Recipe: Ema Datshi (Chili Cheese Stew/Curry)

Serves 2-4

Ema Datshi is considered the national dish of Bhutan and it’s traditionally screaming hot! Use whatever chili peppers you like, from mild poblano, to scorching thai bird chilies. My blend of Anaheim and Serrano chilies is very hot, but you can reduce the heat by leaving out the seeds. In Bhutan they serve Ema Datshi over rice (pictured here with cracked red rice). My husband likes dipping corn chips into the cheesy goodness. I’d like to tell you he’s a fool but, really, the combination was excellent.

Traditionally served with cracked red rice.

Ingredients:

2 anaheim pepper
1 serrano chili
1/4 cup farmer’s cheese
2 cups grated monterey jack

water as needed

Method:

1. Slice peppers into strips, removing seeds if desired.

2. Cook in oil over medium heat until soft. (Cover your pot)

NOTE: You must cover the pot or you will be smoked out. The spicy fumes as they fried in the oil literally sent daggers into our eyes and throats. Ava actually woke up from her nap, three rooms away, coughing. The whole thing became a skit out of some sitcom. I care for you, so, please, cover your pot. :)

3. Stir in cheese off the heat (or risk having curdled cheese – yuck!) and let melt. Stir in water until sauce becomes creamy (I used about 1/3 cup). Add salt and pepper to taste.

You could stop after adding the Monterey Jack and you’d have a mighty fine Ema Datshi.
But let’s add some Farmer’s Cheese for the heck of it!

Now, pour into a serving bowl or directly over cracked red rice.

When you take a bite, be sure to have a large glass of ice water!

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Thank you sooo much for the recipe for ema datse. I’ve searched all over the internet and never before found a recipe where the cheeses looked like they’d actually approximate Bhutanes cheese in this dish :-)

  2. I love ema datshi! Thank you!

    -Anjani Millet
    Director, Gross National Happiness World Project

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Anjani – it really is wonderful cheesy and spicy. I need to make it again soon. Maybe my tolerance for heat is better now! :)

  3. Hello there =] I’m Sonam and I’m a 16 year old girl from Bhutan. I was just showing my Singaporean friend how Ema Datshi looked like because I was having ema datshi while I was chatting with her and she wanted to know what I was eating and how it looked. While going through I thought this picture was the best and I read your entry. It’s so nice to know that a person from the West actually makes our national dish at their home. It’s amazing to know that. Thank you for doing that ^_^
    Much Love <3

  4. Thanks for the recipe, not much published out there on this amazing dish. I feel in love with this dish during my visit to Bhutan. I think the trick is to get the Bhutan pepper Sha Ema. The pepper is grown all over Bhutan and covers the roofs and yards of the country side as it drys. I think your idea of fresh farm cheese is right on, my favorite Ema Datshi was with fresh farmers cheese, possibly the best thing I have ever had! Hard to find Sha Ema seeds in USA! I am on the hunt. Seeing if I can order from: http://www.moaf.gov.bt/moaf/?wpfb_dl=407
    – Kevin Cocco

Trackbacks

  1. […] A little Internet searching revealed a number of recipes that range from the authentic to a flavorful approximation (via Global Table Adventure) to a chef’s interpretation inspired by a trip to Bhutan (via Bon […]

  2. […] them the same way that we sliced the capsicum. We deseeded our chilli’s. I got my recipe from here┬ábut used some different cheeses in the same quantities. We also added come […]

  3. […] A little Internet searching revealed a number of recipes that range from the authentic to a flavorful approximation (via Global Table Adventure) to a chef’s interpretation inspired by a trip to Bhutan (via Bon […]

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