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ema datshi - A recipe by wefacecook.com


10 minutes

Ema Datshi, the national dish of Bhutan is a deliciously spicy stew made of chili peppers, onions and locally produced yak cheese. Bhutanese have an undying love affair with chili peppers. Their journey with chilies begins from their infant age. Every dish in the Bhutanese cuisine invariably has copious amounts of chilies. People don’t touch the dish if it is not spicy enough. known widely as the “national dish of Bhutan.” “Ema” means chiles, and “Datshi” means cheese. It is a simple stew made of a variety of chilies and a special cheese, yak cheese, called datshi. Variations of this dish include potatoes (kewa datshi), beef, beans (semchung datshi) or mushrooms (shamu datshi). But just chilies and cheese are their favorite! The chilies that are used in the ema datshi are really spicy and this dish is served over a bed of red rice, another staple food of the Bhutanese. To balance the heat quotient in the dish, tomatoes, butter and cheese are added. In spite of this, it is hard to have one spoon without rushing for a glass of water. The Himalayan has a rare and unique kind of cheese named chhurpi.


  • 10 oz. chili peppers (spicy Thai green/red chilies and jalapeño)
    1 red onion , sliced
    1 tomato , sliced
    3 cloves garlic , crushed
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 cup water
    10 oz cheese , grated (a combination of cheddar or farmers cheese)
    Salt to taste


  • Heat a pan and add butter. Add the sliced onion, tomato, garlic and chillies. Give them a quick toss and add the water. Season them with salt. Cover and cook until the peppers become tender.
    Turn off the flame and add the cheese and let it melt in the residual heat.
    Serve it over a bed of red or white rice.
    For a flavorful dish, use a combination of chillies like Anaheim, jalapeño, and green chilies (Thai or Indian variety).
    Increase or reduce the amount of chillies based on your tolerance for heat. You can also remove the pith and ribs to reduce the heat quotient
    You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of farmer’s cheese, blue cheese & cheddar would be good.
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ema datshi