Vegetarian Ema Datshi (Bhutan Chili Cheese Stew)

READY IN: 25mins
Recipe by Sharon123

The national dish of Bhutan, this stew of hot peppers and cheese is extremely unique. It is usually made with a type of Bhutanese farmer's cheese, which can be approximated in the West by using queso fresco or feta cheese. If you can't handle super spicy food, try using poblanos or Anaheim peppers in place of the hot peppers. This version is different than the other recipe of the same name on this site. From Vegetarian Cooking and Recipes. The Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by the Republic of India.

Top Review by Ja K.

I absolutely LOVE this recipe and it has become a staple. I've been making it once a week and freeze it for reheating in microwave. I prefer jalapenos, but have thrown in red bell peppers with good results. I've also used canned tomatoes. I've used half butter/half oil. I just picked up any kind of feta cheese and also tried blue cheese. (Feta is the best.) This is a surprisingly good, healthy, flavorful dish considering the ingredients. I usually miss having a chicken/beef broth base for flavor in vegetarian dishes, but this one is incredibly flavorful! It's easy to adjust the "heat" by saving a section of veins/seeds and adding it "to taste". Even my 90 year old "meat and potatoes" Mother is making this dish. I also tried it vegan and it is good.<br/><br/>I can't say enough about it. It is also easy to tweak. Easy, Healthy, Tasty! Best recipe I've found in years!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove seeds and ribs from chilis and cut chilis lengthwise into 1/2" slices.
  2. Place chilis and onion in water with vegetable oil. Boil 10 minutes. Add tomato and garlic and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add cheese and simmer on low for 2 more minutes - enough to blend the cheese without completely melting it. Add cilantro and stir.
  4. Serve with Bhutanese red rice or brown rice.

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