Apart from the scenic views and snowy adventures, one must visit Auli for its delicious cuisine. Auli is very popular for authentic Garhwali cuisines. With the bountiful produce of the mountains, Garhwali cuisine showcases a combination of simple yet flavourful dishes that reflect the survival techniques and resilience of the Garhwali people to beat the cold. In Auli, you must try the local delicacies like Kachmauli, Bal Mithai, Kafuli, Bhaang Ki Chutney, Chainsoo, and Jhangore Ki Kheer, etc. Though these dishes are cooked with simple ingredients still, your taste buds will feel the delightful flavours. However, in Auli, there are fewer eateries, but in Joshimath which is only 30 minutes away from Auli, there is an abundance of local restaurants that serve authentic Garhwali Cuisine.
Here is a list of some of the best dishes to eat in Auli:-
Garhwali Kafuli (Spinach Curry) is from the hilly area of western India. It is one of the most popular dishes of Auli. The food of Uttarakhand is simple because of the nature of the climate in hilly topography. They usually like vegetarian food. In Kafuli, the boiled spinach and fenugreek leaves are chopped to make a paste, which is then cooked with spices from India along with rice flour. The dish is simple with no vegetables; it does not contain a lengthy list of ingredients. The dish depicted the simplicity and resilience of Pahadi cooking. In the harsh climate of the mountains, Garhwali people eat Kafuli to keep themselves warm and healthy.
2. Bhang Ki Chutney
Bhang Ki Chutney is a very popular dish of Uttarakhand. Locally known as Bhang or Bhangjeera, these seeds are available only in Uttaranchal. The chutney can be served at any time of the day and loved by local people. It doesn’t taste like usual chutney, it has strong flavours. Bhang looks like a mustard seed but it’s very addictive. If you are fond of Uttarakhand’s cuisine, you must try Bhang Ki Chutney in Auli.
3. Aloo Ke Gutke
The classical vegan dish Aloo Ke Gutke is made using a mustard oil and spice powder mixture. It is one of the most popular dishes available in Auli. People of Garhwal and Kumaon region eat Aloo Ke Gutke to warm their bodies on a chilly day. It is also used as a snack, a side dish to rice and dal, and with Pooris. It’s a very simple dish with fewer ingredients. You need mustard oil, simple spices, and boiled potatoes to make this dish.
Chainsoo is a delicious Pahadi dish that uses Kali Dal as its main ingredient. It originates from the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Pahadi people mix this dal with cooked rice known as Baadi. It has high nutritional value and has immense utility to make you feel healthy. It is prepared by roasting Kali Urad Ki Dal and grinding it into powder. The mixture is then cooked with only indigenous Indian spices like peppercorns, red chilies, etc. in an iron pot over low flames releasing the earthy aroma. Along with numerous other great qualities, the dal also has a high amount of proteins. The spices that form part of the ingredients leave a pleasing sharp smell. Chainsoo is a typical winter dish for the Pahari people in Uttaranchal and can be teamed up either with steamed rice or roti.
5. Mandua Ki Roti
Mandua Ki Roti is a very healthy Pahadi dish you must try in Auli. This simple recipe can be prepared at home by mixing Ragi Flour with spring onions, carrots, green chili paste, curd, and water. People love to eat Mandua Ki Roti with nearly every curry or chutney. It is the best dish to eat with family, friends, and guests on any occasion such as kitty parties, buffets, potlucks, and picnics. Try this out-of-this-world dish while holidaying in Auli to tickle your taste buds.
6. Jhangore Ki Kheer
Uttaranchal’s Jhangore Ki Kheer is a staple sweet dish. It is made of Jhangora (local cereal), milk, sugar, and dry fruits. It is a very popular dessert of Uttarakhand and can be eaten either hot or cold. People love to have Jhangore Ki Kheer on special occasions and also relish Kheer at wedding ceremonies, get-togethers, and other festivals. Jhangore is a local cereal that is very rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. The sweet dish is a remarkable example of the talent of the people of Uttarakhand in making simple locally sourced ingredients into a wholesome sweet dish.
7. Garhwal Ka Fannah
Garhwal Ka Fannah is a favourite dal dish that originates from the Queen of Mountains, Mussoorie in India. It is one of the most delicious recipes in Pahari cuisine. Due to its combination of amazing flavours and limited ingredients, it is loved by the locals. It is prepared by roasting ginger garlic paste in red chili paste and then put into dal which makes it delicious. The dish resembles Dal Makhani as the main flavour of the dish comes out with tomatoes. The texture is creamy yet quite different than that of Dal Makhani. This dish tastes best when served with warm chapatis and rice. Garhwal Ka Fannah is undoubtedly one of the healthiest meals if you are looking for healthy food options in Auli.
8. Bal Mithai
The Bal Mithai is prepared by cooking the Khoya until it thickens and then covered with sugar balls to give a distinctive texture. It is one of Uttarakhand’s most famous sweets. It can be garnished with chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios for taste. In the 7th or 8th century, Bal Mithai is said to have entered Uttarakhand from Nepal. Bal Mithai is a version of Lala Joga Ram Sah, the proprietor of Lalla Bazar in Almora during the mid-twentieth century. During festivals and other important days, the people of Uttarakhand love to relish Bal Mithai.
Phaanu is cooked using the horse gram which is also referred to as Gahat Dal. It is one of the most loved dishes in all Kumaon regions from Uttarakhand. Phaanu has a creamy texture and it deeply nourishes the soul. Phaanu is cooked by people in winter to stay warm and to be active. As a food item horse gram is considered a nutritional legume and is said to have eliminated the formation of kidney stones, heart diseases, and diabetes if taken frequently. The Phaanu recipe is very easy. Horse gram should be soaked overnight or for 8-10 hours, then ground and prepared thick pancake/dosa with half batter.
10. Kandalee Ka Saag
Locally, the leaves of Kandalee are referred to as Bichhu Ghas. Formic acid is common in the Himalayan region as it irritates once mixed up with skin. This grass grows abundantly in the Himalayan region. Kandalee Ka Saag is a widely known dish in Auli by locals, and especially tourists. This healthy option is served in a lot of local restaurants. It is prepared like any Indian dish. The main ingredients of Kandalee Ka Saag are Paneer and Bichu Ghas, which is a leafy vegetable. It tastes delicious with Paratha. You must try Kandalee Ka Saag in Auli.