Gross National Happiness Day in Thimpu Market. A bonafide special day in Bhutan.

Bhutan cooking has a number of integrated thrifty techniques. In this recipe the chicken is diced finely. This serves two purposes: It will cook more quickly and the flavour will disperse more thoroughly. Fuel is a commodity often collected from the environment so a resource commodity and the shorter the cooking time the less fuel needed. Bhutan cooking typically will cook meat, fish and or vegetables in a small amount of water with almost continuous mixing. Water is added a very little at a time as it boils off. This enhances the flavour concentration and minimises on the use of fuel to bring the contents to a boil.

The addition of chillie to many of the dishes serves a number of purposes. It's a preference for many, it gives a feeling of contentment and satisfaction even with smaller serves of food. It's an easy vegetable to grow in abundance, by selecting appropriate varieties and cultivars selected by the Bhutanese people over some time..

  • 1 chicken
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) cube of ginger, crushed or julienned
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 chillies, diced (variable preference)
  • 1 tsp salt

  1. Cut chicken into very small pieces about the size of peas (remove or leave bones as desired. The bones allow a greater flavour and one way of managing the bone issue is to remove them from the cooked dish prior to serving. For convenience,  cut the bones just small enough to fit into the pot.)
  2. Place chicken and tomato in a saucepan and add water, enough to cover and 2 tbsp oil and bring to a boil.
  3. Add garlic, salt and ginger to taste.
  4. Lower heat slightly and boil for another 5 - 10 mins stirring intermittently.Add more water in small amounts if this is evaporating and running the risk of drying.
  5. The dish should have some liquid when cooked. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice.