India is a land of diverse cultures. This vast diversity is reflected in its terrain, languages, festivals and most importantly food.
India is one such country where you can identify states based on the food. Southern states are associated with curries like sambhar, rasam and idlli. Coastal states are associated with fish curries and prawn curries. The North eastern states are known for pork dishes, the northern states with spicy food and so on.
Himachal Pradesh which is located at the foothills of Himalayas is the northern most state of India.
This state is famous for its untouched beauty, gaddi culture and like any other Indian states, this state too has its own sumptuous authentic dishes.
If you happen to visit Himachal Pradesh, you must look out for the following dishes to try. In fact, you can even plan a trip specifically to try out these dishes, read ahead to know these himachali dishes.
A popular traditional cuisine prepared during weddings, local festivals, and special occasions of Himachal Pradesh, a complete meal not only according to Ayurveda but also nutrition. This cultural cuisine include rajmah madra, curd dishes, khatta, sepu badi, etc., and so forth, exhibit a treasure of food heritage and are an integral component of the diet of the people in the state. The cuisine is developed keeping in mind not only the geographical and climatic conditions of the state but also according to the traditional methods under natural conditions mostly from the staple ingredients
Lungdu also known as Fiddleheads have been part of traditional diets in much of Northern France since the beginning of the middle ages, across Asia, and also among Native Americans for centuries.
In the India subcontinent, it is found in the Himalayan states of North and Northeast India. In the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, it is known locally as lingri/Lungru and is famously used to make a pickle lingri ka achaar. In the Kangra Valley it is called lungdu in the kangri language. In Garhwal division of Uttarakhand, it is called languda and eaten as a vegetable. In Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, it is called niyuro and is common as a vegetable side dish, often mixed with local cheese.
Lungdu is extreamly healthy and rare too, it grows only for a month or two in the whole year.
Madra (Chamba and Kangra)
Madra is the first origin of the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. The bowl mainly consists of water chicks (chana) or vegetables. It is well cooked in various oils and spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander powder and turmeric powder to enhance the flavor of this dish. Madra is one of the dishes representing the food culture of Himachal Pradesh. All the occasions, and the festivals are truly incomplete without the serving of this authentic pahadi dish known as ‘Madra’.
Made from wheat flour, Sidu is a regional base for Himachal Pradesh which goes well with mutton curry or some vegetables. Sidu preparation is difficult and time-consuming, but the taste you get, every minute of preparation is worth it. Wheat flour is stored for 4-5 hours to allow the yeast to settle down. Later, the dough is filled with oil and placed in a direct flame to form a half-baked dough. This dough is partially cooked and then distributed to retain the flavor and nutrients of the ingredients. Sidu is easily found in restaurants in Himachal Pradesh to offer guests a taste of Himachali cuisine.
Kullu Trout fish
Himachal Pradesh promises a huge amount of non-vegetarian food. Kullu trout is a popular Kullu dish in the region prepared with trout fish. The marinated fish is cooked with minimum spices to preserve the nutrients and flavor of the original Trout. The dish is well blended with the amount of boiled vegetables, which is why it remains one of the best delicacies of Himachal Pradesh.
Kaale Channe ka Khatta
It is a traditional Pahari Dish that has a little bitter taste but goes exceptionally great with rice. This dish is usually served with Madra.Kale chane ka khatta is one of the best dishes prepared at Himachali Dham
No onions or tomatoes were added to the gravy in this recipe. Instead the gravy is thickened by adding roasted wheat flour or besan (chickpea flour).
It also makes a nice change from the more common in lentils and chickpea made with onion-tomato or yogurt and provides several variations and adds a touch of acidity to the meal.
Himachali Mutton Rara
Himachali Mutton Rara is a delicious North Indian recipe which is prepared with mutton and a melange of spices. It is a Himachali dish that is often prepared on special and festive occasions. The onion and tomatoes give a right texture and spices give it a delectable flavour. Served as a main dish with hot rice or rotis, this is undeniably the most delicious mutton recipe. The authentic flavour is a speciality of Himachal.
Mittha is a delicious rice dish from the northern state of Himachal Pradesh this dish is truly Pahari’s property. Prepared by adding rice to a mixture of dried and coconut fruit, infused with sugar and saffron milk, this one is the most difficult to resist.
What makes this meal different from any other combination is dried fruit with sugar and saffron milk.This dish is cooked in unique spices and is specially formulated to cook slowly so that the nutrients and the flavor remain intact.
You can prepare this meal the night in advance and pack it for lunch the next day to enjoy a delicious meal with your coworkers. With its unmistakable aroma and delicious texture, this dish not only excites us with taste but also senses of sight and smell.