Ema Datschi (Peppers and Cheese) from Bhutan

Ema Datschi from Bhutan

Ema Datschi from Bhutan is a mixture of chili peppers and cheese that marks every single meal in Bhutan. This version is a delicious and easy recipe to make with ingredients from your local grocery store!

Of all foods in Bhutan, I think most Bhutanese would agree that Ema Datschi reigns supreme. Ema Datschi is a total staple in Bhutan. Not only is it served at most restaurants, it’s served at most meals. In every house, for almost every meal, Ema Datschi is a favorite. Even if it’s not a main dish in the meal, it’s almost always served as an appetizer.

A Vegetarian Meal

As you may know from my Bhutan Introduction, many of the Bhutanese are vegetarians. Bhutan is a Buddhist country, so killing of any kind is strictly forbidden. If any inhabitants of Bhutan ever want to eat meat, it needs to be imported to the country from India. For this reason, vegetarian recipes are very common in Bhutan, and this is a great one!

A bowl of ema datschi from bhutan

The Cheese Blend

Now, of course, this recipe is meant to be made with yak cheese. However, I wasn’t able to find yak cheese (are you sick of hearing this yet? I’ve said it for every Bhutanese recipe so far), so I made my own cheese blend to add to my Ema Datschi. I found that a mix of feta, farmer’s cheese, and sharp cheddar was the perfect blend for this recipe. Of course, if you have access to yak cheese, that would be the most authentic way to make this recipe.

Ema Datschi

Variations of Ema Datschi

All recipes for Ema Datschi are a little different from one another. Some are more watery or soupy, some seem more like peppers smothered in melted cheese. This is a great mix in the middle, though the cheese doesn’t completely melt into the water. Farmer’s cheese tends to not melt into water, so the mixture ends up being more watery. I love it that way!

If you loved this recipe, make sure to post a picture of it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. You can also leave a comment on this post! Also make sure to check out this recipe for Pigeon Peas and Rice from The Bahamas and this Mangal (Roasted Vegetable) Salad from Azerbaijan.

Ema Datschi (Bhutan)

Ema Datschi from Bhutan is a mixture of chili peppers and cheese that marks every single meal in Bhutan. This version is a delicious and easy recipe to make with ingredients from your local grocery store!

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Bhutan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1 poblano pepper cut into thin strips
  • 2 jalapenos cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 sweet onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 4 oz farmers cheese
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Wash the chili peppers, remove the seeds, and cut them into very thin, horizontal strips (about 1/4 of an inch thick). Wash the tomato, cut in half, and the cut into thin, half-moon slices.

  2. Set a pan on the stove and fill it with ½ cup of water. Now add all of the chopped peppers, chopped garlic, sliced onion, salt, and butter into the pan.
  3. Cover the pot and boil it on low flame for about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese and allow it to melt.
  5. Enjoy plain in a bowl or served over red rice.


How to Make Butter Tea from Bhutan

Bhutanese Butter Tea

Butter Tea is a popular drink in Bhutan made from mixing black tea with cream and butter. Perfect for keeping warm on a cold day, Butter Tea is a unique and delicious treat!

Listen guys, it can get pretty cold in Bhutan. In January, the average temperature ranges from 40 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to 20. (Okay, admittedly, for a Michigander that has survived negative 30 degree windchill, this seems like child’s play. But maybe some of you Californians or Floridians or Ethiopians will be amazed by the fact that people can survive months of life at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Though to be fair, the average low in Michigan in the winter is also 20 degrees, so the Bhutanese probably have to survive much worse, just like we do here.)

When it’s cold, the object of life is to stay warm. To feel comforted. To feel cozy. ENTER: Butter Tea.

What is Butter Tea?

Butter tea is a warm tea drink flavored with Himalayan salt, a bit of cream, and butter. When it’s cold outside, the Bhutanese will mix up this drink. It provides a lot of natural fats that allows them to stay warmer in those cold Himalayan mountains. This is the kind of drink that you can feel flow through your veins when you take a sip. You can feel every inch of your body as it warms you, starting from your mouth and flowing to every last one of your fingertips and toes.

The Bhutanese normally enjoy Butter Tea as an after-dinner drink. Some tend to think of it as a broth or a soup instead of a tea, probably because the drink gets some of its flavor from Himalayan salt.

Making Authentic Bhutanese Butter Tea

If I was a true world traveler, I would make sure to head to Bhutan to get a real cup of Butter Tea, because, despite my best efforts, there’s almost no way that I can make it here. If I was in Bhutan, the cream in this recipe would be replaced by, you guessed it, yak milk. I would go outside and grab my domesticated yak and take some of its fresh cream. I’d churn that cream into butter and give it some time to ferment. Then I’d take out my bags made of sheep stomach and stitch the butter inside and then wrap that bag in yak skin.

