Cuisine in Uttarakhand

The cuisine of Uttarakhand is similar to its people, simple yet incredible. The two distinct regions, Kumaon and Garhwal offer palates of flavoursome dishes that are high on nutrition as well. The cuisine of the state is meticulously chosen to not only offer delight the taste buds but also to make most of the resources available. Where great care is taken to include all the necessary elements to keep one well-prepared for the tough climate and trails, special attention is paid to maintaining the look and taste of the dishes as well. A balanced flavour is the key to authentic Uttarakhand cuisine that is mostly cooked over slow fire and consists of lentils. Although Kumaon and Garhwal are divided in different regions; they unite as one in its methods of cooking and the choice of ingredients. There are also several dishes that two regions are common but have different names. The food habit in the state also witness variation with the changing season; where in winter in Mathir and Til Laddus or Madua Rotis are preferred, in summers, Dubkas with Chholia Rotis are relished.

The major ingredients responsible for adding the taste and incredible aroma to the food of Uttarakhand are varied lentils that are exclusive to the state and variety of flours that come from barley and buck wheat. The dishes in Garhwal deeply connects to its people, the food is prepared with the right amount of spices, which only entices one to savour it. Phanu, Kafuli, Thechwani, Chainsoo, Jholi, Gahat ke Paranthe, Roat and Baadi are some of finger-licking Garhwali dishes. Meanwhile in Kumaon, Aaloo Gutuk, Dubke, Thathwani, Kaapa, Chudkani, Jaula and Sisunaak Saag are the mouth-watering presentations. The side dishes in Uttarakhand are equally important and therefore are prepared with utter care, Bhangeera ki Chutney, Mooli Thechuwa and Hara Namak are some of the sides that add to the flavour of main course meals. Concluding the gastronomic journey in Uttarakhand are its melt in mouth deserts, of which Singal-Puha, Jhangora ki Kheer, Singodi and Baal Mithai are few prelude. One noticeable and worthy of trial is Sanaa Hua Nimbu, which is by far the clear attention grabber in the palatable cuisine of Uttarakhand.

Popular Food in Uttarakhand

  • Aaloo ke Gutke

    One of the basic and most popular dishes in Uttarakhand, Aaloo (Potatoes) ke Gutke is a simple preparation where dry spices are roasted and used. Aaloo ke Gutke are best served with Puri and kheerein ka Raita (Cucumber and Curd preparation). This dish is seen mostly served on festivals.

  • Kafuli/Kapaa

    A delicious dish that is best enjoyed in the winter season, Kafuli or Kapaa is made by using spinach, lai ( the alternative of mustard leaf) and fenugreek leafs. The vegetable/s is cooked in an iron kadhai (utensil) and is then served with steaming rice.

  • Phaanu

    Phaanu has its origin in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. It is a complex preparation but very high in taste. To make this dish, lentils including the native Gahat Dal are soaked overnight and are cooked in a pot and served especially in the lunchtime.

  • Baadi

    A quick fix for any meal of the day when you have no or less time to cook, Baadi is a popular dish from Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. Used by adding Buckwheat Flour to the boiling water and served with ghee, this easy dish is scrumptious and is full of nutrients.

  • Chainsoo

    Prepared by lentils (Urad or kali dal), Chainsoo is a famous preparation in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. The dish is cooked by roasting the lentils and then making a paste of it, which is then cooked in an iron pot over slow fire giving it quite an earthy taste.

  • Rus/Thhatwani

    A popular dish in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand, Rus or Thhatwani is prepared by lentils, and thus it is high in nutrients. In this dish, the lentils are cooked on a low flame and a kind of stock is prepared, later the lentils are removed and the stock is served with rice alone.

  • Dubuk/Dubke

    Dubuk or Dubke is the Kumaoni preparation in which local pulses like Gahat and Bhatt are soaked overnight and then made into a paste which is then cooked with some powdered spices in an iron pot. Dubke has a smooth texture and is quite a popular winter dish in the region of Kumaon in Uttarakhand.

  • Chudkaani

    This delectable dish is prepared in the kitchens of Kumaon Region in Uttarakhand. For the preparation of Chudkaani, the local lentil of Bhatt is soaked in the water overnight and then it is cooked with powdered spices and prepared as a soupy dish that is served with rice.

  • Jhangore ki Kheer

    A scrumptious dessert, Jhangore ki Kheer is popular in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. The dish is prepared by using a kind of a millet called Jhangore that is cooked with a number of dry fruits to give that rich texture.

  • Sisunaak Sag

    A peculiar kind of a preparation coming from Uttarakhand, Sisunaak Saag is not a dish that is frequently cooked in local households but it does have its uniqueness. Sisun or Bichhu Ghas is basically a plant that has thorns all over, and touching it even for a brief moment can cause itching in hands for several hours. However, a dish is prepared by this lethal-looking plant, for which it is put in hot water and then a paste of it is made. This paste is then cooked with tomato and ghee.

Uttarakhand Travel Information at a Glance