cuisine in the Dragon Roots Hotel's restaurant. 

I remembered before landing in Paro Airport, I read in the magazine that the main ingredient in a typical Bhutanese cuisine is chilli. Everything else merely takes up space on plate. When the first dish came, I was thinking to myself - It could not be more true. 

The first dish we ordered was 'Shamu Datshi' (USD1.50). Taste of spicy cheese gravy with mushrooms - very nice indeed.

The next dish was just brilliant - 'Jasha Maroo' (USD2.14). Instead of chicken, we substituted it with pork. Brilliantly spicy. However, we find the meat a little too 'fatty' for our liking. We got to know that Bhutanese love eating fatty pork meat! We also found out how they breed fat pigs - see below :)

I really don't remember the name for the next dish. It was spicy chilly beef slices with spinach. The beef slices was absolutely too hard for our liking! 

We also ordered mixed vegetables cooked Bhutanese style (USD1.30). The taste of the gravy absolutely brought out a fragrant and juicy vegetable dish.

And finally to complete a lovely weekday lunch, something with an Indian influence - 'Jogan Lamb'. Sorry I forgot how much this dish cost.

The Indians are very close political and cultural allies of the Bhutanese people. So naturally a lot of the local dishes have integrated some indian flavors as well. 

Remember I was supposed to tell you how the Bhutanese breed fat pigs? 

With this!! 

Recognise this? hahaha yeap - Marijuana plants! They are everywhere in Bhutan, which is a major problem for the government. Farmers will grab the leaves and feed them to the pigs. The pigs will then stone and sleep the whole day! And that's how they get fat :)

I truly enjoyed the food and culture of Bhutan. Looking forward to go back in the future! 



Ms. Jazz said...

ooo.. i've never had bhutanese cuisine before, wonder whether they have any in kl??
I have a feeling it's probably not my cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

Bhutan is such a beautiful country! Lucky you

Bradly Jones said...

Great posts on this blog. I'm on my way to Dhaka and will be needing all the information i can get because I will be staying shortly in Bhutan, I need to be able to gather knowledge as well as pictures, I adore Buddhism as well. Thanks for sharing. Your article was a real brain massage.

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