Bhutanese & Their Excessive Love for Chilies
Spicy food with chilies has becoming a way of life for the people of this Himalayan kingdom!
Tucked away in the Folds of the Himalayas, Bhutan is world-widely famous for its unique Gross National Happiness. Either you are family trip or honeymoon trip in Bhutan with an affordable package, the country’s mountain landscapes will surely blow your mind. But another unique aspect of Bhutan stands out-
The Bhutanese’s extreme love of chili peppers!
A Way of Bhutanese Life!!
In the picturesque Himalayan country, chilies are a way of life. Ema Datshi -The country’s National Dish, relies heavily on the vegetable and can be found in every restaurant in Bhutan.
Kesang Choedon, a traditional chef and expert in Bhutanese cuisine says ‘Chilies probably came to Bhutan through India which is previously known as herb and it gives a very hot flavor when boiled with the food.’
Wangyal, a local resident of Bhutan says about Chilies-‘We don’t use chilies as a spice; we eat them like vegetables. We don’t make any curry without chilies in them. A meal here is not complete without enough chilies in it.”
Chili – Here, There Everywhere!!
The Weekend market in Thimphu is the most popular market of Bhutan which runs from Thursday through Sunday. Not surprisingly, Chili is the most selling product in this market. You will get a variety of chilies here-
• And pickled
Dried red chilies are called Ema Kam whereas dried green chilies are called Hoo Kam and they carried from different parts of central as well as western Bhutan.
Why Bhutanese Are So Fond Of Chilies?
• It tends to be the simplest way for the Bhutanese people to stay warm during the winters. It makes them sweat. In the olden days, when they didn’t have any proper heating systems for houses, spicy meals were a natural option.
• Moreover, they also have faith in chilies that burning chilies keep the bad spirits or the demons away.
There Are Also Myths Lies…
Myths on the harmful effects of chilies also abound. These chilies are not good for your brain as well as for the health. Eating all these chilies over a lifetime is believed to cause harm to health.
Some reports suggest that ulcers in the stomach are a growing cause for death among the Bhutanese people.
Keeping The Tradition Alive…
However, some claims that they eat chilies for several years and they are still fit & fine. Actually, it really depends on the constitution of one’s body.
The possibility of Bhutanese chilies is losing its significance in the wake of increasing globalization. And it’s tragic. The level of interest in Bhutanese heritage and interaction with elders is missing for today’s youth.
Today’s youngsters are attracted to more and more western cuisine. They like their spaghetti and pizza. We hope that they don’t forget our chilies and culinary culture while expanding their taste buds.