Uttarakhand Cuisine





Uttarakhand Cuisine (Pahaadi Cuisine) comes from the terrains of Uttarakhand state. Uttarakhand Cuisine is divided into two regional cuisines namely Kumaon Cuisine and Garhwali Cuisine. Although Kumaon and Garhwal are divided in different regions, they unite as one in its methods of cooking and the choice of ingredients. A balanced flavor is the key to authentic Uttarakhand cuisine that is mostly cooked over slow fire and consists of lentils. Here the cuisine includes lots of milk and dairy products for cooking and flavoring along with strong spices. Cooking is done mostly using ghee or mustard oil. This Uttarakhand Cuisine is famous for both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes equally. This cuisine is also famous for unique combination of grains and lentils for dishes with aromatic spices. The cuisine in this region changes with the season and has its own impact on the health and well being of an individual.

The dishes in Garhwal region deeply connects to its people where the food is prepared with right amount of spices which entices one to savor it. However, a few spices which are uncommon to the rest of India are used here and are grown locally on the Himalayan hills. They are jamboo (allium stracheyi), gandrayani (angelica glauca) and jakhiya (cleome viscose), bhangjeera (hemp seeds / perilla frutescens). These are herbs which are commonly used along with other spices to cook the traditional Uttarakhand Cuisine. The food is cooked keeping in view the nutritional value and natural qualities of the grains , lentils, vegetables and spice ingredients being used.

A few popular dishes of Uttarakhand Cuisine are:

  • chainsoo refers to gravy dish made of black gram where the gram is roasted before cooking
  • phanu refers to a dal dish made of variety of lentils by soaking them in water
  • kafuli / kapaa refers to a thick gravy dish made of green leafy vegetables especially spinach
  • thechwani refers to a thick gravy dish made of radish and potatoes by crushing them instead of cutting
  • jholi refers to a simple gravy dish made of tomatoes, vegetables and sometimes curd
  • baadi refers to a flat bread kind made of buck wheat flour and served with phanu
  • mandua ki roti refers to a flat bread made of finger millet flour
  • marchha ki roti refers to flat bread made of cow peas / black eyed peas flour
  • aloo ke gutke refers to a snack dish made of potatoes and dry spices served with poori / puri and raitha
  • rus / thhatwani refers to a stew dish in Kumaon Region, prepared by lentils cooked on low flame, high in nutrients and a kind of stock is prepared, later the lentils are removed and the stock is served with rice alone
  • dubuk / dubke refers to a dish in which local pulses like gahat (horse gram) and bhatt (black beans) are soaked overnight, made into a paste, cooked with powdered spices in an iron pot. Dubuk / Dubke has a smooth texture and is quite a popular winter dish
  • chudkaani refers to a stew dish made with bhatt (black beans) soaked overnight and then cooked with spice and ghee / butter
  • jhangora ki kheer refers to a sweet dish made with milk, jhangora (barnyard millet) and dry fruits
  • sisunaak saag refers to a curry dish made of sisun / bichhu ghaas, which is a wild plant with thorns all over and creates itching if touched. These are carefully soaked in hot water and made as a paste to cook with tomatoes and ghee for the curry
  • gahat ki dal refers to a stew dish made of gahat (horse gram)
  • gaderi methi ki sabzi refers to a curry made of gaderi / laal arbi (red colocasia roots) and fenugreek leaves
  • laal chaawal ki kheer refers to sweet dish made of red rice and milk with dry fruits
  • bal mithai refers to a popular local sweet dish made with khova / khoya (condensed milk) and garnished with sugar balls
  • singodi refers to a sweet dish made with khova / khoya (condensed milk), grated coconut, cardamom, sugar and rolled in malu leaves (local leaves)
  • lesu refers to a flat bread made with mixture of wheat flour and mandua flour
  • sani hui muli aur nimbu refers to a typical refreshing and tempting dish which is a mixture of radish, lemon, curd and paste of bhaang seeds, eaten during winter season
  • singal refers to a sweet dish like jalebi which is made of suji (semolina), curd, ghee, sugar and banana