Food defines the soul of a place. If you are a real traveler then you will know that any travel expedition remains incomplete without scouring the various dishes and cuisines any place has to offer. When it comes to food, Darjeeling is rather underappreciated. If you haven’t tried the delicious, flavor-packed cuisines this hill town brings to your plate then let me tell you, you are missing out.
Perched on the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Darjeeling is home to a variety of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions. All this is represented beautifully in each of their dishes. From using locally grown veggies and meat to garnishing it with love, Darjeeling foods are heavily influenced by Tibetan and Nepalese styles of cooking and flavoring.
Mouthwatering already? Check out these fantastic and delicious foods and cuisines of Darjeeling which will make your trip there even more special:
List of 8 Most Famous Food in Darjeeling
Kwati is one of the most wholesome, comforting, and healthy foods of Darjeeling. Prepared among the local household of Darjeeling, Kwati can be defined as a kind of a soup which is packed with the goodness of 9 different sprouts. This is a traditional Newari Dish which means that it is traditionally and originally prepared by the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. Kwati has often been defined as a comforting soup and is definitely prepared during the holy festival of Gun Punhi.
If you are looking to feel the real vibe of Darjeeling and feel closer to its people then Aloo Achaar is a must-have. It is a regular feature of the traditional Darjeeling Thali and is packed with rich flavors. It is made with boiled potatoes cut up into tiny pieces that enables them to fully capture the taste of spices. As a part of the tradition, this Aloo Achar recipe also contains cucumber, onion, and radishes that further elevate the flavor profile of this dish. To further make it delectable, Aloo Achaar also contains a paste of local Chillies, mustard seeds, and sesame seeds making it incredibly tangy and delicious.
When it comes to non-vegetarian food in the hill station of Darjeeling, pork curry is very common. Sure it may be an uncommon choice of food for the other parts of the subcontinent it is quite a delicacy among the locals of Darjeeling. If you are not a vegetarian or are looking to experiment with foods while travelling then pork curry of Darjeeling is a must-try. This is a mouthwatering gravy dish that is made using pork Chillies, Phagshapa, and barbecued pork. There is also an easier way of cooking this curry which is by properly cooking the pork meat in oil and spices, kind of like cooking chicken curry.
When you think of the hills and northeast, Thukpa is one dish common along all Himalayan hill stations. Reason being, Thukpa incorporates a lot of fresh vegetables, meat and delicious flavorful spices. This not only warms you up but is super filling and incredibly comforting on a cold winter day. Best served with steaming hot white rice and some other local drinks, pork curry should definitely be on your food list for Darjeeling. It is also a good option to try if you are looking for something to fill your stomach best after a day of exploring and sightseeing.
When it comes to popular foods of Darjeeling, Gundruk has to make a feature for sure. This popular dish of Nepal, Gundruk is a one of a kind dish which is prepared with the aim of preserving food that lasts long and is delicious at the same time. Gundruk has to be one of the most well-known foods of Darjeeling that can be found everywhere. It is prepared using fermented leafy greens like mustard leaves and spinach. Undoubtedly Gundruk is packed with healthy properties like iron and a plethora of other minerals.
As simple as it may sound, Dal Bhat of Darjeeling is absolutely delicious and will make you feel right at home. This traditional and super humble dish which is loved by everyone in India can be found at any eating joint in Darjeeling. Popular across Bangladesh and even Nepal, Dal Bhat is exactly what it sounds like. The combination of lentil dal and steaming hot white rice is loved by everyone across the subcontinent. Easy to make and readily available, Dal Bhat is a major part of Nepali Thali as well along with other curries, chutney, and salad.
Hands down, Sekuwa has to be one of the best and the most lip-smacking food of Darjeeling. If you love tandoori chicken or barbecued meats then Sekuwa is something that you will absolutely Savour and love. Making this dish is super simple and only requires you to barbecue your favorite type of meat like lamb, chicken, mutton, beef or anything else. Topped with aromatic herbs and flavor-packed tangy spices, Sekuwa has a very distinct flavor profile that will make you keep going for Seconds.
As crazy as this dish sounds, Wachipa is one of the most popular non-vegetarian dishes in Darjeeling. Made using minced chicken and white rice, it can be defined as a non-vegetarian Khichdi, but there is one special ingredient that makes it special. See, the locals of Darjeeling believe in using every single part of the chicken, so to add a hint of bitter taste to the dish they add fried, powdered chicken feathers into the whole dish.
Frequently Asked Questions about Darjeeling Food
Which food is the most famous in Gangtok?
Some must-try foods of Gangtok are – Momos, Kinema Curry, Thukpa, Sinki Soup, and Gundruk.
How can you define the food of Darjeeling in short?
Food in Darjeeling represents the perfect combination of tanginess and spiciness that is one of the main features of Chinese and Tibetan foods.
What can vegetarians eat in Darjeeling?
There are numerous healthy foods for vegetarians to savor in Darjeeling like Aloo Tama, Veg Momos, Sel Roti, Gobi, Aloo Tama, Dal Bhat and so much more. Veg food is easily available across various restaurants and eating joints so you don’t have to worry if you are a vegetarian visiting Darjeeling.