Himachal Pradesh is one of the three mountain states with varied geography in India. Also known as Veer Bhoomi (the land of the brave), it has an extreme landscape with multiple peaks and rivers that reflects beauty at its best. Apart from the culture and picture-worthy landscape, the food of this hill state makes it popular. In this article, we have listed some of the traditional foods of Himachal Pradesh for you to try!
Do you know what makes its cuisine unique compared to other cuisines? Well, the famous foods of Himachal Pradesh are cooked on slow flame with excess use of yogurt and cardamom. So, the food is filled with aroma and intense flavors that are a delight to eat between gorgeous mountains.
Alongside, nearby Punjab and Tibetan cuisine influence the Traditional Food of Himachal Pradesh. However, the cuisine in the northern states of India is primarily vegetarian. In contrast, Himachal Pradesh’s food is more non-vegetarian in comparison to it.
Here are the 6 Must-have Traditional foods of Himachal Pradesh that will leave you asking for more:
There can be nothing more enjoyable than Dhaam to begin the list. ‘Thali’ is a famous complete meal served on a plate famous throughout India, particularly in the North. So, Dhaam is a kind of Thali that is a traditional food from Himachal Pradesh with different dishes served together.
But, one aspect that makes it unique compared to other thali’s is that usually no or minimal vegetables are used in preparing it. The different kinds of dishes served are either made from lentils or dairy products.
Dhaam includes spicy curry of red kidney beans, fried dal, aromatic rice, boor ki kadi, curd, sweets, salad, and little jaggery. This complete meal is an integral part of the local festivals, marriages, events, etc.
One tasty, nutritious, and unique dish is Siddu. It is made with simple and local ingredients. Despite this, it has a unique taste that will not fail to delight you. It is a kind of light golden-brown bread. Siddu is a soft, fluffy, and slightly crunchy local bun with different fillings that is a typical snack in the state.
The bread dough is prepared with wheat flour, yeast, and spices. However, it is not baked or fried like a regular bun. Siddu is cooked by placing it directly on the flame and roasting it for a few minutes. Given this cooking technique, the nutrients of the bun are kept intact, making it a favorite treat.
3. Tudkiya Bhath
At the beginning of this article, we told you that the local dishes of Himachal Pradesh are prepared on slow flame. One such dish is Tudkiya bhath, which is slow-cooked rice. It is a kind of mix between Pulao and Khichdi, both of which are popular north Indian dishes.
Tudkiya Bhath is made with soaked rice, masoor dal, and yogurt. Also, multiple spices are added to it to give a solid and aromatic flavor. Some are Dagad Phool or Kalpaasi (black stone), mace, and star anise. These spices are an essential ingredient used in this traditional Pahari cuisine. In addition, onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, clarified butter, etc are added.
Another unique delicacy from the state is bhey. This traditional dish is made with thinly sliced lotus stems cooked with ginger, garlic, gram flour, onion, and flavourful spices. It is a quick recipe enjoyed with chapati, rice, or parathas, making it a part of people’s regular diet.
Bhey has a crunchy texture, and many locals add their personal touch to it, like some adding potatoes, yogurt, or other vegetables. You will find it across all places in Himachal Pradesh.
5. Kullu Trout Fish
If you are a fish or non-veg lover, you must try Kullu Trout Fish. It is an easy-to-make fish recipe where it’s marinated and cooked with little spices. Locals prepare it with fewer spices to preserve the natural taste that makes it unique.
The fish is pan-fried with mustard oil on it. Plus, it’s garnished with a particular little lemon and onion sauce that adds flavor. Mostly, it’s served with boiled vegetables to make it healthy or with rice in most households.
The best way to end this list is with a sweet dish, and nothing can be better than Mittha for it. Mittha is sweet saffron rice that is a popular Pahari dish to try. On the layer of rice, fried raisins and cashew nuts are added. It is topped with sugar and saffron milk, giving it a rich, soft, and slightly crunchy texture.
The unique sweet dish is made to celebrate important occasions, festivals, and gatherings. You can quickly try it at any local restaurant or eatery. It gets a beautiful yellowish or orangish color due to the saffron that makes it a favorite dessert after meals in the hill state.
The state of Himachal Pradesh is a treasure, and its traditional food is one of its most significant gems. These famous traditional dishes with local flavorful spices, vegetables, and lentils cooked on a slow flame give you an authentic Pahari taste. We are sure that enjoying these dishes will form some of the most important memories in your life.
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