The Unforgettable Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is not just a breathtakingly beautiful place, but it also offers travellers the mouthwatering pahari cuisine, that you are sure to fall in love with. After all the adventure and sightseeing of a typical day in the mountains, you will love to come home to steaming hot preparations of spicy lentils cooked in curd, or subzis and various meat dishes cooked in spices, and served with traditional wheat rotis, naans and rice. This cuisine is influenced a lot by Punjabi and Tibetan styles of cooking.
Vegetables are not that easily available in this cold and hilly region, making non vegetarian food a staple part of the diet. Spices like chilies, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, pepper, turmeric give the food its distinctive spicy taste, while the gravies are cooked in dairy products like yogurt, buttermilk and ghee.
Dham is a special meal served during festivals. This is an elaborate meal whose highlights include a preparation of rice, green lentil and red kidney beans cooked in yogurt. Along with this, there’s boor ki kari, palda, khatta and maa ki daal. Dessert consists of meetha bhaat, which is a local specialty that’s prepared with sweetened rice mixed with a generous amount of raisins and other dry fruits. Kheer, made with rice, milk and sugar is also served during the dhaam.
Sidu and Patande are made from wheat flour and savoured with butter or ghee and local subzi. Grains like millet, buckwheat and barley are used to make bread or rotis that are served with the rich, spicy gravies. Sidu is a very popular dish stuffed with poppy seeds, mutton and sometimes with sweets. These dumplings are steamed and served hot with ghee.
Chana Madra is made with white chickpeas, and cooked in a gravy of yogurt and chickpea flour, and seasoned with various spices, garlic, ginger, and onions.
Babru is a bit like kachori. They are stuffed with black gram paste, deep fried till crisp, and then served with tamarind chutney.
Other dishes include Kadoo ka Khatta, a spicy and tangy pumpkin gravy, Kali Daal served with roti or naan and butter or ghee, Tudkiya Bhath, a pulao made with rice and lentils, onions, potatoes, yogurt and spices, Bhey which is a spicy lotus stem preparation, and Akotri, a cake prepared from buckwheat leaves and wheat flour.
Some popular non-vegetarian dishes include Kullu Trout, a fish delicacy made with marinated trout, fried in mustard oil and spices, and Chha Gosht made with marinated lamb meat cooked in a gravy of gram flour, yoghurt and spices.
Finally, when you visit this place, you should never miss sampling the varieties of tea, that Himachal is very well known for.