Nuns hone vegetarian cooking skills in two-week workshop in Trongsa

Vegetables, with their diverse textures and flavours, offer a wholesome and nutritious alternative to meat in any culinary endeavour. To meticulously craft vegetarian dishes and tantalise their taste buds, 35 individuals, mostly nuns from the Kuenga Rabten Nunnery in Trongsa took part in a two-week-long vegetarian culinary arts training recently.

The nuns of the Kuenga Rabten Nunnery and other participants are learning to prepare vegetarian dishes, which they have only heard of before.

With aprons and a plethora of veggie tricks up their sleeves, they can now prepare a feast of up to 50 vegetarian dishes.

“The training has benefitted us a lot. We have told the trainees that when the training is done, they will have to serve the nuns here once,” said Ani Yeshi Choden, principal of Kuenga Rabten Nunnery, Trongsa.

“I learnt about 40 dishes, of which I think we can prepare about 30. We do prepare vegetarian dishes here but now we have been taught new dishes, so we learnt a lot. Many people eat meat, so I think this training is required elsewhere too. People say that the new items have varied taste,” said  Yonten Choetsho, a nun at Kuenga Rabten Nunnery.

“We can remember at least 20 to 30 dishes. We cannot make them all at once since the ingredients required are not available here. But we can make a few of these items during religious gatherings and events,” said Dechen Wangmo, a member of Duedroi Rangwang Zhidey Tshogchung.

After the training, the vegetarian spread stole the spotlight, turning sceptics into salad enthusiasts and carnivores into cauliflower converts at the first bite.

Nuns who were invited to the display and tasting were left salivating.

“One dish tasted sour. I have not tasted it before but got the opportunity to eat it here. For example, the Chinese dishes had mixed taste and I am happy that I got to eat it,” said Karma Pelden Yuden, a nun at Kuenga Rabten Nunnery.

Some people cannot go without eating meat. From now on, I feel that we had this training, we should not eat meat. The vegetable dishes are tastier than meat,” said  Norbu Choden, also a nun at Kuenga Rabten Nunnery.

The Duedro Rangwang Zhidey Tshogchung, a Civil Society Organisation provided the training at the Kuenga Rabten Nunnery to promote vegetarianism.

Armed with veggie expertise, the nuns will spice up their nunnery menus with a variety of vegetarian delights from here on out.

Pema Samdrup, Trongsa   

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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