As winter sets in, all means and methods are explored in attempts to stay warm. But one delicious solution, many would have noticed by now, comes in a bowl.
The hot and steamy noodles, what locals call thukpa, is an armour that helps shield cold in this blue weather.
The soupy dish makes an occasional appearance in the smorgasbord of Bhutanese cuisine but it features more often or in fact daily in winter months.
Hot pots are placed on breakfast tables at home, family members sipping boiling broth off their cups. Numerous restaurants, housed in fancy buildings as well as humble sheds, specialise in the dish. Vendours dot the street with hot buckets, shouting out to passerby to fuel from within.
Instead of layering up with fancy clothes, socks and caps, it makes sense to embrace the method that brings along tons of essential nutrients, especially if prepared at home.
The noodles are mostly flour based, but similar dish is prepared out of rice. Kneaded and flattened, the dough is sliced into thin strips or thumb-pressed into small balls.
As the noodles are cooked, oodles of ingredients follow for taste and garnish. Chopped greens make the soupy dish healthier while meat lovers have the choice of topping up with minced favourites. As for ones prepared from rice as the base, it is cooked enough to dissolve, transforming into an enriching soup, in partner with other flavours.
Elders in the family would talk of how theirs was a mere maize flour, but relished as much. It was only during special days, like the new year or the annual ritual that they slurped rice ones.
They said it was the ways of those living in the high mountains to embrace soupy meals that would keep the body warm as well as stay replenished. Same was said about the salted butter tea which served similar purpose.