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Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh
Post Last Modified – May 08, 2023 ¦

The Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh – India

Writer at Desk

One of our most favorite things to do when traveling to new destinations, is taking a food tour. I love sampling new local favorite dishes in the country I am visiting.

So when approached by my guest author wishing to post an article here on the Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh, I was delighted to learn more and share his thoughts here with you!

Himachal Pradesh – India

Himachal Pradesh India

Although famous for all its mighty 🏔 snowcapped mountains, its valleys, dense forests, vast expanses of meadows and pastures, there is another important aspect specific to this State in India.

It is the traditional cuisine of Himachal Pradesh, that it is so well known for!

No State in India boasts of its culture and its traditional cuisine. This especially so, when served on special occasions such as festivals and marriages, as much as Himachal Pradesh.

It will not be out of context to say that the inherent beauty of Himachal Pradesh does not lie only in its natural beauty, but also in its traditional cuisine.

For foodie lovers, this guest feature article will portray some of Northern India’s most delectable dishes.

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh – Favorite Dishes

Dham – A Traditional Feast

dhaam traditional feast

Dham is a traditional feast that is held on all important occasions such as; marriages, festivals or any other special days. A Dham which is essentially a vegetarian spread, comprises of multiple dishes.

They may consist of a combination of rice, rajmah, chick peas, khatta, dal, at times sambar just to name a few.

This Himachali cuisine is also known as Pahari. All these dishes carry a very specific taste and flavor, on account of the ingredients that go into cooking of these dishes, particularly cardamoms and yoghurt.

The methodology of cooking is totally different, as compared to the procedure elsewhere in India. The process of slow cooking is made use of in the preparation of a Dham, comprising of all the dishes described above.

For very special occasions, these dishes are prepared by specially trained chefs locally known as ‘Botis.’ Traditional cooks who have been passed on the art of slow cooking from generation to generation.

Dhaam Feast

Spices like; chilies, turmeric, cinnamon and cardamoms are quite generously used in the cooking of these specialties. Lending them a fiery and a spicy tinge, that is favored by the strong hearted lovers of Himachali cuisine.

To further enhance the taste and flavor of Himachali dishes, dairy products including; butter milk, yoghurt, and ghee are made use of. This results are creamy and flavorful, offering a very distinct taste and a flavor.

Let’s look at some of the individual dishes that comprise of a Himachali Dham, simply mouthwatering dishes in their own way!


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #1

cuisine of himacahal pradash - madra

The foremost serving along with rice in a Dham, Madra is specific to the regions of the Kangra and Chamba districts of the State.

A dish that consists mainly of soaked chick peas or other vegetables, cooked along with potatoes in oil & yoghurt. These ingredients give this dish a typical creamy texture along with various spices including; turmeric, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, cumin and dhaniya.

Mixed together making this dish an important part of any delectable Himachali cuisine.

Tudkiya Bhaath

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #2

Tudkiya Bhaath Indian Dish

The Tudkiya Bhaat is a delicious recipe and a perfect blend of numerous spices proportionately added.

An ideal combination of rice cooked with potatoes, lentils, and yoghurt. Combined with a generous combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cinnamon, cardamoms, giving the dish an unforgettable lip – smacking taste!

The addition of a few drops of lime, further enhances the taste of this amazing Himachali dish. One that is found mainly in the Chamba District of the State, invariably leaving you yearning for more!

Bhey – Spicy Lotus Stems

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #3

Bhey - Spicy Lotus Stems

A dish typically found all over Himachal, it is prepared by thinly slicing the Lotus roots into circular pieces and then cooking them in oil. This, after soaking them in a delicious paste of; onions, ginger, garlic and gram flour until crispy brown.

This paste adds to it a very distinct and a superb taste. You can also cook these into a curry form, using some additional traditional spices.

Chha Gosht

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #3

Chha Gosht

One of the typically scrumptious Himachali dishes for hard-core non-vegetarians, is definitely one not to be missed out on.

This traditional dish of Himachal is prepared using well marinated lamb, cooked in gram flour and yoghurt. Spices may include; cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cumin, red chili powder, bay leaf, ginger-garlic paste and asafetida.

The taste and the flavor that is brought out, is nothing less than delicious. A must try meat dish when visiting the State.


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #4


Made using wheat flour or atta as it is commonly known, Siddu is a localized side dish of a Himachali cuisine. This is a perfect compliment to the main course of mutton or any other vegetable.

Although the preparation of this is very time consuming, the taste that it gives is worth every minute of the time spent in preparing.

This favorite dish is steamed to maintain the richness in its taste and preservation of its nutrient value. It is widely served in restaurants of Himachal, giving tourists a flavor of the delectable Himachali cuisine.


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #5


I am quite certain that all of us have at some point, savored the delicious kachori’s. Especially when served hot, with the accompanying Sabji.

My mouth starts watering at the very mention of these!

The Himachali version of the North Indian kachori; Babru, often found in Shimla as it is locally known, comes with a small twist. It is made from flat bread prepared with a stuffing of black gram paste, which is kneaded into the dough and later fried in oil.

The scrumptious and crispy taste when taken with tamarind chutney or the famed Chana Madra, is something incomparable and beats the conventional North Indian kachory in taste and flavor.


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #6


It is typically the Indian version of a pancake that is a specialty of the Sirmauri people who relish it as their breakfast dish.

It is made from a mix of wheat flour, sugar and milk. Also known as the flapjack, patande is a fantastic breakfast delicacy relished the people of the district or rather Himachal Pradesh.

In fact it is also categorized as one of the delicacies of the Himachali cuisine.


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #7


A Himachali seasonal specialty made during the end of the monsoon season when the arabi leaves can be found in abundance. It is also prepared as one of the delicacies cooked to mark the celebrations of Sankranti that falls each year on September 16.

The Patrode are prepared by applying a paste of gram flour, together with select spices, rolling them up and ultimately steam cooking.

Before enjoying them, you cut them up into pieces and fry them before relishing them with some chutney accompaniment.


Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #8


Mittha is an important part of a Himachali dham. This sweet dish is served as the closing course in the meal. It is essentially sweetened rice cooked mixed with raisins and dry fruits.

A perfect way to complete a festive dham!

The Tibetan Dishes

Traditional Cuisine Of Himachal Pradesh #9

tibetan dishes

The State of Himachal Pradesh is also a home to a number of Tibetans. When we talk about the Himachali cuisine or its food, it would be incomplete without a mention of Tibetan food and delicacies.

The best of Tibetan cuisine can be found in and around Dharamshala or Mcleodganj. Close to Dharamshala is the Tibetan settlement known as little Lahasa.

This is where you will find Tibetan culture and their food at its best. Such delicacies include the famous Momo’s, Thupka, Tingmo and Luchi Poti Naizha Cake. This, just to name a few delicious dishes that can be enjoyed at many kiosks throughout Himachal Pradesh.

Final Thoughts Banner

Above, are just a few of the delectable Himachali delicacies that simply must be sampled, when visiting this beautiful part of India.

After all, isn’t travel all about getting to know the true culture of a new destination one visits?

Guest Author at Gr8 Travel Tips

Contributing Author:

Rahul Arora

Rahul Arora has one year of experience in Digital Marketing. He’s currently working as a Digital Marketing Executive at Indian Travel Store. He loves to explore new terrains in a different corner of the world, or out in the city freezing urban scenarios in his camera.

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A Blogger Since 2012, Robert has a {Passion for Travel}, having worked in the industry for over 35 years. He enjoys sharing special moments & tips on; Travel, Health & Wellness, Book Reviews and much more!

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