Himachal Pradesh, the land of snow-covered mountains, inhabiting thousands of tribes, flora, and fauna is a one of a kind destination. The hospitality of the locals combined with the rich calming ambiance is something that one doesn’t get to experience on a daily basis. Apart from its obvious surreal natural beauty and unending adventures in every corner, something that truly sticks to your memory is the food. Not just any food, the delicious, flavor-packed, traditionally prepared locally available food and cuisines.
Over time Himachal Pradesh has gained the level of being one of the top 3 hill stations in India so the presence of eclectic cafes and posh restaurants offering a plethora of cuisines is understood. However, nothing can replace the charm and deliciousness of an authentic traditional Himachali dish. Given below is a whole list of delicious Himachali dishes that you must try out during a visit there:
Dhaam is a special, wholesome and extremely fulfilling cuisine which is packed with nutrients and enriches the body. It is mainly prepared during some festive occasions or during a marriage procession. This is a major heritage food of Himachal and its different regions. This meal includes other smaller cuisines like Sepu Vadi, Khatta, Kadi, Rajma, Kheer, and more which forms the whole meal as one. a sweet element in the dish is what makes the whole dish into one magnificent delicacy. This plateful of delicacies can also be described as a complete Thali preparation and is prepared by special chefs called ‘Botis’. If you plan on exploring Himachal during the colorful festive seasons then Dhaam is one cuisine you must try.
Where to Find – Manali and Chamba
You may have tasted a lot of delicious Pulao all over India or maybe even the world but the famous special Tudkiya Bhath is something whose taste will linger in your heart and mind over a long period of time. But what makes this delicious rice pulao dish so delectable? this particular cuisine of Himachal Pradesh not only utilizes all the Indian spices but it is all mixed up with lentils, potatoes, yogurt, tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. all these spices and ingredients work harmoniously together to ensure that you get the best and the most delicious tasting food. a little tip that people follow while eating this cuisine is to mash some Dal and garnish it with a couple of lemon drops.
Where to Find – Chamba
The history of Chana Madra can be originally traced back to the region of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. This dish can be easily referred to as the Chhole dish of the rest of India but here this chickpeas dish is also made along with vegetables. This is cooked by utilizing overnight soaked chana or chickpeas, combined in oil and various different aromatic and delicious spices like cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander powder, turmeric powder among other locally available masalas and spices. This food is one typical dish that defines the true culture and soul food of Himachal. Every restaurant you go to or any festive occasion like a festival or to mark a special day.
Where to Find – Chamba and Kangra
Non – vegetarian food is another one of the local favourite in Himachal that is widely found among other range of Non Veg cuisines. In case you love non-vegetarian dish then this particular cuisine is a must-try when in this wonderful hill state. This dish is prepared by first of all marinating lamb/mutton pieces and further cooked to perfection in a curry made out of silky smooth gravy of Besan/Gram Flour and yogurt. The Indian spices easily available there like red Chilli Powder, bay leaf, coriander powder; cardamom, etc works perfectly towards enhancing the flavors of this dish. You will notice that most of the dishes in Himachal depend primarily on the locally available ingredients.
Where to Find – Chamba
Sidu is a commonly occurring locally made side dish prepared out of wheat flour ensuring that it is extremely healthy and nutritious. It works perfectly towards providing the perfect side dish for main courses of mutton or other vegetables. Although it takes hours of hard work and preparation to create this wonderfully tasting delicacy every minute of the effort is worth it since the resulting taste is absolutely delectable and worth every effort. Yeast is the main ingredient that goes into its preparation and helps in making the dish very fluffy and provides an airy texture. One can easily Savour this dish in one of the local restaurants or one of the many widely available Dhabas.
Where to Find – Anywhere in Himachal
Kullu Trout Fish Delicacy
Himachal dishes are not only about chicken or lamb but did you know the variety of seafood found here has its own fan base? The fish delicacies make up for a whole different set of delicious seafood. As the name suggests the trout fish from Kullu in Himachal makes up for another one of the most loved delicacies in Himachal. The trout from Kullu is marinated entirely for overnight and then cooked mildly just so that the flesh is cooked to perfection combined with minimal spices in order to keep the real taste of the fish intact. Local people here prefer to eat this delicious cuisine with flavor-packed boiled vegetables and because of this reason it makes for one of the most delicious and healthy dishes of Himachal.
Where to Find – Kullu Mainly