Originally a dish from Bhutan, this dish has also made it’s entry into the neighbouring areas . This is a dish popular amongst the Tibetans as well Usually made with a local cheese that is available in Bhutan, in our areas it is made using a Tibetan cheese called “Chhurpi”. It has a kinda crumbled cottage cheese look but it is usually a little sour and with age becomes more pungent in taste and smell both. Usually the older cheese is preferred by the hardcore people but I like mine fresher and milder 🙂 . I remember my Granny telling me that this particular cheese used to be enjoyed by the Bhutanese and Tibetans in the rotten form and sometimes infested with maggots, similar to the cheese Casu Marzu , I guess. Anyways we use chhurpi to make jhol, a thin runny curry to have with rice, or like sabji or even used to make achars, but the way I like it the most is this. Th amazing taste that the chillis and radish imparts is just amazing. I know getting hold of this cheese anywhere else is not possible , so if you ever happen to visit Bhutan or Darjeeling/ Kalimpong do give it a try, or if you happen to have a helpful friend fromaround that area request him/her to carry it for you but only in winters. And please trust me when I say the dish served as Ema Datshi/Datchi in most big cities is NOT anywhere close to the original taste, as what they use is regular Amul or Britannia cheese, so please do not go by that taste ever 😀 .
I was able to make this as my Mum lugs it along with various other local goodies during her annual winter visit. God bless her , as she refuses to travel by air just so that she can carry this for me 🙂 .
- 150-200 gms Chhurpi
- 1 large Brinjal, the long variety
- 4-5 Red Radish , the small round ones
- 3-4 or more Green Chillis, the large pickling variety
- 1 medium Potato
- 3-4 Tbs Ghee
- Salt to Taste
- Crumble the chhurpi and keep aside.
- Wash and cut the poatao and brinjal into medium size pieces, slice the radish in rounds and slit the green chillis.
- Place all the vegetables in a deep wok and add enough water to just cover all the vegetables, add salt and bring to boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer till the veggies are done.
- Now add the crumbled chhurpi to this and the ghee, don’t stir for about 3-4 minutes. After that gently stir and mix the chhurpi into the vegetables and let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and the consistency. I like it a bit soupy.
- Remove and serve hot with boiled rice or enjoy as it is .