Rishikesh culinary experience holds a special place, shaped by its religious and spiritual essence. As a revered destination, Rishikesh boasts delightful vegetarian options that sync with the divine ambiance of the place. Tourists and devotees are drawn to the unique cuisine of Rishikesh and find a sense of bliss in the Sattvic nature of food. While being a yoga capital, yoga practices are the central focus. The food in Rishikesh ensures tourists feel happy and maintain their health.
The street food scene of Rishikesh offers a delicious blend of North Indian food that consists of Chaat, Pakoras Stuffed Parathas, Lentil-Based Dishes, and refreshing Lassis, which beautifully capture the essence of Indian culinary heritage. The Chinese dishes and traditional Uttarakhand cuisines also seduce the palate.
Here is a list of the most popular dishes in Rishikesh
Chaat is a popular savoury snack of Rishikesh. It is a delicious combination of chickpeas, and potatoes mixed with many other ingredients and blended with the tamarind chutney and yogurt for sweetness and some tang. It tastes delicious when you add Crispy fried noodles and pomegranate seeds as seasoning.
There are varieties of Chaat in Rishikesh, such as Aloo Chaat, made from boiled potatoes, and samosa Chaat prepared by cutting up the cooked pastry balls known as Samosas, prepared with yogurt, and seasoned spices. Several versions of Chaat incorporate the use of different types of ingredients like fruit, sprouts, or even Paneer.
Lassi is a traditional Indian yogurt drink that has become famous among every age group. It is a delicious, healthy drink available in most flavours. It makes up for the perfect drink on hot summer days and is often served with meals or as desserts. In Rishikesh, you must try the Lassi at least once. From restaurants to street food stalls, Lassi is available everywhere. Matka, a traditional clay container is used to serve it to bring out its flavour and also maintain coolness. The best thing about Lassi in Rishikesh is that it usually contains the local ingredients, making the drink taste even better and fresher.
Don’t miss this popular dumpling dish of Rishikesh called Momos. The momos is a dumpling dish filled with cabbage, onions, carrots, or other vegetables. It also has non-veg variants like chicken and mutton momos. People like it with a spicy sauce based on tomato. The sauce is what makes the momos so very unique and thus irresistible.
In Rishikesh, most of the street food kiosks and restaurants serve momos. They can be found at Ram Jhula Street Food Market or Laxman Market and are available for tasting. Both the locals and tourists appreciate the momos served at Pure Soul Cafe.
4. Aloo Poori
Aloo Poori is a dish people like to eat for breakfast in Rishikesh. It is prepared by deep-frying Poori-an unleavened bread and served with potato curry (Aloo Sabzi). Potato curry is typically quite a spicy and flavourful dish cooked by simmering the boiled potatoes with an assortment of herbs like Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, and Garam Masala. Aloo Poori is also a fast and very filling breakfast for those looking to start their day with something quick. The dish then concludes with garnished herb-like coriander leaves. Many restaurants in Rishikesh also offer Aloo Poori as a part of their breakfast menu.
5. Chole Bhature
The streets of Rishikesh have now become home to Chole Bhature, a traditional Punjabi dish. It is a Blend of Chole (Boiled Chickpeas cooked in a spicy and sour sauce and Bhature (Soft and fluffy round bread). Chole Bhature tastes delicious with Pickles, Onions, and Achaar (an Indian hot-spicy condiment). It is available in almost every restaurant and food stall in Rishikesh. Therefore, it can be shared or taken as a meal.
Kachodi is a famous snack in North India. It is a North Indian deep-fried pastry. People love the crunchy and flaky Kachodis of Rishikesh. The filling of the pastry is very spicy and contains lentils, potatoes, cumin, coriander leaves, and chili powder. Chutney or the pickle adds delight to hot Kachodis.
While Kachodi is said to have originated from Rajasthan, it has now become an ideal snack in North India, especially in Rishikesh. The popularity of Kachodi makes it available in every small food shop. Other variants of Kachodi include the Onion, Paneer, and Moong Dal. All variants of the Kachodi are distinguished by their flavour and also texture.
Thukpa is a famous noodle soup originally from the Himalayas region. Boiled noodles, vegetables, and meat are combined in a spicy broth to make this. Thukpa is a highly filling and delicious dish, eaten as a whole meal. In particular, it is a more popular dish in the winter as people believe that with this kind of meal, they can keep their bodies warm.
Thukpa is cooked with yak meat in the Himalayas, but in Rishikesh, you can find different variants that use chicken and vegetables. The broth is a mixture of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger.
Rishikesh is no different from the rest of India when it comes to the consumption of Jalebi. It is one of the most favourite sweets in India and very popular in Rishikesh. It is a fried sweet that involves pouring the batter made of flour and then immersing it in sugar syrup. The outcome is a crunchy dessert ideal for finishing after the meal or just as some afternoon delight.
You must have seen the lovely pairing of Samosas or Kachodis with the Jalebis for breakfast in Rishikesh. They are a popular choice preferred by numerous ashrams and temples scattered across town.
Parantha is a flatbread dish from India that the Indians eat for breakfast or as a snack. It is made by filling the wheat flour dough with various fillings like potatoes, cauliflower Paneer (cottage cheese), or sweet fillers such as Jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) tabs. The dough is rolled out and cooked on a griddle with the ghee (clarified butter) until a crispy golden brown colour appears. Paranthas taste delicious with some yogurt or a pickle; they are one of the basic foundations of North Indian food. They are also well-known as street-style food and are available anywhere in the country.