7 Bhutan Traditional Food You Must Try
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Everybody these days is looking for variety of cuisine to try at home. To come up with this here I’m presenting top 7 Bhutanese Food you must try.

We Bhutanese are so honoured and privileged to born in the Land of Thunder Dragon for so many reasons like its majestic and rich bio-diversity, unique culture, traditional vegetables, unbelievable religious places and for Bhutanese Cuisine.

Also, under the god-like our kings who sacrifice their lives for the people and the country. Long live our king.

Today in this article I a going to give you some tips regarding the 7 Bhutan traditional vegetables or Bhutan’s famous food you must try when you are in Bhutan as I have already listed about its biodiversity.

Some of the vegetables naturally grow themselves in the forest and they are zero chemical content vegetables, has so many health benefits and also gives an exquisite taste.

These vegetables mentioned are considered as the traditional food of Bhutan which you can find in every Bhutanese food menu.

Here are some vegetables you should try when you are in Bhutan.

1. Bamboo shoot (Pacha)


By the name itself, the young shoot of the bamboo consumes as a vegetable. It is one of the top 7 Bhutan Food you can try.

The beauty of this bamboo shoot is, it grows automatically in higher attitude in the forest. people’s work done for growing this bamboo shoot is zero.

Fresh bamboo shoot is used for making a thin soup called “jaju” in Bhutanese. it’s made with milk and bamboo shoot.

It tastes little bitter but once you get its taste, your affinity and wants for this bamboo jaju or bamboo soup will literally grow.

This is one of my favourite soup not only because of its taste also it has so many health benefits. Bamboo shoot is available only in its season.

Its season starts from spring to monsoon. So, if you happened to be there in Bhutan especially is that season don’t forget to taste this bamboo shoot soup called Jaju.

2. Fiddlehead Fern (Nakay)

The young curled frond of some certain ferns consumed as a vegetable, in Bhutan, we call it “Nakay”.

Fiddlehead Fern is one of the traditional vegetables of Bhutan. The fresh green fiddleheads begin to grow from the spring season and last till monsoon in Bhutan.

There are varieties of fiddleheads species some of which are not edible. So always stay safe when it comes to wild edible.

The fiddleheads are used all over Bhutan due to its immense taste, availability, texture and healthy health benefits. 

Bhutanese Fiddlehead Fern

Fiddleheads are cooked in many styles. Some fried, some steamed, some cooked with datshi stew. Fiddleheads are also used with the non-veg dish.

So, don’t forget to try this dish. You will Definity enjoy its flavour and texture. Nakay is grown in the forest and also in the valleys where the nearby flowing river.

3. Spinach (Hantshey)


Bhutanese Spinach is different from other worldwide used Spinach. Bhutanese Spinach is broad green leafy with bigger stem comparing to others Spinach stem.

Within local, we call it “Hantshey”. The best thing about it is not only it’s nutritious but also has no particular season to grow, it can grow to throw all type of season and weather condition.

We eat spinach either half-boiled or fully boiled. It depends on individuals taste but I prefer it for half boiled. Moreover, half-boiled has more health benefits than fully cooked. One study showed Cooking removes about two-thirds of the vitamin C in fresh spinach.

We Bhutanese people hardly eat raw vegetables still we manage to eat half-cooked. It is also used to make a soup called Jaju.

So, if you are a raw vegetable eater you can try this exquisite Spinach of Bhutan you would enjoy it. Don’t worry about its chemical content and all our vegetables and fruits are all organic.

4. Mushrooms (Shamu)


In Bhutan, Shamu is Mushroom and Datshi is cheese. We’ll be following Cheese and Mushroom Recipe or Shamu Datshi in this article.

Bhutanese cuisine features a lot of cheese. Ema DatshiKewa Datshi are some of the other day-to-day vegetables common in Bhutan. Shamu Datshi is prepared with different kinds of mushrooms.

Regarding mushrooms, I have written this article. Even I have a simple recipe for it. So, guys go and check out Mushroom Recipe.

5. Broccoli

Everywhere broccoli is considered as one of the healthiest vegetables due to its rich in nutrition content in it. It is one of the highly recommended vegetables for those who are vegetarian.

In Bhutan broccoli is very cheap comparing to the broccoli sold in other countries.

Moreover, it is organic, fresh and has a strong flavour too. You can even eat it raw as I have already mentioned in other articles, we Bhutanese don’t have a good habit of consuming raw. So, we cook either half or fully and serve with rice.

6. Chilli (Ema)

The people’s affinity for chilli in Bhutan is unimaginable. Only Bhutanese people will understand why we love chilli so much.

For us chilli is vegetable more than spice or condiments. A meal without chilli is so bland and boring for us. We just feel like we have eaten something only when we finish our meal with chillies.

Chilli or Ema is the famous food of Bhutan.

Bhutanese Green Chilli

We also eat raw chilli with salt as salads. Chillies dish can be made in so many varieties one of which is famously known as “Ema Datshi”.

I have a recipe for Ema Datshi don’t forget to check out. Its making procedure is very simple you can easily prepare at your home. Chilli has its growing season; it starts giving fruit i.e. chilli from spring month and lasts till monsoon.

You can check this video to understand the recipe of Bhutanese Ema Datshi.

So, in the mend of the monsoon season, we collect a huge quantity of green chilli and let it dry in the sun for the winter consumption.

So, don’t forget to taste our beloved chillies when you go to Bhutan and lost yourself for a few minutes by its strong and spicy flavour.

7. Elatostema Lineolatum (Dumroo)

Elatostema Lineolatum is one of the famous wild vegetable found in Bhutan. It is one of the traditional vegetables we Bhutanese had been consuming.

It can be prepared in so many ways but one of the most know this vegetable is for making vegetable soup.


Elatostema lineolatum is found growing all over the forest in Bhutan in the seasons like spring, summer and monsoon. It is greenish in texture and taste similar to meat.

The amazing thing about this vegetable is it has so many medicinal properties. You should probably try this soup out.


  1. Hello,
    I just returned from the Land of Thunder! Bhutan is a beautiful country!
    I had a question about the sauteed spinach dishes we had. We loved them but they did not taste like the spinach i know. Is there a substitute for Hantshey spinach similar that you are aware of, to get the same taste?
    We loved the Chili Cheese dishes also. We were eating vegetarian so we were impressed the variety at meals avialable!

    • Hi Laurel
      Thank you for the comment and for visiting our country.
      Well, in Bhutan we generally eat Hantshey Spinach, you can try making the sauteed dish with the spinach available near to you. Also, try to keep the preparation method same if you know the recipe to get a somewhat similar taste.

      Do let us know when you try to make it. Share it on our email or Instagram page. I would love to see it. 🙂


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