Dish made of dried Koo (cow or yak hide) is a special delicacy in Bhutan. The dried hide, which is quite hard, needs to be soaked in water for a day to soften it. Depending on preference, the hide is then cut in larger slice (paa) or smaller chunks. Variations of the dish are prepared either using fresh green chilies or dry red chilies. Spicer, the better! It is best served hot. It becomes chewy when cold. The dish is mostly served without gravy. It is eaten with rice or as a supplementary dish. It is also served with alcohol as a side dish.
How to prepare
Wash and soak dried koo over night or one whole day. Try and change the water two to three times. After that remove the dirt by scraping the hide with a knife and wash thoroughly. Depending on preference cut it into the required size (2inches recommended). Cook in a pot until cooked properly. Heat vegetable oil in a pot, add leek and stir for a minute followed by ginger and garlic. Put the koo, chilli flakes and stir it. In a cup, mix flour and water and add in the pot. Season with salt and add Sichuan pepper for flavor. Before serving, garnish the dish with fresh coriander leaves.
Chef Sonam Tobgay
He is currently a trainer for ‘Culinary Arts: Multi Cuisine’ program, De-Suung Skilling Program at Gaylpoizhing, Mongar. Earlier he worked as Chef at Zhewaling Ascent.