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Traditional Food of Himachal Pradesh: The Local Guide

Verdant mountains, lush green forests, charming weather, and heavenly landscapes are the ingredients that go into the making of traditional food of Himachal Pradesh. Counted among the most popular food in India, Himachli food is a delicacy that cannot be compared with other cuisines. Here are some pahari dishes that you must try next time you travel to Himachal Pradesh.




Regularly served at Himachali festivals and household gatherings, this staple food of Himachal Pradesh is a rice dish made in ghee, mixed with a heavy dose of dry fruits such as raisins, cashews, almonds, and a dollop of heady sweetness to satiate the sweet tooth. Eaten as part of the main course, this pahari dish is usually orange in colour due to the saffron mixed into it.





Commonly prepared and consumed at festivals, this dish is especially counted amongst the KulluManali famous foods, and may as well be a scrumptious meal in itself. Traditionally served on a plate of leaves, this pahari dish consists of elaborately prepared rajma, rice, moong dal, mash dal, curd, and a special delicacy called boor kikadi. The preparation is best accompanied by a sweet and sour tamarind (imli) sauce along with a side of jaggery (gur).





Another must have from KulluManali famous foods list, sidu is a side dish that may also be eaten as a standalone snack. Prepared from wheat flour, the sidu is a local version of bread within Himachali food. Made through a long and time consuming process of kneading, resting, and steaming, this fattening and rich delicacy is devoured in ghee or butter, on the one hand, and can also be relished as a side dish with mutton or dal on the other.





The best time to visit Himachal to get the best of Himachal Pradesh food really is the festival time. An exquisite dish made during celebration time, the Aktori is a kind Himachali food name and version of a cake or pancake. A preparation of buckwheat leaves cooked with wheat, this dish is said to be a local preparation of the Lahaul-Spiti valley, but is today famously prepared and relished across Himachal Pradesh, with a dash of local twist in flavour in each part of the Himachali land.






A Himachali variation of the north Indian kachori, Babru is especially enjoyed in the more popular towns and hill stations of Himachal, and is considered amongst one of the most famous foods in Shimla. Made with a stuffing of soaked kala chana - in the form of a paste or sometimes a mixture - and gently kneaded into dough to form soft flat patties which are then fried and served hot with imliki chutney.



Kullu Trout



Native to the fish found in the Kullu region of KulluManali valley, this luxurious speciality packs in a punch of flavour and seasoning. The dish obviously derives its Himachali food name from the main ingredient on the plate, i.e. the trout fish, which is marinated in minimal spices to retain the natural flavour of the trout. It is lightly cooked in mustard oil and is best accompanied with a sumptuous helping of boiled vegetables.





Another flavour packed non-vegetarian delight, the ChhaGhosht is easily a Himachali variation of some of the most popular foods in India. A rich and delectable amalgamation of herbs, spices, and seasoning, this aromatic plate of food is a blessing on the palate of those who enjoy flavoursome dishes. A rich portion of lamb is marinated and cooked in a heavy gravy of besan (gram flour) and curd, further enhanced by Indian spices such as red chilli powder, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, dhaniya powder, and a ginger-garlic paste.


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