Ema Datshi is among the most famous dishes in Bhutanese cuisine, recognized as a national dish of Bhutan. It is made from chili peppers and cheese; "ema" means "chili" and "datshi" means "cheese" in the Dzongkha language of Bhutan. Different varieties of chilies may be used: green chili, red chili, and/or white chili, which may be dried or fresh. The chilies are called "Sha ema" *Chili from the East*
The cheese in Ema Datse is home-made from the milk of cows or yaks. In the process, the fat is removed from the milk to make butter, and the remaining milk without fat is used to make the cheese. After the cheese is made, a watery milk is left over, which is used as a soup that can be taken with rice. No part of the milk is wasted. Bhutan‘s cuisine can best be described in one word ‘hot’The Bhutanese passion for chilli is a source of national pride. The national dish, ema datshi, a dish of ema (chilli) cooked in datshi(cheese), is the undisputed favourite for all Bhutanese and a growing number of foreigners. It accompanies every traditional meal, sometimes being the only dish, eaten with steamed rice, the staple.
Bhutanese chillies are larger and generally milder than the small, sharp chillies found in many Asian markets. In fact the Bhutanese consider the chilli a vegetable, not a spice, and is cooked in bulk. Vegetables and meat are also cooked with chilli and cheese, like kewa (potato) datshi which is a favourite, especially among children, and shamu (mushroom) datshi. Bhutanese cooking is simple.
Ingredients for Ema datshi (chilli and cheese)