Ema Datshi – Easy to Cook, Yummy to Eat!


The most sought after dish in Bhutan isn’t anything fancy or unique unlike in other faraway lands but simply a stew of hot peppers (chilies) and cottage cheese. Yes, you guessed it right. We are talking about the fiery ema datshi. To translate it, ema means chili and datshi means cheese. This easy-to-make yet mouth watering Bhutanese cuisine has gained so much fame in and outside Bhutan that one could boldly say it is the Himalayan Kingdom’s national dish.

 Little Bhutan shows you how to make it, without breaking a sweat. Ready? Here we go.

What you need are chilies, obviously. Any varieties of chilies may be used depending on your taste and liking. Below are the ingredients you will require:

– Green/red chilies: 300 grams
– Cottage cheese: one fist sized ball. (If it is slightly fermented, it tastes better)
– Cheddar Cheese: one slice (optional)
– Onion: one small piece
– Garlic: three pieces if big/ six pieces if small
– Butter: two tablespoons. You can also use vegetable oil in place of butter.
– Salt (to taste)


Slice the green chilies in two halves from tip to toe (you can remove the seeds if you don’t like it too hot). Then, shave the cottage cheese ball into shreds and cut the onion and garlic into long thin pieces.

That done, put all the ingredients together into a non stick pan and add salt to taste along with the butter or vegetable oil. Add approximately 220ml or one tea cup of water. Now, cook on medium flame for 8-10 minutes. Stir from time to time. Add the cheddar cheese slice when chilies are almost cooked.

Your ema datshi is ready to serve. Bon Appétit!

Ema Datshi
Ema Datshi


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