Chili and Cheese Paste for Rice


One Taste

Published by Provecho Press

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In Bhutan this dish is called emma datsi (emma means “chili” and datsi means “cheese paste”). Bhutan has two types of dried chiles: red ones, which are fully ripened green chiles that have been dried in the sun, and white ones, which are picked green, boiled, and then dried in the sun. How much chile you use depends on your tolerance level. The Bhutanese can tolerate a lot of chilies-the hotter the better. The monks love to eat this dish over rice.

NotesMind Refresher: Create the intention for the right causes and conditions. When we are rushed, distracted, or in a bad mood, the food we prepare never tastes very good.




Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, garlicky, hot & spicy, salty, savory


  • 6-8 (60 g) fresh or dried chilis (Anaheim, jalapeño, or serrano), seeded to minimize hotness, if desired
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • 1½ cups (200 g) shredded melting cheese, such as Cantal, Monterey Jack, or fontina
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)


  1. Cut chilies in lengthwise strips.

  2. Place water and chilies in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 5 minutes or until chiles are soft.

  3. Stir in cheese, butter, garlic, and salt. Cook, covered, 2 minutes more.

  4. Remove from heat, stir in green onions, cover, and let sit a few minutes, until mixture develops a paste consistency.

  5. Serve over rice.


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