India is a land of diversity and this diversity is reflected in the cuisines available in different parts of the country. One of the reasons people visit different parts of India is to taste the delectable dishes that reflect the varied culture. So in any place in India, you are bound to be surprised by the variety of food and food habits that are imbibed by the local people as well as tourists.
Himachal Pradesh is one such state where oomph factor is not limited to snow-capped mountains or hills, green valleys, and fresh air. Another thing that makes this state one of a kind are the different Himachal Pradesh cuisines. The food culture here is defined by an amalgamation of different kinds of cuisines from across India.
11. Himachal Pradesh Cuisines
Let us get you acquainted with the food habits of the locals as well as some of the popular cuisines of the ‘Land of Gods’ which tourists love and appreciate.
1. Regular Cuisine
When it comes to food items, the Himachalis (local people) are extremely fond of dishes prepared from ingredients like pulses, lentils, meat and rice. Dal, chawal, sabzi and roti is like the staple diet of the people residing in the state which speaks volume of the simplicity and humility of the locals. If you want to eat simple food, then do make sure to stop by local restaurants or become friendly with the locals and have a meal at their homes.
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2. Festive Cuisine
Whether it is some special occasion, local festival or marriages in the family, the traditional and hearty feast known as Dham is prepared. The nutritionally rich meal consists of sepu badi, khatta, kadi, rajma madra, kheer etc. and forms a very important part of the food heritage of the different regions of Himachal Pradesh. To not miss out on the delectable Dham preparation, you should plan out your trip to the state during local festivities or special occasions.
3. Pahari Cuisine
You are bound to enjoy the taste of the Pahari or Himachali cuisine of the state which has a mesmerizing aroma coupled with the extensive use of cardamom and yogurt in most of the dishes. You know what makes the pahari dishes different? It is the cooking technique of preparing meals on slow flame. You will get pahari dishes in most of the restaurants in the state. Some of the best Pahari dishes are considered to be Sidu, Anardana Chicken, Tudkiya Bhath, Kullu Trout, Babru, Akotri, Chha Gosht, Luchi Poti, Mitha Bhat.
4. Punjabi Cuisine
It is a well-known fact that Punjabi cuisine has much influence on the Himachal Pradesh cuisine. Thus, it should come as no shock to find restaurants and eating joints offering lip smacking Punjabi dishes such as chole bhature, chana masala, dal makhni, butter chicken, paranthe and so forth. These are made with such precision in the state that one feels like they are in the land of Punjab while eating the Punjabi dishes of Himachal Pradesh.
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5. Tibetan Cuisine
Apart from the Punjabi cuisine influence, an international cuisine which has immense influence on the cuisine of Himachal Pradesh is definitely Tibetan. Noodle dishes and momos are found in practically every nook and corner of the state. Thukpa is a Tibetan spicy noodle soup made with fresh veggies, sauces, chilli, garlic and ginger paste is available for both vegetarians (without meat/chicken) and non-vegetarians (with meat/chicken). Thenthuk is quite similar to Thukpa, this Tibetan dish is a saviour during the winter season of Himachal Pradesh. This is made up of handmade, flattened noodles and tastes really amazing.
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6. Thai Cuisine
Just like the Himachali cuisine which is light yet has unique aroma, the dishes of the Thai cuisine in the state represent the same category. The scrumptious dishes such as Pad Thai, Som Tam, Thai Fish Green curry, Corn Cake etc. are enough to add spice and colourful vitality to your meal in Himachal.
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7. Indian Chinese Cuisine
Out of all the Himachal Pradesh cuisines, the Indian Chinese cuisine is most sought after and rightly so. The food items in this cuisine are comfort food and probably there is no one who does not like the combination of fried rice and chilli chicken. Besides, manchow soups, chicken Manchurian, chop suey, spring roll and so on are a delight for any traveller visiting Himachal.
8. Italian Cuisine
Another international cuisine to make its mark in the food trail of Himachal Pradesh is Italian. There is something really tempting about wood-fired pizza and lavishly prepared pasta with fresh veggies that makes Italian cuisine so popular in the state, especially among the tourists who visit here. For people who cannot adjust to the pahari cuisine or do not find other cuisines suitable can surely opt for Italian in any of the local restaurants in Himachal.
9. South Indian Cuisine
It would come as a surprise to you to see numerous restaurant and eating joints serving south Indian cuisine in Himachal Pradesh. Generally people would avoid eating south Indian food in North Indian places, but this state is an exception. People really enjoy south Indian delicacies like Uttaphams and Dosas in the state as these are light as well as low on calorie count.
10. Continental Cuisine
Just like most of the cuisine found in the state, Continental cuisine is also light on the stomach and something that anyone can enjoy with friends or family. Continental dishes are extremely good options for dinner or breakfast. From broccoli bake to chicken and cheese salad, you name it and the restaurants here boast of variety of continental dishes here. This cuisine is also in demand as many tourists belong to Europe and neighbouring countries.
11. Japanese Cuisine
Healthy, nutritious and delicious are three perfect words to describe the Japanese cuisine in the state. There are some really good places in Himachal where you can get a chance to eat authentic Japanese food items like sushi, sashimi, tofu, udon etc.
The food culture definitely represents a lot about the lifestyle and people of a place. As you can see that the Himachal Pradesh Cuisines are a combination of nutritious and delicious food items, the whole experience will be worthwhile. There is nothing better than enjoying the scenic beauty of the state while eating appetizing food during a Himachal Pradesh Trip.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cuisines of Himachal Pradesh
Q. What is the most popular dish in Himachal Pradesh?
A. Any of the pahari cuisine dish is well-liked by most of the tourists who visit here and you can try any of these dishes. But the most popular one is Dham and definitely worth a shot.
Q. Which cities are perfect to enjoy the varied cuisines of Himachal Pradesh?
A. The major cities in which you can think about trying out the varied cuisines of the state are:
Q. Which are the spices that are used in abundance in Himachal Pradesh cuisine?
A. Local people in Himachal Pradesh prefer to use lots of spices especially red chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom etc. which makes the dishes richly flavoured and aromatic.
Q. What are the Top 3 traditional dishes of Himachal Pradesh?
A. The top 3 traditional dishes of the state according to majority would be:
2. Chana Madra
3. Kaddo ka Khatta
Q. Which sweet dish/dessert of Himachal Pradesh is the most recommended?
A. The local sweet dish that is really appreciated for its memorable taste is Mittha. It is basically a combination of sweetened rice, dry fruits including raisins.
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