Top 5 Dishes of Himachali Cuisine
Himachal Pradesh is a small state situated in the hills at the base of the Himalayas. The state is well-known for its variety of tasty food items, which form part of the Pahadi culture and heritage. These cuisines have a unique local touch and flavour passed on from many generations, and they play a very important role in the tourism industry, which is the main economy of the state. Below are the five famous food items of Himachal Pradesh.
Madra: It is a thick curry based on curd and legumes. The legume refers either to the plant or to the pulse that results from these plants, like chickpeas (safed chana), black-eyed beans, and kidney beans (rajma). Any food fest, festival occasion, or function is incomplete without Madra or its variants on the food table. Madra can be made thicker or thinner based on the requirements. The chickpeas or other pulses are soaked in the curd, spices like cumin, cardamom, clove, and cinnamon are added, either ground or pasted, and the dish is ready. The garnishing of coriander leaves gives it a great final touch. It is served with rice or chapati.
Siddu: One of the famous Himachali food items is Siddu. It is a food item widely taken in the winter months along with ghee to maintain body temperature. It is served with ghee or chutney, mostly pudina. Siddu is a steamed bread and a staple food of the Himachali people. Crushed walnuts, raisins, lentils, and spices are mixed and stuffed inside a dough made of wheat before being steamed to perfection.
Aktori: It is a dish resembling a parotta or a chapati and is a favourite among the Himachalis. It is prepared with a batter of soaked rice and black lentils. Later on, green chilli, ginger, garlic, and spices are added to this batter. The resultant batter is then spread over a pan and cooked till it turns red or brown, depending on the level of crispiness required. The taste of Aktori is enhanced if a couple of spoons of pure ghee or butter is spread over it before consumption. Though it is a popular breakfast dish, it can be had at any time of the day.
Chha Gosht: One of the popular nonvegetarian dishes of Himachal is the Chha Gosht. The magic of Himachali spices and flavours is showcased in this stupendous dish. Tender pieces of mutton are mixed in the curd, and a variety of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove are added. The meat is cooked on a low flame for a long time until it reaches a certain stage. It is served with rice, roti, or chapati.
Dham: It is the short name for the famous Himachali thali. It is a satvik thali, which contains food items that are borrowed from the history and tradition of the region. The items on the plate may vary from one region to another, but the overall concept of Dham remains the same – vibrant, rich, and rooted in Himachal. A total of seven to eight dishes make up the Dham. Rice, lentils, a variety of vegetable curries, meetha bhaat (sweet and tangy rice), Siddu are all part of Dham.