Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Email

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

A man making Suja at home in Phojibkha, Bhutan. (Source: Irablock)

 

By Pema Yangchen | Yeewong Magazine

Suja or Butter tea is a staple drink of the people in the Himalayan countries such as Nepal, India (in particular Sikkim and Ladakh), Tibet and Bhutan.

In fact, drinking butter tea is a regular part of life in Bhutan. Before going to work, a Bhutanese will typically enjoy several bowlfuls of this beverage to kick-start the day.

The ingredients needed to make Suja

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter. However, in recent times, butter made from cow's milk is increasingly used, given its wider availability and lower cost.

Back in the olden days, the preparation of Suja was quite a big task. To make this specialty in Bhutan, a wooden churner was used to churn the butter for the tea.

 

Source: Pinterest/i.pinimg

 

These days, however, a simple blender does the trick and with tea leaves available in little packets for sale in the market, making Suja is easier than ever before.

Although the idea of mixing butter and salt in tea may sound off-putting to some, they work surprisingly well together and the existence of Suja for centuries proves it.

Why is Suja such a popular staple drink in Bhutan?

For most Bhutanese, tea is the “go to” drink with every meal for any occasion and Suja is especially a must for celebrations like the Losar (Bhutanese New Year), weddings and for religious events and rituals.

 

Source: thozowasho

 

With its creamy texture and gentle savoury taste, it goes best with Desi, which is a Bhutanese dish of sweet yellowish rice.

 

Source: g.dou.bt

 

Suja is also a popular drink when paired with other Bhutanese dishes such as Zaw, which is roasted puff rice hand-mixed with butter and sugar.

Other benefits of drinking Suja

As the weather can get quite chilly in the valley, especially during winter, starting the day with a hot and steamy cup of Suja is really the best way to boost your energy and spirits.

 

Source: Dave Odgers

 

As an added bonus, the creaminess of the butter in Suja can actually help prevent chapped lips as the climate can be rather dry in the mountainous parts of Bhutan.

Moreover, since butter is the main ingredient, butter tea also provides plenty of energy and is particularly suited to people living in high altitudes.

So, for anyone who has not tried Suja yet, it will certainly be the experience of your lifetime to try this authentic beverage in the comfortable company of a Bhutanese family.

 

This article first appeared in Yeewong Magazine and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Food Review: Tantalise Your Tastebuds At Little Vietnam

Indulge in some delectable Vietnamese cuisine in a setting with tranquil ambience.

Jun 07, 2018 15:28

Food Review: Mk restaurant Serves Delectable Japanese and...

A great place for families and friends to savour delicious Japanese and Bhutanese cuisine.

May 06, 2018 15:38

Food Review: Paday’s Bistro

The menu is quite varied, ranging from continental dishes including pasta and steak to more ‘Asian style’ food such as a...

Mar 22, 2018 21:01

Indulge in Awesome Japanese Food in Bhutan

On our various visits to the first ramen joint in Thimphu, we have seen Japanese diners as well as Bhutanese families...

Dec 06, 2017 07:40

Revival of Traditional Bhutanese Dining

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be...

Mar 08, 2018 05:52

Constructive Steps Need To Be Taken For Bhutan To Become 100%...

Various measures need to be taken for Bhutan to become 100% organic by 2020.

Jun 06, 2018 15:26

Latest

News

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Features

Story of Final Year College Student Who Joined college after reopening of eduction institution amid outbreak of COVID 19

Sonam Dorji a final year student shares this thought on his first day of college amid pandemic.

Jul 04, 2020 14:03

Significant pilgrimage sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan

Discover sacred pilgrim sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan and the reasons why every buddhist must travel to these most venerated places of...

Jul 01, 2020 11:28

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Travel

You cannot travel to Bhutan without tour guides - Featuring Mr Tobgay, experienced senior guide from Druk Asia.

In this series, Dailybhutan speaks to licensed tour guide Mr Tobgay who is one of the most senior and experienced tour guides working for...

Jun 21, 2020 21:07

Promoting staycation in Bhutan amid COVID 19

If you are looking out for an opportunity to let yourself feel the inner peace, discover intricate human ideologies and instinct, and an...

Jun 09, 2020 21:43

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!