If you have visited Himachal Pradesh and not tried out their delectable cuisine, you’ve probably missed the best part of your trip to this Himalayan state. Every district of Himachal has its own flavours that make up a bounty as a cuisine with an array of dishes. Some of these dishes are prepared on festivals while others are born out of necessity.
Here are the top 10 dishes of Himachal Pradesh you can look forward to tasting on your next mountain trip. Check them out!
Dham is the major cuisine of Himachal Pradesh. Essentially a thali, dham consists of a number of dishes including at least 3 madras or curd induced rich lentils, raita made up of rai (brown mustard seed) and dry fruits, khatta made up of pumpkin or black chickpea, kadhi i.e. chickpea flour based curry, some Himachali vegetables like lingri (fiddlehead fern) and guchhi (morels) and of course, meetha chawal or sweet rice.
The traditional dish of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh is siddu and you can find them at most restaurants and dhabas while visiting the area. Siddu is made up of yeast induced kneaded flour and poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are grounded along with all the rich spices and a paste is made out of them. This paste serves as a filling for the kneaded dough. The preparation is then steamed for about 20-25 minutes and the final dish is served with ghee or pickle.
Bhey is made up of lotus stems. The stems are cut into pieces and boiled. They are then teamed up with a number of spices, garlic and onion. The preparation is stir fried and is quite a treat to the taste buds.
- Kachori or Babru
Yes, they are the same kachoris you get in most parts of northern India. Black gram daal is grounded and made into a paste by adding spices, green chilli and 1 tbsp of water. The paste is used as a filling inside rolled chapatis, only fatter than the normal ones to hold up the filling. They are then deep fried and served with chutney.
The famous rainbow trout is found in the waters of the rivers flowing in Himachal. At every non-vegetarian restaurant, you will find trout being served as a special delicacy. Trout is served to the guests in baked, fried and steamed versions. No wonder it forms a special order by celebrities at major restaurants of Himachal Pradesh.
Patande, also known as chillade, are just like pancakes. The only difference is that patande are flat like dosa while pancakes are fluffy. Patande can be served in two variations i.e. sweet and salty. Salty patande are eaten with pickle while tea teams up good with sweet patande.
- Sukha Meat
This dish is prepared mostly in the trans-himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh including Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur. Dried goat meat is preserved by the people here to face the harsh winters and not run out of food during those times. This meat is then cooked with gravy and served with white or red rice.
- Chha Gosht
Cooked in the gravy of gram flour, curd and spices, chha gosht is essentially a dish consisting of lamb. Marinated lamb is served with the above mentioned gravy and is consumed along with traditional red rice.
Different types of flour, including buckwheat flour, are cooked together to form pancakes. These pancakes are called Aktori. The dish is prepared by the people of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur as a part of their local festivities and is also exchanged among tribes.
Arbi leaves form the major ingredient in preparing patrode. These leaves are laced with a paste made up of corn flour, gram flour and spices. The leaves are then rolled up and cut into small pieces. The pieces are either deep fried or fried over a pan and served as a delicious snack.
Drooling already? Get your bags packed and hit the most sought after destinations of the world, not for the scenic beauty this time, but for the appetizing dishes served by wonderful hosts of the region.