This chilli scrambled eggs recipe is going to become your new favourite. Chilli peppers, cheese and butter are cooked with eggs to create this indulgent, spicy sensation, inspired by the flavours of Bhutan.
Cooking a Bhutanese-inspired cheese + chilli scrambled eggs
Of all the countries I’ve cooked from so far, Bhutanese cuisine has been the most pleasantly surprising. As I researched into the cuisine, I was thrilled to discover a myriad of exciting flavours and ingredients used in Bhutanese dishes.
This Bhutanese-inspired chilli scrambled egg recipe is one of my FAVOURITE breakfasts I’ve ever made. I am very excited to share it with you today!
The History of Bhutanese Cuisine
Bhutan is a land-locked country in southeast Asia, tucked away in the Himalayan mountains between Tibet, China and Nepal. Bhutan is one of the few countries that throughout history to not be heavily influenced by external factors. As a result, it has managed to keep its own very distinct cuisine.
Bhutan is also the last standing Buddhist kingdom and has a population of just 750,000. It has also been named the happiest country in the world.
I think I have discovered the secret to Bhutan’s happiness. Almost every Bhutanese meal includes cheese. And as we all know, cheese is the key to happiness. Another day, another mystery solved.
Key Ingredients in Bhutanese Cuisine: Cheese + Chilli
Two of Bhutan’s most common ingredients are chilli peppers and cheese. Cheese is called ‘datshi’ in Bhutanese, and chilli is ’ema’. Take a look at the list below and you’ll see that these two ingredients features in almost every Bhutanese dish!
Traditional Bhutanese Dishes featuring Cheese/ Chilli
- Ema datshi– Bhutan’s most famous dish and a staple of the diet. This stew is made of a variety of chillies, cheese, onions and tomatoes. It is generally served with red rice.
- Samu datshi– Similar to ema datshi, this is another deliciously rich dish consisting of Himalayan mushrooms cooked in a cheesy, buttery stew.
- Gondo datshi- The ultimate hearty scrambled eggs dish consisting of eggs cooked in cheese, lots of butter and dried chilli for seasoning.
- Momos– Momos are one of the most common street food snacks you’ll find in Bhutan. Dumplings come steamed or deep fried with various fillings such as cheese or vegetables.
- Ezay– A Bhutanese chilli sauce that is commonly served with momos.
- Hoentay- Dumplings made with buckwheat dough wrapper, filled with a combination of spinach or turnip leaves and cheese.
- Goen Hogey– A Bhutanese salad consisting of sliced cucumber, chili flakes, tomato, cilantro, onions and a crumble of datshi cheese.
Making scrambled eggs with chilli
Today’s scrambled egg recipe is inspired by Bhutan’s two hero ingredients, chilli and cheese. These two ingredients are fantastic in their own right. Paired together, they elevated each other to a whole new level!
These chilli scrambled eggs are a combination of two of Bhutan’s most famous dishes- ema datshi and gondo datshi. Ema Datshi is a stew made of chillies, cheese, onions and tomatoes. Gondo datshi is a spicy scrambled egg dish made with cheese, butter and dried chilli for seasoning.
The result was magnificent.
Safe to say this is my new favourite scrambled egg recipe (with my Halloumi Scrambled Eggs with Zucchini a close second!) These chili scrambled eggs are rich, creamy, and packed with a punch of spice. What more could you possibly ask for in an egg dish?
How to make chilli scrambled eggs
These scrambled eggs with chilli and cheese take a little longer to come together than regular scrambled eggs. However, once you taste the dish, you’ll see that it was well worth the effort!
Make Chilli Cheese Mixture (Ema Datshi)
1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan with a lid over medium heat. Add sliced onion, tomato, chillies and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes.
2. Now, add in 1 cup of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until chillies are tender. Turn off heat, sprinkle in cheese and allow to melt.
Make Chili Scrambled Eggs (Gondo Datshi)
3. Whisk together eggs, milk and chilli flakes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoons of butter in another pan over medium heat. Once melted, tip beaten eggs into the pan and sprinkle in feta. Gently move eggs around the pan for a few minutes to scramble.
4. Take off heat and serve scrambled eggs, topping with chilli cheese mixture. See below for serving suggestions!
Ingredient notes for chilli scrambled eggs
Cheese- Traditionally, the ‘datshi’ or cheese used in these dishes is a special Bhutanese cheese made of yak, cow or goat milk. Without being able to get hold of such a cheese variety, I used aged cheddar cheese and feta cheese. You can subsitute these for a combination of whatever sharp and soft cheese you have on hand.
Chillies– Bhutanese dishes use a wide variety of chillies in different colours, shapes and sizes. For this recipe, I used a combination of green chillies and dried red chilli. Again, you can use whatever chillis you have on hand.
Serving suggestions for chilli scrambled eggs
We served our Bhutanese-inspired chilli scrambled eggs on top of sourdough bread. However, if you want to go for a more traditional Bhutanese dish, both ema datshi and gondo datshi would typically be served with a bowl of red rice.
Chilli cheese mixture:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 4 chilli peppers, slit down the middle
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese (or other sharp cheese)
Scrambled egg mixture:
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tbsp full-fat milk
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (or other soft cheese)
Make the chilli cheese mixture:
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan with a lid over medium heat. Add sliced onion, tomato, chillies and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add in 1 cup of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until chillies are tender. Turn off heat, sprinkle in cheese and allow to melt.
Make the scrambled egg mixture:
- Whisk together eggs, milk and chilli flakes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 tablespoons of butter in another pan over medium heat. Once melted, tip beaten eggs into the pan and sprinkle in feta. Gently move eggs around the pan for a few minutes to scramble.
- Take off heat and serve on top of sourdough bread (or red rice), topping with chilli cheese mixture.