Posted by: Aniket Agarwal
Himachali cooking, especially non-vegetarian is more of red meat and wheat bread with plenty of sweet smelling thick saucy gravies that make the base of several dishes. As of now the popular dumplings or steamed momos are tourists’ favorite as they are now open to taste some of these lip-smacking foods you have to try while in Himachal Pradesh.
1. Chana Madra
It consists chickpeas soaked mostly overnight and vegetables which is seasoned with spices and cooked in oil. A lot of other spices go in and make it a tangy dish. The Madra dish that comes from Himachal’s Chamba district showcases the culture of the state. It is also served to guests at various ceremonies and celebrations.
This is specifically prepared during celebrations and festivals and is found at Chamba and Manali in Himachal Pradesh. It is prepared with nutrition and health in mind using best ingredients. It includes rice, curd, rajma and lentils and flavored with jaggery and boor ki kadi. Moreover, only specialized chefs called ‘botis’ make the dish as it is a delicacy.
3. Tudkiya Bhath
This delicious rice dish consists of Pulao prepared in a unique style of cooking with spice, lentils, a variety of vegetables, onions and potatoes and curd. It gives such a delectable taste so a dash of lemon juice and garlic sauce gives it an extra kick. The Tudkiya Bath is mostly found in places of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
The Himachali people enjoy this food that is a lotus step made in a spicy flavor. It is mostly found in almost all the kitchens of the locals. Locally called Bhey it the basis of the dish is the lotus stems that are sliced thinly and prepared with onions and ginger garlic with flour made from grams and this creates a unique lip-smacking dish to eat.
5. Chha Gosht
If you are wondering that all of the above dishes are only vegetarian then this one will surely make you happy. The delectable non-vegetarian dish is a traditional delicacy of Himachal Pradesh. It is made by lamb marinated in special way and the preparation is done in a unique way with yogurt, gram flour and different spices and masala. The thick gravy that is the curry in which the meat soaks and then it is consumed. It is one of the best non-vegetarian dishes of Himachal Pradesh. It is more found in the district of Chamba.
The side dish in this state is prepared from wheat flour and is served alongside the non-vegetarian dishes of mutton or vegetables. It is an elaborate preparation and takes time and lot of effort. However, the taste is very delectable and worth the effort of preparation. The flour is left for 4 – 5 hours and then filled with fat and roasted on the direct flame for half cooked flavor. It is believed that the half cooked preparation will help the nutrients to stay and so this is considered very nutritious. Sidu is found especially in Kullu in many local eateries for tourists to taste authentic Himachali cuisine.
The Kachoris are found in various parts of North India. But in this state they have given a new twist to this popular snack. Black gram paste is stuffed into the dough to get a special flat bread called Babru. The delectable crispy bite is served with tamarind chutney and generally served alongside the Chana Madra dish and makes a very healthy snack. This is one of the tourists’ favorite that is found in Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh.
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