himachali dham

Taste of Himachal: Himachali Food and Himachali Dham

Himachal Pradesh!! Being an Indian whenever you hear this word it will give you a feel of cool breeze and an essence of another variety of Indian culture.

A state situated in the lap of Himalayas that has received as much of beauty as it could from nature.

The lovely places and the lovely people…actually not just only this!! Whenever you will happen to visit the state you will discover that it is just not about the beautiful valleys and hardworking people with clean hearts but also distinguished cuisines.

The state comprises of 12 districts with different set of languages, rather, dialects. A place where people 
are more comfortable with jobs in government sector, along with its pleasant weather and astonishing 
valleys is blessed to have a variety of cuisines that vary more rapidly than the state’s dialects.

You might be more interested in collecting facts about people and capturing the beauty of nature but as you come across the food you will be surprised with the variety of it and more with the essence of originality that state feels proud to have.

No! The state doesn’t have traditional touch like that of Rajasthan and not the spices like those in 
Punjab, neither it has economic dishes like Mumbai’s vadapao nor it has abundant raw material for cooking like in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but loads of unusual and tasty dishes varying from district to district of from one subdivision to other.

Staple food of state is no different from north India comprising of simple chapatti dal, pulses and sabzi but when it comes to different seasons, occasions, festivals and worshipping their local Gods, no one can even imagine that those recipes could be this much mouth watering to your gustatory glands!!

The upper hilly parts of state is dominated by delicious combination of red meat and wine; be it their way of pleasing their local Gods or celebrating wedding functions, red meat and wine will remind you of those chilly evenings of Paris and you certainly need a strong intestinal structure to digest it.

There is an interesting piece of fact that you will gather regarding famous Chinese cuisine momos. They might have been derived from the famous dish of Shimla called Siddu and undoubtedly more delicious than momos; quite a similar way of cooking in steam but a different kind of recipe, taste and for a change they are eaten with desi ghee for they become helpful for your survival in cold weather.

Siddu with Desi Ghee
Siddu, A cuisine from Shimla

Moving to the central part of state district Mandi and Kangra have been the competitors in food since always. They have quite a similar no. of dishes but with a different taste and touch and you can never decide which one is best.

Weddings in Kangra and Mandi have their own charm. Typical Hindu weddings with an increasing trend of gift exchanging being inspired from Punjab but food here too is their own, quite original.

The special part of wedding food is described as dham there, and where you will become tired of 
counting the no. of traditional dishes in a Kangri dham on the flip side the delectable Mandyali dham
will force you to think of the Balsamic spices used.

Himachali Dham
Traditional Himachali Dham

The main dishes that comprise a dham are badana (sweet dish being served at the very beginning or at the 
end), sepu badi (blocks made by crushing pulses), khatta (a sour dish normally comprising of pumpkin and 
chuharre), and kadi (something very different from Punjabi kadi).

The dham has its own kind of traditional way of preparing it serving it and of course eating it.

The seasonal dishes in central area of state consist of pateer and kachoris. No, these are not those small and 
round rather big ones with a bright white look and undoubtedly scrumptious.

With those astonishing valleys full of nature’s beauty Himachal where on one side is a place to be once in a life 
not because of wonderful weather but because the way people live there is different on its own, and other side 
of those wonderful cuisines gives you a taste for lifetime, dishes you will never find in any five or seven star but 
only in those beautiful valleys of Himalayas only!!

Credit: Ankita

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