I wanted to end this week with the last of the Bhutanese recipes I'll be featuring here. The potatoes and the chili cheese casserole are two of the most popular dishes in Bhutan. I can attest to the fact that they are served every day, whether you are ready for them or not. The potatoes, called kewa datsi, are much like our scalloped potatoes but they are hotter because of the addition of red pepper.
Kewa Datsi - Bhutanese Potato and Cheese Curry
4 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of white cheese, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup of chopped red onions
1/2 cup finely chopped spring Onions
1-1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (vary amount according to your tolerance)
1) Heat a medium pot over medium - high heat. Add oil to hot pot, followed by the potatoes, onions and salt. Stir them well for a couple of minutes untill potatoes start to sweat.
2) Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
3) At the end of 7 minutes, remove cover and check potatoes, which should be almost cooked by now. Add chopped cheese to potatoes and mix well.
4) Add chili powder. Mix well again. If dish is too watery cook a bit longer.
5) Serve hot with a generous sprinkling of spring onions and serve with fresh bread or red rice. Yield: 4 servings.
The chili cheese dish, called ema datshi, is almost unbearably hot, and should be approached carefully by all who do not breathe fire. Both dishes are easy to make and I thought the adventurous among you might want to give them a try. Here is how they are made.
1/2 pound jalapeno chilies, sliced into 4 slices each
1 yellow onion, chopped
1-3/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 poundlb Danish feta cheese, cubed
3 leaves cilantro (optional)
Combine chilies, onion and water in pot and add the oil. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic and simmer for 3 more minutes. Add cheese, mix and simmer for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add cilantro if using, cover and let stand for a few more minutes before serving. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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