One of our customers was visiting from his native Bangladesh. We got into a conversation about chilies in Asia, and he introduced us to ema datse, the national dish of Bhutan. It’s a combination of chilies and cheese that is served with almost every meal in Bhutan. Very hot. Very flavorful. A little Internet searching revealed a number of recipes that range from the authentic to a flavorful approximation (via Global Table Adventure) to a chef’s interpretation inspired by a trip to Bhutan (via Bon Appetit) to the simple (via Edible Hawaiian).
In Bhutan, the chili if choice is the Sha Ema, not so common in the U.S. but seeds are available from Reimer Seeds in Saint Leonard, MD. The chilies are medium hot with heat of a few 10,000s of Scoville Heat Unit.
(credit: Reimer Seeds)
We’re going to try ema datse.
Chilies are starting to ripen and will be ready for eating soon!
P.S. One of our readers suggested a different recipe written by a Bhutanese living in Australia. Describes the farmer’s cheese that doesn’t melt in water but just softens. All of these recipes suggest a choice of authentic with good flavor versus not-so-authentic, but inspired-by, also with good flavor. So many choices with which to experiment.