Juma, Za Khang, Kalimpong

Za Khang – the only Bhutanese restaurant in Kalimpong or India.

During my latest trip to Kalimpong, my culinary journey through Bhutanese cuisine at Za Khang was the most memorable. Za Khang may be the only restaurant in India serving authentic Bhutanese cuisine.

Starters

Juma is a minced beef Bhutanese sausage with a light amount of spices and rice. It is one of the favorite delicacies among Bhutanese recipes. On your first bite, you can feel the taste of the Sichuan pepper. Of course, it will send a zing sensation all through your body. Sikam Paa is a sun-dried pork belly with the right mix of fat and red chili. The smoked and crispy pork belly has sauteed the pork with dried red chillies.

Word of caution, Bhutanese love their food spicy. DURING ICY CONDITIONS Hot and spicy food keeps them warm and energized.

Main Course

Ema Datshi is a deliciously thick spicy stew made with various chilli peppers and locally produced yak cheese. Jasha Tshoem is a spicy Bhutanese chicken white curry. Ginger, garlic, onions, and chili pepper amps up the curry. Red Rice is a staple Bhutanese cuisine. Red Rice is enriched with essential minerals and dietary fiber. Enjoy red rice with chili cheese and spicy curry.

In Bhutanese Cuisine, Chillis are vegetables than spice. Obviously, Ema Datshi is a Bhutanese national dish.

Breakfast

Za Khang opens very early, at 8 am as Kalimpong standard. In the mountain, the breakfast has to be like the locals. The Himalayan breakfast is cozy, warm, and comforting. Aside, enjoy the panoramic view of the valley from Za Khang’s rooftop.

Our breakfast had Balep, a crisp Tibetan bread on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Enjoy this with dry, spicy diced potato sides (aloo dum). Without an onion-garlic potato pickle, the platter would be incomplete. Wash it down with steamy Suja (butter tea). Butter tea is a staple drink of the Himalayan countries prepared with salt and cow or yak butter.

Desserts do not exist In Bhutanese cuisine. Fruits can be desserts to cool off things.

If you are aware of any other Bhutanese restaurant in India, please do let me know in the comments section. Please read my blog about the Bhutanese Food Festival at JW Marriott, Kolkata.