Grinding flour



Most people guessed that the last Big Picture was a water driven prayer wheel. It did sound like it. But, actually it was a traditional water driven flour mill.

Two people answered correctly: Jabab Phub Dorji and Linda Wangmo. Jabab Phub Dorji, who got the answer first, said, “it’s a sound of a water mill”. Later, however, the Jabab wondered if it was the “sound of a bird at the river side”. Still, I’m giving the prize to Jabab Phub Dorji for being the first to answer correctly.

The video was shot in Nagu, near Jabana, Paro. So, perhaps that’s why Jabab Phub Dorji could instinctively recognize the sound.

The flour mill is owned and operated by Ap Tashi. He told me that many consecutive generations of his family have run the water driven flour mill. He also told me that farmers preferred grinding their flour this way to using modern grinding machines. I think he’s correct for two reasons: one, I’ve tasted the difference; and two, you won’t find a grinding machine in Nagu or its neighbouring villages.

Jabab Phub Dorji wins a packet of bjobchi, ground bitter buckwheat. Please email me your address.

Ap Tashi continues to grind wheat, barley and buckwheat on this iconic but fast disappearing contraption of traditional Bhutan.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Dear OL

    Are you back to Bhutan?

  2. Hon Lyonpo,

    I would like to share a link to a video showing how watermills are improved using modern water turbines in Nepal. Ashden Award for sustainable energy was awarded to its developers, the Centre for Rural Technology in Nepal.

  3. my first time to see a wheat grinder. and a traditional one.
    i have to agree that food processed the traditional way do retain a certain local and exquisite flavor, as in my preference with rice delicacies done traditionally.


    thank you your honourable….
    i am glad to win…..


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