Himachali Cuisine









Himachali Cuisine refers to the cuisine from the state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachali Cuisine is also known as Pahaadi Cuisine and has a large influence from neighboring Uttarakhand Cuisine. Here the focus is mainly on lentil, broth, rice, green leafy vegetables and bread and red meat. Thick and rich gravy with aromatic spices is used in abundance as the base for many dishes. The green leafy veggie called bichhu buti or stinging nettle is intensively grown in Himachal Pradesh and consumed popularly. This cuisine is loaded with ghee (clarified butter) that keeps the body warm. All the dishes all have a dominant hit of jaggery or tamarind used intensively in the local preparations along with sugar, dried mango powder and cardamom. The raw meat is cooked with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, red chillies and coriander leaves and consumed locally.

A few popular dishes of Himachali Cuisine are:

  • madra refers to a curry dish made of chickpeas or kidney beans, slowly cooked in curd gravy along with tamarind, cloves, black cardamom, clove powder, turmeric and cumin
  • chana mahani refers to a curry dish made of bengal gram or black chickpeas along with their flour and boiled seeds, mustard oil, ghee, spices, mango powder and jaggery
  • aloo palda refers to a thick gravy curry dish made of aloo (potatoes) added to curd that is cooked in mustard oil laden with spices
  • sidu / siddu refers to a ball of wheat flour filled with dry fruits or pulses eaten with ghee
  • khatta refers to side dish made of chickpeas blended with a whole lot of spices, dry mango and tamarind
  • patande refers to a pancake made of wheat flour
  • dham refers to a dish prepared by the brahmin’s of the Chamba region by cooking red kidney beans (rajma), green lentils (moong dal) and rice in curd. It is served steamed with mash dal, boor ki kadhi, sweet and sour sauce made of tamarind and jaggery
  • mittha refers to a dessert dish prepared with sweetened rice mixed with a generous helping of raisins and other dry fruits
  • babru refers to a savory dish made by stuffing soaked and grounded black gram dal paste to kneaded dough patties. These patties are then rolled and deep fried, served with tamarind chutney
  • chana madra refers to a curry dish made with kabuli chana (white chickpeas), cooked in a thick gravy, then seasoned with  assorted spices, ginger, garlic and onions
  • auriya kaddu / kaddu ka khatta refers to a dish made with pumpkin, cooked in a spicy and tangy gravy with dry raw mango powder
  • chha ghosht refers to a dish made with marinated lamb meat cooked in a gravy of gram flour, yogurt and spices such as cardamom, red chilli powder, coriander powder, bay leaf, asafoetida and ginger-garlic paste
  • mash dal / kali dal refers to a stew gravy dish made with split black lentils soaked overnight, pressure cooked and then simmered in a heavy bottomed pan along with chopped onions, ginger, garlic and spices shallow fried in hot mustard oil
  • patande refers to a pancake dish made with smooth batter made from wheat flour, milk and sugar, poured on a ghee laden hot griddle
  • kullu trout refers to a fish dish made with marinated trout, shallow fried in mustard oil with spices
  • akotri refers to a type of cake made with buckwheat flour, mixed with wheat flour, usually prepared on special occasions or festivals
  • tudkiya bhath refers to a rice dish made with rice cooked with lentils, potatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and yogurt and spiced with bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and red chilli powder
  • bhey refers to a dish made of lotus stems. The stems are thinly sliced, washed and boiled, then stir fried with onion, ginger and garlic paste, gram flour, pepper and other spices