Friday, January 3, 2014

More cheese please!

Bhutanese frequently use cheese in their cooking, particularly vegetable dishes. However many households are now more likely to use imported processed Indian cheese to cook with then the traditional Bhutanese datsi. Datshi is made from buttermilk and frequently described as cottage cheese, except a lot of the moisture you expect in cottage cheese is squeezed out as the cheese compressed into palm-sized white balls. Datsi is still available but quality varies widely. We are loath to eat it fresh unless it made by my aunt who still has her own cows and still make her own cheese.  

One quick and easy datshi dish we ONLY make with our aunt cheese, is fried datshi. Its a go-to-dish in our household when a meat-eater unexpectedly shows up for a dinner that is mostly vegetarian.

Recently Sonny and my cousin Bones who is currently living with us, let me photograph the process of making some emergency fried datshi.

The first step is crush the ball of datshi. You can either use a ladle to do the crushing like my cousin Bones or just use your hand like Sonny on the right.

The next step is optional, which is to finely chop some green chili. Bones removed the seeds to bring the heat down a little bit

The you want to melt butter in a deep frying pan to which you first add some beaten eggs. Then you add the broken up cheese.....

... and shortly after that the chopped green chili which gives the mixture a nice pop of green.

The mixture has to be stirred more or less continuously until it becomes a large sticky mass.  To serve you cut pieces off of it much as you would if you were sharing an omelet. 

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I've been wanting to know how to make this for ages - it was one of my first Bhutanese homecooked meals - given to us by the first people in the village who invited us for dinner. It was so delicious, and we raved about it so much that next time we went over for a cup of tea, they insisted on making it again for us! Shim-me!