Himachali Food and Cuisine:15 Must Try AwesomeTraditional foods Of HimachalPradesh

Himachali food and cultures are different yet beautiful in their own way. The Pahari tradition and people both are responsible for enhancing the value of their culture to the world.

Being a multi-religion, multicultural, and multilingual state, Himachal Pradesh is unswayed by Western culture. The Pahari tradition remains in today’s generation also. The snow-capped lofty mountains of the Himalayas covered Himachal Pradesh allure tourists not only for their beauty but also for its traditional food. The Himachali foods are largely influenced by Punjabi, Pahari, and Tibetan cuisines. Traditionally the cuisine is subjugated by Red Meat and wheat bread. The rich and thick gravy with aromatic spices is the symbol of this cuisine. The combination of day-to-day cuisine influenced by north India and the festivals of Pahari cuisine and evenings of Tibetan dishes shows the emblem of its rich cuisine.

                               Here is a list of some popular food items commonly eaten in different regions of the state.           

  1.  Dhaam
  2. Madra
  3. Siddu
  4. Babru
  5. Kullu Trout fish
  6. Aktori
  7. Bhey
  8. Chha Gosht
  9. Kaale channe ka khatta
  10. Tibetan Thukpa
  11. Mithha
  12. Tudkiya Bhath
  13. Chicken Anardana
  14.   Aaloo Palda
  15. Pattande   
Himachali food
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Dhaam: Himachali Food

Dhaam is a traditional feast celebrated in Himachal Pradesh and the Jammu region.” In my suggestion, this is the most authentic Pahari Himachali Food . Dhaam” means “Thaali” where lots of vegetarian side dishes are served with rice in a fixed manner that includes both savory and sweet dishes. In Himachal Pradesh “Dhaam” is cooked only by Botis( a particular caste of Brahmins who are hereditary chefs). This mid-day meal begins the night before. The dishes served in Dhaam vary according to region wise. But some of the common dishes are Aromatic rice, fried pulses or dal, spicy vegetable curry of red beans, Madra, and desserts. These dishes are cooked and served in Brass pots and plates or Thaalis respectively.


This is a chickpea-based gravy and one of the main dishes served in Dhaam or one can eat it in normal day-to-day life with some steamed rice or rotis(Indian bread). Different regions like this chickpea-based curry made from other main ingredients in Chamba, people like Rajma Madra, in  Kangra region, locals like Aloo chana and Dryfruit Madra, in Mandi, Sepu badi and Dry fruit Madra loved by locals. This is the 1st dish served in “Dhaam”.


The traditional food is often consumed during winter with some pure ghee(Clarified butter) or dal to keep their body warm. This is a wheat-based fermented bread stuffed with dry fruit and sugar paste. These days locals are experimenting with the stuffing to give a new version of siddu which includes Urad dal paste without skin, Mashed potatoes, and Oats with different spices. The shape of the siddu is either an Oval or Disc shape. Mostly eaten in Upper hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh like Kullu, Manali, Shimla, and Rohru on special occasions or celebratory events.


These are Black gram (soaked overnight and coarsely ground)stuffed kachoris or puris(whole wheat bread deep-fried in oil). This is a breakfast item served with chana Madra and Boondi raita.

Kullu Trout fish

People who love seafood do not miss the chance to have this delicious fish dish. It is one of the costliest fish in India, but it’s not so costly that one can’t buy it. Mostly eaten either in deep-fried or shallow-fried form with minimal spices with some mint chutney.


It is a mild-sweet dish that resembles Western pancakes made from buckwheat flour. It is originated in Lahaul-Spiti and a popular dish among everyone in Himachal Pradesh. Served with spicy curry.


It means “in the lap of the Himalayas”. The delicious stir-fried lotus stems coated with chickpea flour itself are a snack or best served with Tawa paratha and Gujarati Dal(lentil soup).

Chha Gosht

For non-vegetarian people who are meat lovers, this is heaven for them. Especially mutton lovers will definitely enjoy this dish. Here, the meat is marinated for hours and boiled along with roasted gram flour, red chili flakes, asafoetida, and fresh spices. Best served with Roti or steamed rice.

Kaale channa ka Khatta

It comes under the daily consuming food items made from dark chickpeas cooked in a tart and hot sauce enhanced with tamarind. Served with plain steamed rice. It is one of the main dishes of Dhaam. Each dish has its fixed order of being served in Dhaam so as Kaale channa ka khatta. It is always served after “Tiliye mah” or sometimes after “Chane ki dal”.

Tibetan Thukpa

Though it originated in Tibet but loved by everyone in Himachal Pradesh. Thukpa is a traditional noodle soup with veggies or chicken which has different tastes in different regions of India. Like Himachal Pradesh, it is widely loved in Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Ladakh.


            It is a flavourful sweet rice enhanced by dry fruits like cashews,      raisins, saffron milk, and spices. This is purely a rich Himachali Pahari dish prepared for special occasions, festivals, and Dhaam. This is a slow cook process for storing the nutritional value of the food.

  Tudkiya Bhath

It is a type of Pulao made from lentils, spices, veggies, and curd cooked with a unique Himachali style. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice or garlic sauce makes it extra delicious. It also goes well with mass dal or split black lentil soup. If you are in Himachal, then must try this authentic Pahari dish.

 Chicken Anardana

One of the unique chicken recipes you will find in Himachal Pradesh. This is truly a Pahari treasure. Fried chicken cooked with yogurt and dry pomegranate along with Himachali spices tells you to eat more and more and visit Himachal recurrently. It is a main dish served with rice or roti.

  Aloo Palda

For potato lovers, this is definitely a mouthwatering dish. It is a yogurt-based gravy. Kind of similar to “Kadhi” but the cooking process is different and chickpea flour is absent in Palda. Very light spiced curry with an easy n quick recipe best goes with roti or poori. Toddlers can eat this as it is a very healthy dish.


A delicious breakfast dish originates in the Srimour dist. Of the state. It is also known as the pancake of India similar to Aktori. The difference is Aktori is made from Kuttu and Pantande is made from wheat flour along with ghee, sugar, milk, baking powder, and spices like cardamom and cinnamon. It is also a toddler’s food.

Himachal food

Himachal Pradesh has lots of Pahari cuisines. But the above foods are the most popular dishes consumed and loved by everyone. If you love mountains and Pahari food and planning to visit Himachal Pradesh then do try these authentic dishes and let me know about your experience with these dishes in the comment section below.

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