Home to glimmering glaciers, beautiful meadows and thousands of varieties of flowers, Sikkim is one destination in India that is on the list of many travelers. The place is famous not only for its beauty but also for its culinary delights. Try the delectable Sikkim food options to understand the place and its culture better. The use of the locally-sourced ingredients and the many different flavors that wouldn’t otherwise be used in the dishes across India makes the Sikkimese food options a delight to savor. Try out the many local cafes, restaurants, and street kiosks to make the best of the many culinary delights offered in this beautiful state.
Top 20 Famous Sikkim Food Options
Sikkim is an Indian state located in its North-Eastern part. It is bordered by three countries, namely Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. Combining the local influences and the ones from the countries around, the Sikkim dishes are varied and made of a plethora of layers of flavors. The Sikkim cuisine has major influences from Nepal and Tibet. The majority of the state has an ethnic Nepalese and Tibetan majority with the former overpowering the latter. Due to this reason, most of the people in the state are rice eaters. There are soups, dumplings, stews, meats, and a whole lot of vegetables in this amazing intermix of Sikkimese flavors. The state has plenty to offer for one to relish. Check out the Famous food in Sikkim as you read below.
Momos is the ultimate favorite Tibetan delicacy amongst the people of this state. Not just Sikkim, Momos have expanded its base in the entire country as a scrumptious snack served in restaurants as well as street kiosks. For the ones who don’t know what a Momo is – It is a dumpling made out of flour dough with a filling inside. It is steamed to perfection and served with a spicy mix of sauces and herbs. There are fried and sauteed versions of this dish as well. The fillings usually include ingredients like meat, cheese, and vegetables. The utensil apparatus that is used to steam the momos have three layers, with usually tomato soup in the lower compartment to let the flavor of the juices absorb into the dumplings. No wonder, Momos is a famous food of Sikkim. While you are here in Sikkim, relish these flavorful wonders. If you are looking for places to visit in Namchi, don’t forget to try this scrumptious dish with a local twist.
Where to eat: Taste of Tibet, Shuffle Momos
Another delicacy that can be tried while in the Indian state of Sikkim is the Thukpa. The dish is a flavorful noodle soup that has its origins in the eastern parts of Tibet. Sikkim street food is quite rich with Thukpa leading this culinary bandwagon. Not just the street kiosks, but almost every restaurant in the state serves this amazing dish. The noodle soup has garlic, chopped onions, and green chillies to add a flavor of spice and a dash of tang. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this dish. While the former would have shredded and chopped vegetables in its mix, the latter would combine the likes of red meat and boiled or poached eggs. Savor this amazing dish while you are in Sikkim.
Where to eat: Roll house, Parivar Restaurant
3. Dal Bhaat
Dal Bhaat is a traditional food of Sikkim that is quite a craze in many parts of Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. The combination is that of boiled rice and lentil soup. Many parts of India call this dish Dal Chaawal. The Sikkimese population loves their share of Dal Bhaat as their everyday meal. The lentil soup can differentiate in flavors from places to places with certain ingredients remaining static everywhere, like salt, turmeric, and a little spice. The mixture of boiled rice and lentil soup is a comfort meal for many that are considered to satiate their taste palette to the core. If you want to keep things simple and have light meals, Daal Bhaat could be your ultimate choice of food item to relish.
Where to eat: Parivar restaurant, Osm restaurant
Dhindo is one of the famous dishes of Sikkim that is quite popular amongst locals and tourists. The dish originates from Nepal but is quite a rage in many parts of Sikkim and Darjeeling as well. The preparation is that of flour mix added to boiling water while continuously stirring it with a ladle. Clarified butter or normal butter is optional. The flour is traditionally prepared from buckwheat or millet. Grains like wheat and cornflour are common as well. One can use almost any grain provided that it is grinded into flour. The utensils used for its preparation is usually an iron pan called Palame Tapke and an iron spatula or ladle called the Dabilo. The latter helps stir the mixture and bring to the creation of a tasty comfort meal that almost all Sikkimese population love. It is also one of the best places to visit in July in Sikkim if you are planning a culinary tour.
