How to make Ema Datshi

A quick and easy recipe that takes less 30 minutes to prepare. Very delicious and healthy and can be made as spicy or as mild as you like!

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As Bhutan remains a mysterious place to much of the outside world, it is unsurprising that Bhutanese cuisine is also mysterious.

Bhutan is not a culinary destination like France or Italy or Japan, where travelers know exactly what to expect and what to order at each restaurant they plan to visit. Most travelers anticipating a tour of Bhutan likely have no idea what might be on the menu.  

And the rumors are true. There is no Starbucks in Bhutan. No McDonald’s. No chain stores or franchises of any kind. On your tour of Bhutan, you certainly will not be able to find every one of the familiar things you are used to “back home.” But you may find local versions of “comfort foods” along with culinary traditions as unique as the Bhutanese culture itself.

Watch how easy it is to make Ema Datshi!

What is Ema Datshi?

Bhutanese cuisine is, in a word, hot. Green and red chillies abound. Ema datshi is the most famous dish in Bhutanese cuisine, also the national dish of Bhutan. It is made from hot chili peppers and cheese; “ema” means “chili” and “datshi” means “cheese” in Dzongkha, the national  language of Bhutan. Sometimes, potatoes are added, making kewa datsi. Other times, wild mushrooms (a locally grown delicacy) are added, making shamu datshi served with white or red rice. To the Western palate, any of these preparations may be shockingly spicy.

Ema datshi can be made with Different varieties of chilies: green chili, red chili, and/or white chili (green chili washed in hot water and sun-dried). There are so many variations to Ema Datshi, and people have their own personal preferences. Some like to have it cheesy with no soup, while others like to have it with soup. Some love to add ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, onion & stalk onion leeks. Some prefer it simple with only garlic, chilli and cheese. Some make it spicy while others prefer it mild. 

What will you need?

*1-2 per serving

* Substitute Jalapeños/ Bell Peppers for green

* Cheese Chilli best with some spice. If bell peppers are used, add few Jalapenos/ other Chilli to make spicy.

How to make Ema Datshi?

A quick and easy recipe that takes less 30 minutes to prepare. Very delicious and healthy and can be made as spicy or as mild as you like!

* Best served with Rice, Quinoa, Chapatti and Bread.

* Do not over cook. The Chilli Tastes the best when its eaten green.


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How to make Ema Datshi