Bhutanese Ema Datshi Recipe | National Food of Bhutan
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Bhutan’s most well-liked dish is termed Ema Datshi. Within the Bhutanese language, “Ema” is “chilli” and “datshi” is “cheese”.

This fiery stew of chilli and shaped cheese is this completely beloved among the Bhutanese that it’s gained cookery prominence as a popular Bhutan Food because of the National food of Bhutan.

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What is Ema Datshi?

As stated earlier Ema means Chilli and Datshi means Cheese is the tastiest combination you can ever have. And I’m sure enough you’ll love it.

Ema Datshi is one of the most popular and people’s beloved dish in Bhutan.

This Bhutanese food is made up of lots of green chillies or dry chillies. With a huge amount of farmer cheese or local cheese made from cow milk.

Video: See how to make Ema Datshi in Traditional Style

You can also see some people use a mixture of farmer cheese and other cheese like American cheese.

Other than chilli and cheese, tomatoes, onions, garlic, garlic leaves and onion leaves are used in the recipe.

Sometimes we even make dry Ema Datshi, i.e. without stew because some people don’t like curry style.

The choice is yours, for me, both taste the same. Nom! Nom!

But what’s its origin and the way did it become Bhutan’s National Food?

Before the unification of the country within the early 1600s, Bhutan was divided culturally and geographically into several distinct teams.

The tough piece of land may need given rise to varied freelance factions, however, there was one uniting thread that sure the country-Ema Datshi.

Bhutanese of all regional entities couldn’t live without this dish.

In alternative elements of the globe, chilli is employed as a spice, to feature a tang to a dish.

Chillies are not considered as a seasoning, but a true precious vegetable. it’s to be in each dish; Bhutanese people believe any meal without chilli pepper is an unworthy meal.

Also, Ema Datshi is the only dish that strikes our mind when we are over hungry.

Ema Datshi can be made with various chillies like green chilli, dry red chilli, dry white chilli. Among three, green and red chillies are time and again used to make Ema Datshi.

Huge quantity of green chillies is used in summer and Autumn season because it the peak season to grow our beloved chilli. Where dry chillies are used in off-seasons.

Ema Datshi in action

It is actually good for health. How?

Well, red chilli is good for the heart and maintains the cholesterol level of the body. As per the Rising Sun Chatsworth the health benefit of red chillies are infinite, like, it fights inflammation, also works as a natural pain reliever, helps in other cardiovascular benefits, boost the immune system and various other factors.

Also, if you are really suffering from low appetite, you should definitely try this dish. Trust me it is one of the best food appetizers and it also really helps in congestion as well.

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When we’re out of the country and then visit back, first and the foremost food we eat is Ema Datshi with rice. That’s how much we love the dish because in other countries their most of the cuisine is with less chilli or with no chilli.

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For Bhutanese people when they are born, they might not know who their neighbours are but they are fully aware of chillies. Haha!

Their journey with chillies begins from their bay age this is because it’s in their genes.

Each dish in the Bhutanese cooking constantly has abundant measures of chillies Bhutanese people eat Ema Datshi with anything most commonly plan rice, fried rice, roti, puri, bread even with drinks as a snack.

Enough of praising about Ema Datshi now lets straight dive to the recipe of the dish or you can directly watch it on our YouTube Channel.

Bhutanese Ema Datshi Recipe | National Food of Bhutan
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5 from 1 vote

Bhutanese Ema Datshi Recipe

Bhutan’s most well-liked dish is termed as Ema Datshi. Within the Bhutanese language, Ema is Chilli and Datshi is cheese. This fiery stew of chilli and cheese is completely beloved among the Bhutanese that it has gained cookery prominence because of the national food of the country.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bhutanese
Keyword: bhutan, bhutan food, bhutan national food, bhutanese food, chillies and cheese recipe, ema datshi, ema datshi recipe, how to make ema datshi
Servings: 2


  • 9-10 medium size Red Chillies
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 Tomato
  • 5-6 Garlic crushed/sliced
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 4-5 tbsp Cheese, grated (a combination of American cheese and Farmer cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Water to cook
  • 2-3 Spring Onion leaves (optional)
  • 2-3 Garlic leaves (optional)


  • First thing first, rinse the chillies, onion, tomato, spring leaves and garlic.
  • Cut the chillies in lengthwise, and tomato, onion, garlic and spring onion leaves into thin slices.
  • Now, put it all together into a skillet.
  • Add water, oil, salt and cheeses on top. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes on high flame.
  • Then turn off the flame and let them sit for 1-2 minutes without any touching.
  • Finally, give a thorough mix and check the salt. if less add and stir and serve with rice,roti/tortilla, puri and so on.


– Add cheese and chilli according to your taste.
  • If you are a spicy lover you could use more quantity chilli and vice versa.
– Also, keep a bottle of water with you while eating the dish. You’ll thank me later!

If you like the recipe, please don’t forget to share it along with your friends and if you have any suggestion or question regarding the recipe, please comment down below in the comment section.


  1. When all the ingredients arrived in the kitchen, it was my first idea to make this! 5 different kinds of peppers, some mild and sweet, some powerful hot; some green, some red, some yellow and orange. With coconut oil and just a touch of honey, I substituted ricotta cheese, (which is very similar to fresh farmer cheese) and grated parmasan at the end. Half-boiled a couple potatoes and yams, fried in coconut oil with fresh grated pepper to go to the side. A little bit sweet with the spicy is a nice combination, next time I will try a little bit thin sliced mango or pineapple.

    For people who might want to control the heat in the spicy, removing the seeds cuts the heat in half at least, less heat more flavor. My housemate does not usually eat spicy food and surprised me by falling in love with this wonderful dish! It was still WOW but you just can’t stop eating it! Now it is easy to taste why it is a national treasure. Thank you so much, we had a great experience because you are sharing this!


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