Where to eat: Thakali, the square
A culinary delight for the non-vegetarians, Phagshapa is a much-loved food item in Sikkimese cuisine. The main ingredient for this dish is the pork fat that is accompanied by radishes and red chillies. The pork fat strips are cooked first and kept separate. While preparing the stew with radishes and spices, the pork is added along with the red chillies to provide a hot and spicy tinge to the dish. The entire preparation has no oil and combines just the vegetables and protein, making it a healthy food choice. Because of its burst of flavors and being a healthy option, it is considered by many the popular food of Sikkim that one can relish.
Where to eat: Taste of Tibet, Tripti’s
6. Sha Phaley
Sha Phaley is a combination of deep-fried flavors, bread, and a whole lot of minced meat. Originally a Tibetan dish, it is quite famous in Sikkim as well. The bread or the pastry is stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, cabbage, and spices. It is then folded into semi-circles and finally deep-fried to perfection. The outcome is a crispy pastry with a soft flavorful filling inside. With modern variations, ingredients like Tofu and Cheese have also been imbibed into the recipe. Vegetarians and vegans can relish the Tofu version and enjoy their food.
Where to eat: Masala Restaurant, Osm restaurant
7. Gundruk and Sinki
Gundruk and Sinki are dishes of Nepalese origin. The former is made of a combination of radish leaves and cauliflower. The mixture is then cooked with spices and tomato sauce. For the latter, taproots are utilized as the main ingredient. The further process is that of fermentation to lend it a sour taste. Mustard leaves and oil are added to Gundruk to lend it a nice taste. The dish is rich in roughage and helps one maintain their metabolism. Traditionally, this dish is made in an earthen pot. With modernization, other utensils are now used for their preparation. Out of the many dishes of Sikkim, both these dishes are quite popular for their taste and health benefits.
Where to eat: Hill Queen
8. Sael Roti
Sael Roti is a fried bread that is usually served along with Potato Curry. For its preparation, water and rice are mixed together to form a paste. This is then deep-fried to perfection in boiling hot oil. Even though the dish has its origins in Nepal and Tibet, it is quite a popular dish in Sikkim as well due to the Nepalese and Tibetan influences in this Indian state. Satiate your taste palettes with this flavorful and amazing dish while you are holidaying in Sikkim.
Where to eat: Agarwal pure veg restaurant, Parivar restaurant
Chang is the fermented form of Millet and yeast which helps in the fermentation process. Its other name is Thomba and is a traditional drink of the Limbu people of Eastern Nepal. Chang is the locally brewed alcoholic beverage served in and sipped with the help of a bamboo pie. Sikkim has many local distilleries and this locally made alcohol is really cheap. Don’t forget to try this amazing drink when you are in Sikkim on your next trip.
Where to eat: Tongba Bar
Thenthuk is yet another yummy soup. Prepared in the form of noodle soup made of vegetables, wheat flour and meat or mutton, it is one of the best Tibetan food in Sikkim. It is a favorite dinner for the people in Sikkim. To make it spicy, several restaurants use chilli powder while some people serve vegetable Thenthuk to keep it healthy. The origin of the Thenthuk is from Tibet.
Where to eat: The Square Family Restaurant and Bar, Taste of Tibet
11. Kinema Curry
Kinema curry is a favorite food of Sikkim people taken with rice. What makes the curry special is its unique flavor and that it is a protein-rich food. The different taste of the curry comes from the soybean after fermentation. Turmeric powder, onion, red chili, and tomato are fried before adding the fermented soybean which enhances the flavor.
Where to eat: 9ine Native Cuisine, Kookay Restaurant
12. Gya Kho
Gya Kho is one of the lips smacking local dishes in Sikkim. It is the Chimney soup served in the bowl and since the bowl resembles the shape of the chimney, it got its name Chimney soup. This Tibetan cuisine is adopted by Sikkim because of its great taste. The extraordinary taste comes because of its cooking process. It gets cooked under the coal with a lot of other ingredients in it.
Where to eat: Bonfire Baresto, Absolute Demazong Restaurant
13. Kodo Ko Roti
This local Nepali cuisine is a favorite local food among people in Sikkim. The best combination is Tomato Achar and the Kodo KO roti. It can also be served with a variety of pickles. The typical pancake is prepared with finger millet as its main ingredient, locally called Kodo. The other important ingredient includes sugar and ghee.
