Ema Datshi


Bhutan's national dish is spicy, cheesy, and popular for a reason



Chili is spread worldwide and is one of the basic foods used to add a spicy kick to our dishes. In this way, in addition to enjoying the spiciness, we also have the opportunity to get to know different cultures through the special chili dishes. If you have spicy cravings, I will show you a great dish you can prepare yourself. Let me introduce you to Bhutanese Ema Datshi, a recipe provided to us by Pendhay, which means Hot chili peppers and cheese.

This is the national dish of Bhutan, and chili is a big part of the country’s culture. Along with the delightful taste, this dish’s simplicity and speed of preparation are great. Also, with the help of the different types of chili that you can use, you can get a completely different result. That way, depending on your spicy tolerance, you can get a mild to highly spicy Bhutanese Ema Datshi.

It will take you less than half an hour to prepare Bhutanese Ema Datshi. This recipe requires 5 jalapeño peppers, and if you thought that was a lot, you also need two more green chili peppers! I warned you about the spicy kick! Also, you need vegetables such as onions, garlic, and tomatoes, which will also contribute to the beautiful color of this dish. Finally, you need a cheese that melts nicely for the recipe to be complete. I used Amul Cheese, but you can use any type of creamy cheese you find. Everything is stirred and fried, and you get a homogeneous mixture that will enchant you with its taste.

According to Pendhay, Bhutanese Ema Datshi must be served with rice. Or, as he says, the dish without rice is a crime. I was afraid of the hot flavor because of the large number of chili peppers I used for this recipe. But after trying it, I realized that it is not only not too spicy but also absolutely delicious due to the combination of peppers and cheese. Finally, I may have found my new favorite recipe, so I encourage you to try it, too!

If you liked Bhutanese Ema Datshi, check out my other blogs for more interesting recipes.

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  • 220 g jalapeños quartered
  • 6 g green chilis slit
  • 70 g onions sliced
  • 15 g garlic roughly chopped
  • 50 g tomatoes diced
  • 75 g amul (or other processed) cheese grated
  • 15 g butter
  • 7 g vegetable oil
  • 5 g salt
  • 250 g water
  • rice for serving
  • plain yogurt for serving


  • Remove the stalks off the chili peppers and cut them in quarters lengthwise. Also slit the green chillies, slice the onions, roughly chop the garlic, and dice the tomatoes.
  • Add all these ingredients to the pan along with the salt, oil, and 250 g water.
  • Turn on the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Allow everything to boil on medium heat for 15 minutes until the peppers have softened.
  • Turn off the heat and add the butter and grated cheese. Killing the heat before adding cheese will prevent it from curdling. Stir these in until the cheese has melted.
  • Check for salt, which will vary depending on how salty your cheese is. Serve hot with rice and yogurt if needed to combat heat.


Recipe inspired by Bong Eats
Course: Dinner
Region: Asia
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: Comfort food


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