Bhutanese food is famed for its use of chilies in their cuisine. In fact, chilies over there are eaten as vegetables and not just as a spice ingredient.
They say there that the Bhutanese love their chilies. The spicier they are, the better.
I had traveled to Bhutan a couple of weeks back and we feasted a bit on the local dishes there. We were told that our food had the toned down version their use of spicier chillies for the fear that we possibly couldn’t handle them as per their eating standards. Well, even then, they did have a bit of that hot punch.
I requested the chef of Hotel Tashi Namgay in Paro in which we were staying to teach me some local Bhutanese dishes and he graciously obliged by teaching me a couple of their traditional dishes.
The first dish I learnt making was Kewa Datshi – which translates as Potatoes and Cheese. “Kewa” is potatoes and “Datshi” is Cheese. There are quite a few other Datshi variants which I will explore in further posts. These are mainly accompaniments to main dishes of rice and vegetables.
Chef Bikram Rai who taught me this dish also was kind enough to let me shoot a video of him making it and agreed to let me share it on this post here. So, while I did get to explore a bit of my video skills here, I might have made a few errors. So, forgive those minor flaws you might notice in the shots…It was my first attempt at this after all J
BHUTANESE KEWA DATSHI
Potatoes – 2 cups – cut into wedges
Fresh Red Chillies – 4-5 nos cut into slivers
Butter / oil – 2 tablespoons
Salt – ½ teaspoon for boiling potatoes
Water – 2 -3 cups
Cheese – ½ cup grated / crumbled [While Bhutanese use their local cheese, I was told processed cheese works fine as an alternative..I think halloumi would be a good option too]
Spring Onion greens / Onion chives: For garnish
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the potato wedges.
- Add in the water.
- Next, add in the chillies and let it all come to a boil until the potatoes are al-dente. Should take about 15-17 minutes.
- Add in the cheese now and stir well to bring it all together.
- The cheese will melt now. Immediately transfer to the serving bowl.
- Garnish with the onion greens and serve hot.