Himachal Pradesh, a state well known for its natural beauty, landscapes, mountains, culture, etc. Because all of these the state has a huge amount of tourism and as we all know where there is tourism there is food. Hence, the state is also famous for its food. Food is also a major factor here for its tourism.
As Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by Punjab and Tibet, we can say that Himachali cuisine is a mixture of Punjabi and Tibetan cuisine. These both influence Himachali food a lot. This cuisine has a bit of different flavor as people of the state still uses traditional methods for cooking such as sloe flame cooking on chuhlah. Chuhlah gives a different flavor taste to the food. In this modern era, where everything is being replaced by technology, it will always be a pleasure to eat something that is cooked by traditional methods.
As most of the Indian cuisine, Himachali dishes also have spices like red chillies, turmeric, coriander powder, cardamom and cinnamon. But what it is that makes Himachali food different from others. The answers to this question is dairy products. Himachalis use a huge quantity of dairy products in their cooking to make the food delicious.
So, here are top 20 traditional dishes of Himachal Pradesh, that you should try if you are visiting Himachal Pradesh.
If you are travelling to Himachal Pradesh, you will see, temples serving Dhaam on auspicious dates and religious festivals. Dhaam is a complete traditional meal. The food in Dhaam is served in leaf plates called pattals in local language. You can say, Dhaam is an exceptional thali style food which is favorite of every tourist.
2 TUDKIYA BHATH
A mouth watering pulao of Himachal Pradesh. The dish is mainly served in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Tudkiya Bhath is cooked with a unique method, as along with Indian spices, yogurt is added. The dish is served with mashed dal and a few drops of lime juice which enhances its taste.
Babru is one of the most famous dishes of Himachal Pradesh, which is served as breakfast. This dish is lip smacking which is commonly known as Poori, but this one is stuffed. This Poori is stuffed with black gram. The origin of this dish is Shimla, the capital city of the state.
4KULLU TROUT FISH
Kullu trout fish is an easy dish with minimal spices, to retain the natural taste of the fish. It is served with steamed rice and boiled veggies in local region of Kullu. It is a delicious dish full of nutrients. This dish is a must try dish for fish lovers.
A famous dish of district Chamba. Madra is a rich Himachali dish which is a blend of chicken pea and yogurt. Madra is made up of a special kind of chicken pea popularly known as Kabuli in local language, which is soaked overnight to make Madra. It is made with various spices such as cardamoms, cloves, turmeric powder, cinnamon, and coriander powder so as to make dish more delicious.
6 CHHA GOSHT
A delicious mutton curry from the state. Mild in flavor, cooked in buttermilk and gravy of roasted gram flour along with aromatic spices. An authentic Chha Gosht is made from the chest and leg part of lamb. The beauty of Chha Gosht is its characteristic from single ingredient used to make the dish.
Siddu can be said as a bread made from wheat flour. The dish needs a bit of hard work and is time consuming, but the outcome will compensate all these with its heavenly taste. It is served with ghee in winter to maintain body temperature and sometimes with chutney. This is a famous dish from Kullu and Manali.
List of food of Himachal Pradesh is incomplete without aktori. Aktori is a kind of pancake or cake made of buckwheat leaf and wheat. It is made amid celebration festivity in the state. It is served as a side dish. This is originated in Spiti valley but is enjoyed all over the state.
9 HIMACHALI TAWA MURGH
Himachali Tawa Murgh is a quick recipe that can be made easily at home. Chicken is marinated with yogurt, gram masala, and other spices. It is the cooked and served with sizzling tempering of red chilli and coriander on the top of the serving.
10 ALOO PALDA
It is a Pahari style curry aloo with curd in it. It can be made quickly which is can serve you meal in a few minutes. Palda is cooked in aromatic spices and mustard oil to give its authentic touch. It is a great recipe for summer when you don’t feel like having heavy meal.
11 AURIYA KADOO
Auriya Kadoo is a delicious, tangy dry pumpkin. The dish contains the flavor of dried mango powder called as Aamchur and mustard seeds. It is a great way to cook seasonal pumpkin. A simple but flavorful dish. Himachalis serves Auriya Kadoo with whole wheat onion stuffed Kulcha and Tadkda dal.
It is very popular dish in Himachal. A dish of lotus stem. The dish is prepared with thinly sliced lotus stem which is stir fried with onion, ginger garlic paste, spices. Gram flour is added to give a crunchy texture to dish. Bhey can easily be found in every house of the state.
This is a sour dish which is all about flavors of Aamchur powder and chicken gram flour. This gives a tangy and spicy flavor. It is commonly prepared in every household of the state and is served with rice and dal. It is also served in Dhaam as a side dish.
14 GAHAT KA SHORBA
It is unique Horse gram soup dish that can give you cozy feel in winter. It is prepared in slow flame. It is a healthy recipe because of the added spices. This soup has a distinct flavor, color, texture as compared to other soups. It has a strong taste of coriander and garlic.
15 PAHARI CHICKEN
The chicken is cooked in thick yogurt gravy, the Tadka is made by roasting spices that will then ground to form a paste. The paste is then cooked with chicken. This is then served with jeera rice, butter naan and pickled onions.
Sweetened saffron rice mixed with raisins and dry fruits. This dish is surely hard to resist for a person who is a sweet tooth. This dish is rich, as it is prepared by layering rice mixture with fried raisins and cashew and saffron milk on the top.
17 CHAMBA FRIED FISH WITH CHUKH
A simply yummy dish from the regions of Chamba. Fish fry is coated with paste of ginger garlic, green chillies and coriander leaves. It is served with chukh which is a Himachali chutney of dried red chillies.
Thukpa noodle is made of buckwheat, which is made into curry and flavoured with meat. It is a dish from Tibetan cuisine but its desi version is a bit different as it has its typical spices such as chilly powder, garam masala. This is the reason that it is considered to be more hot.
19 SEPU BADI
An important part of Indian cuisine. Sepu Badi is made of urad dal. It is very popular in Himachal Pradesh as it can be seen in state being served in ever occasion or festival. It is served with papad parathas, puddings, tawa parathas or steamed rice.
Wheat Sheera is a yummy desert for summer and commonly eaten as breakfast in the state. It is different from other Sheera as it is made from wheat seeds which are soaked in water for a few days. It requires a lot of hard work to make wheat Sheera.
All in all, these are not just dishes, these are experiences. One must try Himachali cuisine to bring joy to their palate.