Where to eat: Rasoi Restaurant, The Square Family Restaurant and Bar
14. Masauyra Curry
One of the famous Nepali cuisines, Masaurya curry is a favorite local dish of Sikkim. The main ingredient that takes to make the curry is the fermented black gram. It looks like a ball and is spicy condiments. Don’t forget to try this amazing cuisine while you are in Sikkim. This dish is best served with cooked rice.
Where to eat: Delight Hotels Restaurant, Hill Queen
15. Niguru With Churpi
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.
When talking about local Sikkim food then Niguru with Churpi is one thing you can’t miss out on! This household dish is very delicious and offers the true flavor of Sikkim. It is a fermented food in which cheese is cooked with the fiddlehead fern.
Where to eat: Local markets
16. Chhurpi Soup
It is a delicious and appetizing soup made of cottage cheese. This is one of the traditional foods of Sikkim and is served as a welcome drink to visitors. Cheese and panache phoran are the key ingredients of this soup. It is garnished with coriander leaves which adds a refreshing touch to this soup. This is one of the most popular traditional food of Sikkim.
Where to eat: Roadside food stalls
17. Bamboo Shoot Curry
Bamboo Shoot Curry is a staple dish of Sikkim and fermented bamboo is used to cook this delicious curry. Turmeric is added to the curry to remove the bitter taste of bamboo shoots. Also known as Tama Curry, you can find this dish at numerous places in Sikkim.
Where to eat: Bamboo Shoot
18. Sikkim Tea
Who doesn’t want to taste delicious Sikkim tea while staying here? Rich in flavors, the tea is prepared from the tea garden called Temi tea garden. Being served in unique traditional cups, this is one of the most special drinks to try in Sikkim!
Where to try: Tea stalls at MG Market
19. Shimi Ko Achar
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.
Best accompanied with seal roti (bread), Shimi ko achar is a kind of pickle made of string bean (locally known as Shimi) and flavored with green chillies, sesame seeds, and lemon juice. This is among the famous vegetarian food in sikkim.
Where to try: Local food shops
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.
Another traditional beverage of Sikkim is Jaanr that is served in a lot of varieties at local shops. Makai ko Jaanr, Bhaate Jaanr, Simal tarul ko Jaanr, Gahun ko Jaanr, Jahun ko Jaanr, etc. are the most popular among tourists.
Where to try: Local stalls
Go on and check out the many flavorful and tasty Sikkim food items while you are holidaying at this amazing destination in India. The list of the Sikkimese culinary delights keeps on increasing with many variations that can be savored while in different parts of the state. So, explore Sikkim food and culture, book your vacation to Sikkim with TravelTriangle and savor the many local delightful flavors.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sikkim Food
What is the famous food of Sikkim?
Mostly fermented foods and drinks are popular in Sikkim due to the chilly climate. One of the famous traditional food of Sikkim includes Dhindo which is a traditional Nepalese food. Trying this dish is one of the must things to do in Sikkim.
Is vegetarian food available in Sikkim?
Though there are a lot of meat lovers in the region, vegetarian food is available in Sikkim. Gundruk and Sinki are two of the well known vegetarian food of Sikkim.
Is it safe to visit Sikkim amidst the ongoing pandemic?
The Sikkim government has eased restrictions and norms for those who have received one dose of vaccine and must carry a negative PCR report not older than 72 hours before entering.
What is the main dish of Sikkim?
Sikkim is a place with few but delicious dishes. Some of the famous dishes of Sikkim include momos, Thukpa, and Gundruk.
What is the best time to visit Sikkim?
The best time to visit Sikkim is during Summers from March to June. Sikkim at this time has the most pleasant weather to enjoy all activities in Sikkim and to indulge in sightseeing. Snow lovers can visit during Winters, that is, from November to January, but at the same time, they should be extra cautious with the unpredictable Winter weather and the fog in Sikkim. Monsoons, from July to September, are the least preferred time to visit Sikkim.
What is the staple food of Sikkim?
Despite that most dishes in Sikkim are made of rice, maize is the staple food of Sikkim. People consume meat and dairy products regularly here and eating fermented vegetables is quite popular.
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