Welcome to the enchanting world of Bhutanese cuisine, where vibrant flavors and cultural traditions come together to create a culinary experience like no other. In this gastronomic adventure, we delve into the heart of Bhutanese cooking to explore the exquisite dish known as Hoentay. A beloved recipe handed down through generations, Hoentay encapsulates the essence of Bhutanese culture, blending unique ingredients and time-honored techniques.

Originating from the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, Hoentay is a traditional dumpling dish that reflects the country's rich history and deep-rooted connection to nature. As we embark on this culinary journey, we'll discover the secrets behind crafting these delicate parcels of joy, filled with a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate.

Join us as we unravel the intricacies of Bhutanese culinary artistry, exploring the significance of Hoentay in both daily life and festive celebrations. From the bustling markets of Thimphu to the serene monasteries perched on the hills, Hoentay has woven itself into the fabric of Bhutanese identity.

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also provides a glimpse into the soul of Bhutanese culture. Let's step into the kitchen and unlock the secrets of Hoentay – a dish that celebrates the spirit of Bhutan, one delicious bite at a time.


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water (as needed)

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup turnip greens, finely chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup radishes, grated
  • 1 cup cheese (Bhutanese yak cheese or any local cheese), grated
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • Salt to taste

For Assembly:

  • Banana leaves or parchment paper, cut into squares
  • Kitchen twine or toothpicks


Prepare the Dough:

1-In a large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt.

2-Gradually add water and knead the mixture until a smooth, pliable dough forms.

3-Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest while you prepare the filling.

Make the Filling:

1-In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped turnip greens, spinach, grated radishes, cheese, green chilies, minced garlic, and grated ginger.

2-Season the filling with salt to taste and mix well. Set aside.

Shape the Dumplings:

1-Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll out the ball into a thin, round disc using a rolling pin.

2-Place a generous spoonful of the filling in the center of the disc.

3-Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, creating a semi-circular dumpling. Seal the edges by pressing them together.

Wrap in Banana Leaves (or Parchment Paper):

1-Place each dumpling in the center of a square of banana leaf or parchment paper.

2-Fold and secure the sides of the leaves over the dumplings, creating a neat parcel. Tie the parcels securely with kitchen twine or secure with toothpicks.

Steam the Hoentay:In a steamer, arrange the wrapped dumplings and steam for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.

Serve and Enjoy:Carefully unwrap the hoentay parcels and serve the delicious dumplings warm. Optionally, serve with a side of Bhutanese red chili sauce for an extra kick.

Experience the authentic flavors of Bhutan with these Hoentay dumplings, where the earthy notes of buckwheat blend harmoniously with the freshness of turnip greens, spinach, radishes, and the richness of cheese. Each bite is a celebration of Bhutanese culinary heritage!

Nutritional Values:

Nutritional values can vary based on specific brands and varieties of ingredients, so the values provided here are general estimates. It's advisable to check the packaging for more accurate information or consult with a nutritionist if precise values are required.

Nutritional Values (Per Serving, assuming 6 servings):


2 cups Buckwheat Flour:

  • Calories: 800
  • Carbohydrates: 168g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 4g


  • Rich in fiber, which aids digestion.
  • Contains essential minerals such as magnesium and manganese.
  • Provides a good source of energy and supports heart health.

1 cup All-purpose Flour:

  • Calories: 455
  • Carbohydrates: 95g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 1g


  • A versatile flour suitable for various recipes.
  • Contains protein and carbohydrates for sustained energy.

1 teaspoon Salt:

  • Negligible caloric contribution


  • Essential for maintaining electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Adds flavor to the dish and enhances taste perception.


1 cup Turnip Greens:

  • Calories: 18
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g


  • High in vitamins A and K, promoting bone health and vision.
  • Rich in antioxidants, supporting overall health.

1 cup Spinach:

  • Calories: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Packed with iron, essential for blood health.
  • Contains vitamins A and C, supporting immune function.

1/2 cup Radishes:

  • Calories: 9
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Low in calories and a good source of vitamin C.
  • Provides dietary fiber for digestive health.

1 cup Cheese (Bhutanese Yak Cheese or local cheese):

  • Calories: 450
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 36g


  • Excellent source of calcium for bone health.
  • Provides protein and healthy fats for energy.

2 Green Chilies:

  • Calories: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Contains capsaicin, known for its metabolism-boosting properties.
  • Adds a spicy kick and flavor to the dish.

2 Cloves Garlic:

  • Calories: 8
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
  • Adds a distinct flavor to the recipe.

1 teaspoon Ginger:

  • Calories: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Adds a warm and aromatic flavor to the dish.

Salt to Taste:

  • Negligible caloric contribution

Other Ingredients:

Banana Leaves or Parchment Paper:

  • Negligible caloric contribution


  • Facilitates steaming and cooking without direct contact with the food.
  • Adds a subtle, earthy flavor to the dish when used during steaming.

Kitchen Twine or Toothpicks:

  • Negligible caloric contribution


  • Essential for securing the dumplings during the steaming process.
  • Ensures the filling stays intact and the dumplings cook evenly.

Please note that these values are approximations and can vary based on specific product brands and preparation methods. Adjustments may be needed based on your dietary needs and preferences.


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