‘Add Spice To Your Life’ In The Hills Of Himachal: These Hot Dishes Will Have You And Your Bae Rushing To The Hills Of Himachal Pradesh
Feb 15, 2018 4:08:19 AM
Hello again my thirsty travellers and welcome back to another edition of our travel blog where we take you on a mini vacation around India, and the world to some of the most exotic destinations ‘to die for’!
We’ve been talking a lot about the different mountain getaways where you can cool off this upcoming summer including the chilly hills of Himachal and the amazing things that you can do there with your bae, friends, and family, and even if you're travelling solo.
Now we realise that Valentine’s day just passed us by and we’re sure things really heated up but the week’s not over yet and we think you might still be in the mood for something a little hot and spicy. Speaking of hot and spicy, have you tried the food in Himachal? Sure, the high snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, placid lakes and lush green valleys make for great trekking, hiking, skiing and other adventurous outdoor activities, which we all love Himachal for. But the chill in the air makes the food taste that much more delicious and the drinks even warmer and more comforting, especially if you’re travelling with your bae.
We’ve “dished out” some of the hottest, sweetest and simply downright delicious foods that, we think, will have you and your family, friends, or your bae rushing to the hills of Himachal this summer. It might be cold up in the mountains but these foods will be sure to make your vacation a little steamier and a whole lot spicier!
A spicy delicacy of the Chamba region of Himachal Pradesh, Madra consists of chickpeas or chana and vegetables cooked in a variety of delicious spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cumin, coriander powder and turmeric powder that only enhance the taste, not to mention the spice factor of this mouthwatering dish. Madra is a true representation of the food culture of Himachal. Enjoy this with some hot rotis or naans along with a dollop of ghee. P.S. – Don’t count the calories!
Fan of the traditional Indian thaali? Then you cannot miss the ‘thaali with a twist’ of Himachal, or Dhaam. Again originating from Chamba and Manali, this spicy, nutritious combination of red kidney beans (rajma), green lentils (moong daal) and curd rice followed by a sweet relief of gur (jaggery) served on a plate made of leaves hits high on the spice scales! It doesn’t get more traditional than this! A must-have meal at any festival or special occasion in Himachal, this dish is so special that the cooks who make it have a special name themselves - botis.
A favourite in the households of Himachal, bhey or spicy fried lotus stems is a weirdly scrumptious snack. Thinly sliced lotus stems are cooked in oil, ginger-garlic, onions and gram flour and go great with a hot cup of chai.
Time for the hard-core carnivores to satisfy their palates. Chha Gosht is a typical Himachal spicy delicacy prepared with marinated lamb which is further cooked in the gravy of gram flour and yogurt and enhanced further with the addition of spices like cardamom, red chili powder, coriander powder, bay leaf, asafetida and ginger-garlic paste. Keep a handkerchief handy because here come the meat sweats! But trust us when we say they’re totally worth it!
Ok, let's take a break with something a little sweeter. Indian pancakes anyone? Patande is a popular breakfast dish in the Sirmour district of Himachal. Similar to the preparation of dosas, patande is made from a batter of wheat flour, milk, and sugar. A ladle full of this scrumptiously smooth batter is poured gently onto a ghee laden hot griddle and is then smoothened out gently using circular motions to make sweet, sweet patande.
This tantalizingly tangy and sumptuously spicy dish is made with pumpkin cooked in a madra gravy and dried raw mango powder (amchoor) along with the other regular Indian spices. Reading on the Scoville scale? An 8 on 10, at least!
Treat your taste buds to the authentic rice dish or pulao of Himachal which the locals have their own special way of cooking. Apart from the usual Indian spices that already add so much flavour, this rice dish is also accompanied by lentils, potatoes, and yoghurt that, even though might be a capsaicin overload for the faint-hearted, will make you crave for another spoonful. Add a few drops of lime juice to this flavorful rice dish to make it even more pungent and delectable.
So, apart from its mystifying scenic beauty, Himachal is one place where the food gives even the best Michelin star restaurant a run for its money! Packed with pungency, flowing with flavour and simmering with spice, these dishes will sure to have you and your bae rushing to the hills of Himachal. Summer is about to get even hotter up in the cool hills of Himachal!