Uttarakhand and neighboring area are not only exceedingly beautiful and pleasing to the eyes, but it also provides a spectacular, earthy rich cuisine, the Pahari Cuisine. It is known for being highly nutritious as it is cooked on a low flame, so the food doesn’t lose its natural health value. Moreover, one can also conclude that this food culture is also influenced by Tibet and Punjab. Following is a Top 20 list of this wonderful cuisine.
Who doesn’t enjoy devouring a dish comprising of steamed dough which is stuffed with jaggery, pulses, white poppy seeds and more! This is exactly what Siddu is. Served with dollops of ghee, this one is an outstanding dish of the Pahari cuisine. One may even alter the filling and serve this delicacy with fresh chutney of their choice.
Everyone is thrilled on seeing the beloved lip-smacking Punjabi Chole, but you are yet to try Madra! Prepared with boiled chickpeas and a generous amount of spices, Madra’s unique essence lies in the fact that it is essentially cooked in yogurt. This paves the way for a distinct, delectable flavor which makes this dish stand out amongst the rest.
Patande may readily be dubbed as the Indian Pancakes. A frequently served dish for breakfast, Patande is prepared with wheat flour and can be salty, spicy, sweet or all of them as per the preference of the eater. Just as Pancakes go hand in hand with butter and maple syrup, this Himachali dish is complemented with a good amount of ghee and honey!
Pateed is a vegetarian dish for the main course which is made from the leaves of the Taro root. It is then combined with gram flour after which it is steamed and deep-fried too before finally serving. It can be eaten along with an Indian bread too.
Though Indre may resemble the South’s renowned Idlis yet the two are way too different. The former is cooked only in winters and are made from Kulath (brown lentils) along with a blend of various spices. One may even experiment with these by giving it a flavorful stuffing of veggies and serving with a refreshing chutney.
An indispensable part of the authentic Pahari cuisine, Mahni is a prepared from black gram, jaggery, mango or pomegranate powder. Interestingly, it has an unusual sweet and sour flavor which is hard to find in any main course dish.
Palda is one Pahari dish that can be found in menus of other states across the country. Known for its thick, smooth and light aromatic flavors, this curry is made with buttermilk or yogurt. Additionally, arum roots, boiled potatoes or cauliflower are also added in Palda which enhances its taste a great deal!
The very look of this dish waters my mouth! Chacha is similar to a chutney and is made from Keri (raw mango) or Aam (mango). An exquisite blend of sweet and savory taste, Chacha will surely be liked by anyone who relishes pickles.
Our very own Desi cake, Akotri is said to have its roots embedded in the Lahul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. This delicious cake is made of normal wheat flour and buckwheat. The latter also has numerous health benefits ranging from reducing cholesterol, being a rich source of protein, regulating sugar for diabetics, being an antioxidant and food to fight cancer!
10 Meetha Bhaat
Often Indian states have their own version of ‘Rice’. Be it Hyderabad, Kolkata, Assam or Lucknow, one will surely find a rice-based main course or dessert on the menu for lunch. The Pahari Cuisine too features Meetha Bhaat which is a dessert comprising Bhat (rice), dry fruits, saffron, and cardamom. A simple end to a toothsome meal indeed!
Dham, like Mahni, is a crucial part of the Pahari cuisine. It is made chiefly in the Chamba region of Himachal Pradesh and comprises of red kidney beans, green lentils, and rice mixed in the curd. Notably, it is traditionally served on plates made from leaves.
Babru is similar to the common Kachori. The patty is composed of black gram daal which is then deep fried. Eat with coriander or tamarind chutney; it tastes amazing with both!
13 Anardana Chicken
This beautiful looking Chicken is an exemplary preparation of the Pahari cuisine. Loaded with many spices this heavenly chicken gets its bronze glaze due to hours of marination in dry pomegranate seeds and chilies. Interesting, isn’t it? Moreover, garnishing from the juicy red pomegranate seeds makes anyone try it instantly!
14 Chana Gosht
A meat lover’s delight, Chana Gosht is made with lamb meat which is cooked until succulent in a gravy consisting of gram flour, yogurt, and spices like red chili powder, cardamom, bay leaf, asafetida, ginger-garlic paste, and coriander powder. This steaming bowl of mutton must be tried when having the exotic Pahari Cuisine.
15 Tudkiya Bhath
This scrumptious dish is prepared with rice is cooked with some select vegetables, yogurt, and an intelligent choice of spices. To balance the strong spice, this dish is often served along with Maash Ki Daal.
Bhey is an extraordinary preparation of lotus stems which are boiled and slightly fried with some vegetables, gram flour, ginger-garlic paste and a few spices. As inviting as it looks, it tastes even better!
17 Kullu Trout
Kullu Trout is a much-favored dish which is known for its raw, natural flavors as it is cooked with minimal spices. The marination is merely followed by shallow frying the fish in mustard oil.
18 Pahari Aloo Khatta
If Aloo (potato) is your dear friend, then this dish is must try for you! Belonging to the hills of Uttaranchal, Pahari Aloo Khatta’s key ingredient is yogurt which brings about its uncommon sour taste.
19 Mash Daal
Also known as Kali Daal, Mash Daal is prepared from split black lentils. It is prepared just like other Daals, but the distinguishing factor is that all the spices are shallow fried in mustard oil to give it the unique flavor.
20 Bhaang Ki Chutney
Bhaang ki Chutney is a popular one in the Pahari Cuisine. Be it Parathas, Kulchas or just rice, this mind- blowing chutney (Literally!) can be enjoyed with all!
This list presented a few of the ethnic Pahari dishes. Let us know if we missed something!