Roasted Vegetables Chilli Cheese Soup
(Vegetarian / Contains Dairy / Gluten-Free / Egg-Free / Spicy)
The ultimate experience in Bhutanese dining will always have to be at the home of a Bhutanese family, sharing a specially cooked traditional meal, complete with suja (butter tea) and ara (homemade alcoholic beverage). In the home of a tangka (Buddhist relics) artist, Kinzang, he showed me how to prepare a proper ema datshi, a chilli cheese stew made using local cottage cheese with green chillies. This is the de facto national dish of Bhutan, a staple of nearly every meal and found throughout the country. What’s interesting is every household has a different variation adding shamu (mushrooms), French beans, ferns, potatoes and even orchids when they are in season.
This was where I had my first taste of ezay too, a chopped dried red chilli salad mixed with red onions, coriander, cheese and thingey (peppercorns). We have made ours with an array of vegetables commonly eaten in Bhutan, including green chillies, cooked with cream cheese, feta cheese and cheddar cheese topped with ezay. Cheesy, spicy, tasty!
Ingredients: Roasted cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, white radish, oyster mushrooms, roasted pumpkin, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, cream cheese, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, green chillies, dried red chillies, leek, yellow lentils, chilli powder, garlic, onions, ginger, coriander, butter, salt and sugar.
Condiments: Chopped coriander and ezay* (chilli salad with feta cheese, red onions, coriander and thingey/peppercorns)