YK Poudel

A good homemaker can also be a good dish-maker, as Deki Wangmo testified yesterday. 

Deki Wangmo, a 45-year-old homemaker, won the recipe contest in Thimphu with her dishes ‘Blossoming dogwood delight’ and ‘Humble potato mushroom thup chunks’ at the Bhutan Agrifood Trade and Investment Forum (BATIF) 2024.

The judges evaluated a variety of dishes for the recipe, creativity, texture, taste, and presentation.

The contest was themed “Quinoa and Potato for Better Nutrition, Food Security, and Income”. Nine participants, including five college students from the Royal Thimphu College, took part in the contest.

Deki Wangmo expressed excitement about winning the contest and being able to share her recipe with the public, emphasising the nutritional value and affordability of quinoa. She urges others to explore its culinary possibilities.

“Quinoa is a super food which is available and affordable,” she said. “Although it is a new cereal in the country, individuals should try making simple recipes.”

Deki Wangmo says that when the government makes huge investments to make quinoa a staple diet through various means, individuals have the potential to venture into business opportunities.

Humble potato mushroom thup chunks contains 60 percent potatoes and 40 percent other ingredients, such as mushroom, cornstarch, spring onion, chili powder, garlic, butter, oil and water.

“This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law and other dishes. The ingredients are all locally available,” Deki Wangmo said.

Similarly, Blossoming dogwood delight, a quinoa cabbage wrap with coriander sauce, contains 60 percent quinoa and 40 percent mushroom chives and other ingredients.

The winner and participants were provided a certificate and a cash prize.

Quinoa cultivation is feasible in seven dzongkhags, namely Samtse, Dagana, Samdrupjongkhar, Zhemgang, Trongsa, Trashiyangtse, and Wangdue.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN targets producing 2,360 metric tonnes of quinoa a year, which could benefit over 4,000 households. It plans to invest USD 7.94 million in production and processing.

The BATIF 2024 was attended by the minister of health, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk, as the chief guest, international delegates, and other public officials.