There’s nothing like a hearty meal to greet you at the end of a long trek through the hills of Himachal! And when you are dining in this mountain region, you are blessed to encounter some dishes that just cannot be missed!
Much like the wonderful people of this region, Himachal food is hearty, inviting and provides comfort like no other. Himachal food is known for its complex flavour profile, delicate taste and sumptuousness. This is achieved through their adherence to an age-old method of cooking – slow cooking! Reliance on locally available raw materials and ingredients, like fresh yoghurt from happy grass-fed cows and herbs and spices like the perfumed cardamom that grows on the hillsides, is another reason this cuisine will have you drooling.
From the hearty comfort of Dham to the fluffy delight of Sidu, the Himachals have plenty to offer the curious traveller. And Sterling Kufri promises to delight you with absolutely authentic local fare when you pay it a visit. Trust us, the many amenities and curated experiences Sterling Kufri offers will have you famished and ready to do justice to a Himachali feast fit for the kings.
Hailing from Chamba, this is a staple dish of any feasting happening in the Himachal region. This local delicacy is served at feasts, weddings, or any religious gatherings that might take place. A legacy of the area’s Brahmins, Dham is a lentil dish. Most people would think that their area or culture has an equivalent to this Himachali dish – whether it is called daal in Delhi or parappu in Tamil Nadu. But Dham is so much more than just these simple preparations! This is a unique dish made by cooking red kidney beans or rajma, green lentils or moong dal and rice in curd. This lends a velvety mouth feel to the preparation that must be tasted to fully experience. Dham is usually accompanied by a simple urad daal called daal maash and a tangy chutney made of tamarind and jaggery lending a sweet and sour twist to the meal. Dham is also served rustically in a bowl made of leaves called pattlu.
Who doesn’t love a good rice-based dish? From the eternal favourite biryani to the ultimate comfort food when you are sick, Kichchdi, there is nothing like a bowl of rice that will fill the belly and soothe the soul. Things are no difficult in these majestic mountains, where a sweetened rice dish hits the spot-on wintry nights. Studded with raisins, cashew nuts, sticks of cinnamon and other dry fruits, this sweetened rice dish is hearty and comforting. There are many versions of this dish, depending on the region it hails from. And it caters to the sweet tooth – what more could one want from their Himachali vacation?
Mountain climbing can get exhausting for the muscles, which means you need to load up on the protein. What better way to do that than indulging in Chha Gosht, a tasty Himachali lamb preparation? This mild curry has the most tender chunks of marinated lamb simmering in a buttermilk and roasted gram flour gravy. It is gently flavoured with local aromatic spices like dried red chillies, bay leaves, and cardamom. For the most authentic experience, make sure your Chha Gosht has been cooked in mustard oil – it lends it an unbeatable flavour.
Mutton lovers, this is a slow-cooked treat that you can just not afford to miss. Soak it up with some freshly steamed rice or dip into it with the star of the show – Sidu, our favourite Himachali preparation.
Love your carbs? Find a new way to get them in your belly with this traditional Himachali baked good that will have you rejecting your fancy brioche the next time you decide to indulge. Sidu is traditionally made with wheat flour. Yeast is added to the kneaded dough, which means that it is not a quick bread. Rather, it has to be set aside for four to five hours to allow the dough to rise. Traditionally, Sidu is a stuffed bread, where the stuffing can include peas, potatoes and spices. It is usually eaten with clarified butter or desi ghee, green coriander chutney, lentils or daal or even with a spicy mutton curry. Sidu looks a lot like a calzone, a familiar Italian delicacy that is essentially a stuffed pizza. Much like its Italian cousin, Sidu is also a semi-circle, with braided edges, browned in the oven until cooked through. Sidu is especially popular in the Mandu, Kullu, Manali, Rohru and Shimla areas of the Himachal.
When you choose Sterling Resorts, these Himachal delicacies are never too far away – an authentic, local recipe is used to prepare these treats for Sterling Dharamshala guests visiting the majestic Himachal.