Being a tourist hotspot, Himachal Pradesh serves the cuisines from across the world in order to cater to the needs of the global tourists. But, what additionally escalate the charm of the delicacies of dishes here are the traditional cuisines from different regions of Himachal Pradesh. Being a hilly and low temperature terrain, the individuals love to eat non-vegetarian food, but equally relish the vegetarian food items.
The hospitality and tourism industry in Himachal Pradesh is in full bloom and these food items play a significant role in adding charm to the industry. In some parts of Himachal Pradesh, it becomes difficult to grow the vegetables in all seasons, but the hospitality industry avails all sorts of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items along with the local delicacies.
Himachal’s Natural Beauty and Pahari Dishes
Millions of domestic and international tourists flock to Himachal Pradesh every year. Undoubtedly, Himachal Pradesh is the epitome of natural beauty and it fascinates the tourists from across the world. Amidst the captivating natural scenery, the tourists here revel eating the traditional dishes along with the several international cuisines. Without tasting the irresistibly luscious dishes of this region, the tour here is never complete. Being a hilly region, local food here is referred to as ‘Pahari’ food, which means the food of the hills. Cereal, meats and lentils are commonly used with various spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and cumin, etc.
Here are the top five famous food in Himachal Pradesh:
Madra is one of the most famous delicacies in Himachal Pradesh. It originally belongs to the region of Chamba. It is the pride of the festivals, weddings and buffets. Available in almost every hotel and restaurant, it represents the part of the food culture here. Soaked chickpeas or kidney beans or Chana are used as its base ingredient. Any vegetable cooking oil as per one’s liking can be used as per the requirement. Among the spices, asafoetida, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cumin, coriander powder and turmeric powder are used. Cooked in clarified butter and yoghurt in low heat, its fragrance can force any food lover drool uncontrollably. It is normally served with roti (flat bread).
If you love non-vegetarian food, LuchiPoti or Lamb Intestine would render you a satisfying taste. The flour of wheat or millet is mixed with different spices like turmeric, coriander powder, asafetida, cumin and cloves, etc. This mixture is then prepared as a paste and then stuffed into the intestines of the sheep or lamb and then steamed and cooked. It is then usually served with mutton soup or any matching accompaniments.
Made of wheat flour, Sidu is a type of bread and is a well known local dish of Himachal Pradesh. The preparation of it takes a little longer time than the other dishes as it needs to be molded for about 4 to 5 hours. The flour of wheat is kneaded with the required amount of yeast and this dough gets ready to be cooked in 4 to 5 hours. Once the dough is ready, it is stuffed with fat and then roasted over low fire and lastly, for a few minutes, it is steamed. It is usually eaten with butter, mutton or even with some cooked vegetables. Many of the hotels and restaurants make it the part of their menu as the tourists oftentimes try to explore the local dishes to add some extra colors in their experience.
If you really desire to enjoy the traditional food items of Himachal Pradesh, the best time would be the festive seasons. Dham is generally considered to be a festive dish as it is prepared during the festivals. The unique feature of this food is that it is prepared by the special cooks known as ‘botis’. These botis belong to a sect of Brahmins. In fact, these botis are known to be the chefs from many generations. The preparation of Dham is started at earlier night. Dham is a complete meal and is served in plates of leaves. It is considered to be very much popular in Manali and Chamba regions.
Among the festive season food, Aktori is also equally enjoyed by the people here. It is a kind of cake. The buckwheat leaves are mixed with the flour of wheat and then prepared in pancakes. It is considered to have originated from the Lahaul-Sipti Valley but it can be found in almost every part of Himachal Pradesh. The hospitality industry here has given a commendable platform to put forth the local and traditional food and now they add some variety to the international menu here.
Varying food items and their tastes exhibit the rich and varied cultural and traditional aspects of Himachal Pradesh. Madra, Luchi, Poti, Sidu, Dham, Aktori and many other well known dishes can be relished in any part of Himachal Pradesh but the ideal places are Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie and Kasauli.