The Kingdom of Bhutan, a small landlocked state in South Asia, lies at the eastern end of the Himalayas, bordered to the south, east and west by India and to the north by China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by West Bengal. I’ll admit to knowing next to nothing about this country, before I made this dish, but thankfully, the cookbook I was using, Foods of The Kingdom of Bhutan by Ernest T. and Erik Nagamatsu, which won the award for the best Asian cuisine book for 2011 at the Gourmand cookbook awards in Paris, had a lot of great photos and information. So lies the power of food! You can learn a lot about a culture by its cuisine, and if you aren’t physically able to travel there, cooking a local specialty is the next best thing.
I found this recipe to be very simple and straightforward, so I am sharing it with you on Pan Asian. With this dish from Bhutan, I think I have now covered every country in Asia! But no worries because there is still pleny of great food the explore here.
1 tbsp. cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
1 piece of ginger, minced or grated
1/2 cup leek, rinsed and finely chopped
1 lb. Chicken, boneless or bone-in, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 fresh red or green chillies, sliced
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1.) Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic, ginger, onion, and leeks. Saute until lightly browned.
2.) Add chicken, chilies, tomatoes, and water and stir. Lower heat slightly, and cover and cook for about 20 minutes (or until chicken is done). Add water during cooking if sauce becomes too thick.
3.) Salt to taste and garnish with cilantro.
Adapted from Foods of The Kingdom of Bhutan by Ernest T. a nd Erik Nagamatsu