I’d give it some time to reach maturity and then I’d remove the fermented yak cheese and use this in my Butter Tea instead. Or… maybe I’d have someone else do all of that for me. But, again, no yaks here in Michigan, so some Kroger-bought cream will have to do.

Perfect for the Coldest Day of the Year

This probably isn’t the type of drink I’d drink every single day like they do in Bhutan. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. This recipe is one that I would save for those moments when I am chilled to the bone. When I come in from a night of skiing and my body can’t warm up… when I’ve spent all morning shoveling 2 feet of fresh snow… the days that a plain ‘ole hot chocolate just won’t do the trick… those are the days that I’d come into my kitchen and whip up a quick batch of Butter Tea, close my eyes, and feel the warmness all around.

Did you like this Butter Tea recipe from Bhutan? If you did, make sure to check out my other favorite drink recipes on the blog: Cinnamon Tea from Armenia and Bahama Mamas from The Bahamas. If you made this recipe, share a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram with the #TheForeignFork or tag @TheForeignFork. And leave a comment to let me know what you thought!

Butter Tea (Bhutan)

Course Drinks
Cuisine Bhutan
Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • cup half and half

Instructions

  1. Bring the four cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you’d like your tea.
  2. Remove the tea bags from the water and pour the water into a blender.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender as well. Allow the butter to melt from the heat of the water before blending.

  4. Blend the drink together for about 2-3 minutes. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

  5. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you thought of your Butter Tea!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Gondo Datschi: Eggs with Goat Cheese and Herbs

Gondo-Datschi with Herbs and Bread

Gondo Datschi is a classic Bhutanese recipe made by scrambling eggs with goat cheese, butter, and herbs. It is best served with a big slice of toasted, crusty bread!

I love me a good egg recipe, but sometimes, when I make the same old thing every day, it bores me. I love scrambled eggs, but scrambled eggs with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and cheese mixed in becomes a bit tiresome upon repetition. Ya feel? Well I’m glad to share this Gondo Datschi recipe with you today, because it brings a whole new life to scrambled eggs!

Yak Cheese (…?)

I’ll start off by saying this… Yak cheese is a hugely popular ingredient in Bhutan, and, quite unfortunately, I don’t live in a location with an abundant access to yaks. If there’s cheese in my recipe, it should be yak cheese. But yak cheese is hard to find in Rochester and expensive to import, so I got a bit creative. Goat cheese is a delicious substitute, if I do say so myself. For some information on yak cheese, click here.

Horizontal Gondo Datschi

What Makes This Gondo Datschi Recipe Special?

The texture of the eggs tastes unlike any scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten. You crack the eggs into water and combine them with butter and cheese, so the curds turn out a lot smaller than your run-of-the-mill scrambled eggs. The eggs are whisked continuously, so the texture is more grainy that chunky. I LOVE IT. Plus, herb-filled anything is a plus for me. I love the dill flavor in the recipe. The best thing, too, is that you can edit the recipe to fit your flavor profile. If you like more dill (like my Aunt Jeanie), add more dill! If you like less dill (like myself), add less dill! Easy peasy!

Pinterest Graphic Scrambled Cheese with Goat Cheese and Herbs

How to Serve Your Gondo Datschi

I like my Gondo Datschi served best with a big piece of crusty bread. Isn’t that how eggs are meant to be eaten all the time?

Did you like this breakfast recipe? If so, make sure to also check out my recipe for Pomidor-Yumurta (Eggs with Tomatoes) from Azerbaijan or my recipe for Kaiserschmarrn (Shredded Pancakes) from Austria. If you make this recipe and love it, make sure to share a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork. And, always, leave a comment about what you think!

Gondo-Datschi with Herbs and Bread
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Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Herbs (Gondo Datschi from Bhutan)

Gondo Datschi is a classic Bhutanese recipe made by scrambling eggs with goat cheese, butter, and herbs. It is best served with a big slice of toasted, crusty bread!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Bhutan
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 4 oz Goat cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tbsp Fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp Fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp Fresh oregano

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, boil the water on the stove.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add butter and allow to melt..
  3. Add cheese and whisk.
  4. Crack in eggs. Add salt and cayenne pepper .
  5. Whisk eggs fairly continuously for about 10 minutes, until they start to scramble.
  6. Once the eggs are almost completely scrambled, add the finely chopped herbs.
  7. Cook for about another 15 minutes, until the eggs reach your desired doneness.
  8. Serve with a toasted piece of crusty bread and enjoy!
  9. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.