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Exotic Travel Close to Home

alec vanderboom

The Smithsonian Folk Life Festival brought a close peep into the reclusive country of Bhutan. Here's the National Dish which Jon and I found highly addictive.

Ema Datse (Chillies in Cheese Sauce)

This traditional Bhutanese dish comprises large green (medium hot) chilies, prepared as a vegetable, not as a seasoning, in a cheese sauce. Warning – this dish is hot! You can make it milder by choosing a milder chili.

2 cups large green chilies (medium hot)
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup of cheese (Feta or Farmer's cheese)
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup of water

Cut each chili lengthwise and combine with the chopped onions in a pot with the water, oil, and garlic, and boil for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and boil for 2 minutes. Add the cheese and simmer for another 2 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes and serve with rice. (Preferably Bhutanese red rice, which is available in some markets and can be ordered online at places such as Lotus Food.)