Indian food served to guests at Bhutan royal wedding

Thimphu: The humble `puri` and `aloo dum` were among 52 delicacies served to high-profile guests from 25 countries at Bhutan`s royal wedding.

The guests at yesterday`s wedding of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck with commoner Jetsun Pema, including India`s envoy Pavan K Varma, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan and ex-Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, were also served `sukha roti`, the traditional Indian bread, with `kenima curry` made of fermented soyabeans.

Ten meat dishes, eight varieties of rice, three kinds of datshi and two types of soups were among the 52 sumptuous culinary items served to the royal guests, who attended the ceremony at a stunning 17th century monastic fortress in the historical city of Punakha, 71 km from here.

Over 100 culinary experts from all 20 valleys of the Himalayan kingdom began at 1 am yesterday preparing the dishes, which were served in wooden plates, Bhutan`s English daily news site Kuensel reported today.

The guests, who where woken up early and driven to the Punakha fortress for the ceremony, also enjoyed local beverages like `ara`, `bangchang`, `suja`, `ngaja`, `singchang`, `dachu` and `daw` served in wooden glasses.

Majority of the dishes were prepared according to traditional Bhutanese cuisine, except for some popular Indian delicacies like puri, aloo dum, chicken curry and sukha roti.

The people of this country love Indian food and it is available in almost all outlets in the capital city.

Kharang or maize rice was another specialty cooked for the wedding lunch.

The guests were also treated to `yam` (wild potatoes) and `berti` fish curry, while culinary experts from Thimphu dished out `ema shakam datshi` (curry made of dried chilli, beef and cheese) and a cheese curry of `matsutake` mushroom, the online newspaper reported.

Experts from Punakha, which hosted the wedding ceremony, served two types of rice, and cooked 15 kg of chilli for `ema datshi`.

With rice, the guests were served dry preparations of pork, mutton and yak meat.

Shel roti, a specialty among the Lhotsam community, was served as dessert, along with Samdrupjongkhar`s `baksha markhu` made from 25 kg of refined flour, butter and sugar, and cottage cheese balls.


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