Besides being a land of breathtaking natural beauty and stunning locales, Himachal Pradesh endevours to make an impression and connection with travellers through its scrumptious cuisine. The Himachali cuisine is a wonderful blend of different Pahadi food that offer a delightful gastronomical experience. Each valley in Himachal has something important to contribute to the flavour and presentation of the state’s cuisine, it in fact beckons the weather conditions, traditions, history and availability of resources. So, for a cultural aficionado, no trip in Himachal Pradesh can be reckoned complete without tasting the local dishes.
The unique aroma and flavour of Himachali cuisine is due to it being cooked on a slow flame and the heavy use of yoghurt and cardamom in its dishes. The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh is also significantly influenced by the cuisines of Punjab and Tibet, especially in its northern regions. Chickpeas play a very important role in the Himachali cuisine. One of the most popular dishes of this state is the Madra, a delicacy comprised of soaked chickpeas and/or vegetables and cooked in spices such as cloves, cardamoms, turmeric etc. It is usually served with the sour but yummy Kaale Channe Ka Khatta. With its high use of red meat and trout fish, Himachali cuisine is also a non-vegetarian’s paradise.
The cuisine of the state is renowned for its high nutrient content and the Dhaam is its best example. A plate full of rice, rajma, curd, boor ki kadi and jaggery, the Dhaam is commonly served in festivals. A trip to Himachal is incomplete without feasting on the Tudkiya Bhath, the authentic pulao of this state.
The special feature of this dish is that it contains an extra dose of lentils, curd and potatoes along with numerous spices. If you are in the Lahul-Spiti region, don’t forget to try the Aktori, a pancake type dish made with buckwheat leaves and wheat flour. Get the taste of Tibet on your tongue with the many Tibetan delicacies like Momos, Thukpa and Meatballs offered in the upper parts of the state. Some popular snacks of Himachal satiating the hunger pangs are Bhey, a dish prepared from lotus stems and the Sidu, a dish made from wheat flour. As a dessert, Mitha, a sweet dish made of sweetened rice mixed with raisins and dry fruits is mostly served in Himachal.