Citizens, all hail the Dragon Prince!
Queen Jetsun of Bhutan gave birth to a baby boy on Friday, Feb. 5, according to the national newspaper Kuensel.
King Jigme, known as the Dragon King, was at his wife’s side as the new heir to the throne was delivered safely by an expert medical team at the Lingkana Palace, Thimphu, according to the statement.
To celebrate with the rest of Bhutan, today’s recipe shall be the first ever posted from this tiny Himalayan kingdom here on TFD!
Bhutan (Dzongkha འབྲུག་ཡུལ), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia at the eastern end of the Himalayas.
It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India. To the west, it is separated from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim, while farther south it is separated from Bangladesh by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutan’s capital and largest city is Thimphu.
Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefs until the early 17th century. At that time the lama and military leader Ngawang Namgyal, the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche, who was fleeing religious persecution in Tibet, unified the area and cultivated a distinct Bhutanese identity.
In the early 20th century, Bhutan came into contact with the British Empire and retained strong bilateral relations with India upon its independence. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world!
The country’s landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, where some peaks exceed 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).
Its total size is approximately 38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi). Bhutan’s state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism and the population, as of 2015 estimated as 770 thousand people, is predominantly Buddhist. Hinduism is the second-largest religion.
In 2008, Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election. Bhutan is the first country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco under its Tobacco Act of 2010.
Rice (red rice), buckwheat, and increasingly corn, are the staples of Bhutanese cuisine. The local diet also includes pork, beef, yak meat, chicken, and lamb. Soups and stews of meat and dried vegetables spiced with chilies and cheese are prepared.
Dairy foods, particularly butter and cheese from yaks and cows, are also popular, and indeed almost all milk is turned into butter and cheese. Popular beverages include butter tea, black tea, locally brewed ara (rice wine), and beer.
This recipe is the Bhutanese version of a momo, a type of dumpling served throughout the Himalayas. The filling ingredients are unique to Bhutan, however – especially the use of ground poppy seeds.
My version of this recipe is both authentic and delicious, Citizens – make it today to honor the Dragon Prince yourself!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1 large head bok choy [about 1 pound, 450g], stem removed and quartered
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ teaspoon Chinese Szechuan peppercorns
2 medium garlic cloves [6g], peeled
fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a ¾-inch [2cm] cube
1 small red onion [about 2 ounces, 55g], peeled and quartered
½ cup crumbled farmer cheese [about 3 ounces, 85g] ( or Indian Paneer. see recipe)
1 teaspoon mild Kasmiri chili powder or hot paprika
¼ teaspoon finely ground Pink Himalayan salt
1 stick unsalted butter [4 ounces, 110g]
2 cups all-purpose flour [10 ounces, 280g]
1 cup buckwheat flour [5 ounces, 140g]
1 cup water [240ml]
all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large tomato, roughly chopped and cooked until soft
1 small red or green chili (seeds removed If desired)
60 grams toasted sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons chopped coriander
20 grams fresh ginger
To make the filling, cook the bok choy in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry.
Pulverize the poppy seeds and peppercorns with a spice or coffee grinder.
Drop the garlic and ginger through the feed tube of a food processor with the metal blade in place and the motor running and chop finely, about 5 seconds.
Add the onion and chop finely, about 10 seconds. Add the bok choy, poppy seed mixture, cheese, chili powder, and salt and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
Brown the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, about 4 minutes. Cool and strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Add to the filling and process until combined, about 15 seconds.
To make the dough, combine the flours in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the motor running pour the water through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a ball. Dust the ball with flour.
Cut the dough into 8 pieces, dust with flour, and wrap 7 pieces in plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Roll out the remaining piece with a Pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, down to the second lowest setting, dusting with flour occasionally to prevent sticking.
Place the dough sheet between sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out the remaining dough in the same manner.
Cut the sheets, 1 at a time, into 4 by 2 inch [10 by 5cm] rectangles. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each rectangle. Brush the edges lightly with water and fold the rectangles over to make squares, pressing the edges to seal them well.
Cook the dumplings in batches in a saucepan of simmering water until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Chop tomatoes and cook with a pinch of salt and the finely chopped chili until very soft. Puree mixture until smooth.
Peel, then finely mince or and pound ginger. Add to tomato mixture. Grind the sesame seeds either in a mortar and pestle or with a blender/food processor.
Stir together the ground sesame seeds, tomato mixture and chopped coriander. Set aside until needed.
Note: If you desire an extra spicy dipping sauce, grind a fresh chili with water and add to the dipping sauce.