Amankora Bhutan Wanderlust Momo’s

I’ve been fueling my wanderlust by culinary measures — making delicious Thai spicy shrimp salads filled with sweet pomelo and snacking on French Truffle Frites; trying out recipes in my dusty cookbooks now that I have more time to do so.

If I can’t go to these places, at least I can be transported there by my taste buds! The Gift from Bhutan & Amankora. I travel for adventure, culture and new recipes, oh and maybe some shopping. In many destinations I am introduced to divine cuisine, these meals inspire a dinner party based on a native dish.

The Gift from Bhutan & Amankora. I travel for adventure, culture and new recipes, oh and maybe some shopping. In many destinations I am introduced to divine cuisine, these meals inspire a dinner party based on a native dish. Do you remember the first time you dined on a tangy spice infused chicken and date tagine in Morocco?  And then schlepped a clay tagine home to create a full blown Moroccan Feast – guests in exotic caftans, babouche (shoes), and of course accompanied by ancient folk music. I’ll never forget that spicy summer evening in my garden.

Our initial evening Amankora Thimphu pre-prandial cocktail hour included amid a platter of morsels, a humble dumpling, known as a Momo, accompanied by a fiery red chili sauce. Who knew it would become the precious darling of Bhutan and virtually demanded by our travel group exploring Amankora Lodges. Momo became a rally cry from thereafter. An absorbing 10-day Aman Adventure enriched by sampling Bhutanese cuisine including: Yak steak with radish red chili, diced chicken curry with glass noodles, chili cheese and Yak butter tea.

On a wintry snowy morning, I requested a Momo cooking class at Amankora Paro – as Amankora is inclined to do, please their guests, Chef invited me to the kitchen for a personal class, just like that!


Chef ‘s Tej Bakadur Rai and Richard Bia at Amankora Paro, Kadren chela! And of course, compliments to Mark who alerted each Lodge of our Momo Addiction!

I’m eternally grateful !

Traditional Hot Stone Soak Amankora Gangtey

Traditional greetings are de rigueur at all Amankora arrivals – whether it be lodge, spa appointment, potato shed dinner or a wooden soaking tub in a field! 

An 85 year old Bhutanese man heats the hot stones for the soaking tub

Amankora Gangtey Hot Stone Bath is situated in a candlelit stone hut on a hill, a ten minute walk from the lodge on a dusty path. Led by a pack of exuberant dogs, a short trek through a winter potato and turnip patch; one is first aware of the hut by smoke billowing up from an open fire, it turns out, a fire tended by an 85 year old man who is roasting large stones for heating the tub. An age old practice in Bhutan, hot stone bath.

A unique opportunity to soak in a handmade wooden tub out in the open and enjoy a traditional Bhutanese healing experience. The sliding bamboo doors afford full privacy, yet are open to the dramatic views of the Phobjikha Valley and a soothing breeze. In the distance, you may hear the honking of the rare Black-Necked Cranes who roost in Gangtey in the fall and winter months. 

Benefits from the bath are derived from the minerals in the heated stones and the healing effects of the local Khempa herb floating in the tub. Sit back and unwind in the bath for as long as you like and watch the sunset slip behind the Himalayas.

Sip a cup of hot apple cider or wine, snack on popcorn and wonder what Amankora Gangtey will offer for your pleasure tomorrow!  

Healing minerals are imparted by the hot stones Candlelit Hot Stone Tub at Amankora Gangtey Views to soak by Amankora Gangtey!