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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ema Datsi from Druk Yul

Ema Datsi Bhutan national dish recipe

D managed to sneak in a short break from his work in India and take a cultural tour of Druk Yul: Land of the Thunder Dragon aka Bhutan.

While he has offered to do a guest post about his experiences there one of these days, I am not holding my breath, considering the 10,000 things he has lined up that are much higher priority for him, so I took the liberty of summarizing his trip just so I can experience everything as I narrate, albeit second-hand :)

Knowing my eagerness for experimenting and my unbridled passion for World Cuisine, he usually comes back from trips with cookbooks loaded with local flavors.

traditional bhutanese datshi  ema cooking nepalese recipes

The Bhutan trip was no exception: A Nepalese cookbook, plus a Traditional Bhutanese cookbook with samples from the various regions were the best souvenirs he could have brought back for me. I am excited to try out a few of the recipes, now that he has actually tasted them and can tell me if it gets close to what he had.

ema datsi bhutan recipe chillies n ceese sauce

Ema Datsi was his first suggestion. Ema Datsi is a national dish in Bhutan usually served with red rice.

Simply put, Ema Datsi is boiled chilies in cheese sauce.

D can handle insanely hot foods so I could easily believe that he relished it. Since neither the Bhutanese home-style cottage cheese nor the the meaty hot chillies is easily available here, I approximated the taste drawing from suggestions found on the web.

D's resounding "Pretty darn close to what I had" between mouthfuls seemed like this is going on the Make-Often-for-D list, as it was too hot for me to handle :)

Ema Datsi Bhutan national dish chillies in cheese sauce recipe

8-10 jalapeño peppers, red and green, sliced lengthwise
4-6 wax peppers sliced lengthwise (optional)
¼ medium yellow onion sliced thin
1 cup water

Cheese sauce:
Equal parts of the following to make 2 cups of grated cheese:
Queso Quesadilla Jalapeño
Colby Monterey Jack
Part-skim Mozzarella
¼ cup crumbled feta
2-4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
4 Tbsp whole milk

  1. Seed the chilies if preferred to cut back on the heat, or use Anaheim or other varieties that are large and meaty but not as hot
  2. Combine the cheeses and milk stir well and keep handy
  3. Combine the chillies, onion and water and bring to a boil till chillies are cooked, but not mushy, and the water is reduced to about a quarter cup
  4. Add the cheese mixture, stir well, reduce the heat and allow the cheese to melt in the heat and mingle well with the chillies, turn off heat
  5. Add salt to taste if preferred - the salt from the cheeses, especially feta was just perfect for us
  6. Add a bit more crumbled feta if preferred for texture/flavor
  7. Serve with jasmine rice, if red rice is not available

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  • At 5:41 AM, Blogger Shwetha said…

    Dear Sheela,

    I've been a regular visitor of your blog for 2 years now. And I'm constantly amazed at how easily you churn out recipes that I've never heard of before. Makes a very interesting read!
    Pictures look delish!
    I finally dropped a line as now I have a blog as well.
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes. I'm going to be trying out the injera from your recipe collection but don't have any teff flour on hand. Any substitute suggestions?

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Dear Shweta, so glad you took the time to drop me a note here!

    As far as injeras go, i've tried with other flours like buckwheat, rye+spelt, even just all purpose flour.. and they all came out good with their own unique flavors...

    Feel free to email me anytime.



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