Himachal Pradesh is a favourite of all tourists and travellers across the globe. Himachal Pradesh is located in the northern side of the Indian subcontinent and is a hill paradise that attracts tourists with its unending charm and glory. Himachal’s inherent fame flames out not only from its natural beauty but also its fascinating culinary delights. Himachal Pradesh presents to the world some tasteful and unique Pahari cuisines that can fill any food lover’s craving of good food. Thus, the dishes of Himachal is one more reason to fall in love with this unique mountain state of India nestled among the folds of mighty Himalayas. Himachali cuisine is locally known as Pahari cuisine. The Himachali dishes carry a unique flavour and taste on account of the ingredients added to it, specially yoghurt and cardamom. The method of slow cooking adds to the flavour and taste.
The special dishes of Himachal are mostly non-vegetarian and they are cooked with various kinds of lentils in them or a combination of both. The lentil dishes are also predominantly popular among Himachal cuisine lovers. Spices are used in all dishes in generous quantity and thus the fiery and spicy signature dishes of Himachal are definitely not for the faint hearted. The most common spices that are used are chillies, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and coriander. Each of these typical Indian spices lend a specific taste and flavour to the dishes. Himachal Pradesh sees a lot of tourists all through the year. Most tourists, whatever the place they belong to, enjoy the unique culinary delights. The people of Himachal Pradesh also include a lot of dairy products in their diet and some of the milk-based ingredients are added to the various dishes cooked to lend a typical tastes. Especially buttermilk, curd and ghee make the dishes creamy and mouth-watering. In most of the restaurants of Himachal Pradesh, tourists and travellers can taste authentic Himachali or Pahadi food at leisure, cooked with care. Here, we list down some delectable cuisines of Himachal that should be tasted when you visit Himachal Pradesh for holiday.
Let’s introduce you to the list of cuisine with a delectable sweet dish, Mittha. Mittha, as the name itself suggests, is a yummy and very popular local dessert of Himachal Pradesh. It is prepared by sweetening the rice. Also, a lot of dry fruits especially raisins are mixed with it for added taste and flavour.
Dham is a very popular dish of Himachal Pradesh and is a complete food replete with nutrients. The great taste does not let you remember its great food value or health quotient. No special occasion, celebrated in the state, is complete without the preparation of Dham. This dish is traditionally cooked by the priest class or the Brahmins of Chamba region. It is made from red kidney beans locally known as rajma, green lentils or moong daal and rice in curd. It is usually served along with mash daal, boor ki kari and a sauce prepared from tamarind and jaggery or gur that gives it a sweet and sour taste. Preparation of Dham marks all festivals and one must visit Himachal during festivities to taste the authentic flavour of dham.
Patande is a version of Indian Pancake. It is authentically from the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. First, a mixture is prepared by adding wheat flour, sugar and milk. Patande is also known as a flapjack and comprises delightful breakfast item greatly enjoyed by the local people of Himachal Pradesh.
Tudkiya Bhaath is a delicious Pahadi Pulao cooked in the authentic Pahadi style. It is a rice dish cooked with a variety of spices. Tudkiya Bhaath is a yummy and flavoured recipe with the perfect blend of a great number of spices. The dish is a result of commingling of lentils, potatoes and yoghurt in joyful combination of onion, tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom that gives this dish an unforgettable taste. For the best taste, Tudkiya Bhaath is eaten in combination with Mash Daal. A few drops of lime juice can greatly enhance its taste.
Chana Madra is akin to kadi and the main ingredient is chick pea. The two primary ingredients used for preparing this dish are chickpea flour and yoghurt. This dish is spicy and locally loved a lot. Madra means gravy. The spiced gravy of chick pea is based on onions, garlic, ginger and various assorted spices.
Kullu Trout, as the name suggests, originated from the Kullu valley and is prepared from freshwater trout fish. The freshly caught fishes are cooked in minimum of spices to preserve the nutrients and retain the actual taste of the fish. It is also coupled with a lot of boiled vegetables and hence forms a delightful and extremely healthy Himachal dish.
Babru is a delicious twist in a pahadi style to the very common north Indian stuffed Kachori. It is flat bread with a mouth-watering filling prepared from a paste of black gram. The filling is stuffed into the dough and rolled with a rolling pin and deep fried in oil. Babru is best enjoyed with tamarind Chutney and also is a worth complimentary dish to Chana Madra, which is another authentic Himachal dish.
Chha Gosth is a very popular non-vegetarian dish. It is a typical spicy delight original to Himachal Pradesh and a main course menu item. The cooking of Chha Gosht takes time and is a complicated process that involves marinating the tender lamb in a mixture of coriander powder, cardamom, red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste. The hot oil is initially flavoured with Asafoetida and bay leaves to which the marinated lamb mixture and the whole mixture is then slow cooked in low heat.
Mash dal is also known as kali dal as it is prepared from black lentils. The lentils are soaked overnight and then steamed in pressure cooker to soften them. The dish is then prepared by adding onions, garlic, spices and ginger in balanced amount.
Aktori spells joy and festivity as it is a typical Himachali cuisine that is prepared and enjoyed by the common people of Himachal Pradesh during their festive times. Aktori is typically a pancake which is prepared from buckwheat leaves. It is then cooked in the wheat flour. This dish is a signature cuisine of Lahaul and Spiti Valley, however, you see this dish being prepared and relished by the common people all over Himachal Pradesh.