Himachal Pradesh has diversity in religion, culture, and languages. Visitors to this place can find several Hindu communities and tribal communities residing here. Himachalis eat a simple daily cuisine consisting of bread, rice, lentils, broth and vegetables, just like the rest of north India.

In the traditional Himachal cuisine wheat bread and red meat are prominent. People here use rich and thick gravy featuring aromatic spices. This is the base of several dishes here. Modern Himachalis love steamed noodles and ‘momos’ (dumplings). The specialties of Himachal cuisine include Madira, Manee, Chouck, Bhagiery, Pateer and chutney of Til.

Himachal Pradesh cuisine is a classic mix of Tibetan and Punjabi culture. There is also the presence of South Indian and international cuisine here. Spicy and steamed momos tickle almost every Himachali and visitor’s taste buds. Visitors can also relish pastas garnished with various sauces and spices.

Use of spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and red chillies is prevalent in Himachali food. In this state, the chief meal is followed by a type of sweet and sour sauce made from jaggery and tamarind, called “Khatta”. Then comes “Mittha,” which is a dessert made from sweet rice containing ample amount of dry fruits and raisins.

The meal courses are served on leaf plates. Traditionally, people sit on the floor to eat. In modern homes, this may not be prevalent though.

The sweet tooth of Himachalis

People of this state are fond of tea. Highland culture of this state encourages cattle rearing. So, there is an abundant availability of milk products here. Tea is an inseparable part of Himachal food. Tourists can relish different types of tea here. The ‘botis’ (chefs) have created a variety of tea recipes in the state.

Milk and its products are an integral part of daily diet here. Even today, visitors can find cows in traditional houses. The energy-rich “sattu” is an indispensable item of daily meal. Several dishes can be prepared from it.

Nasasta is a famous sweet meat of people in Kangra region. Then there is the “Mittha Kaddu”. In this dish, pumpkin pieces are cooked with sour and sweet flavors of chillies and tamarind with a dash of sugar and a mix of spices.

Preparing sweet pumpkin (Mittha Kaddu) dish

Peel the red variety of pumpkin and scoop out its fibers and seeds. Cut it into cubes. Heat oil in “Kadai, add asafetida, fennel, cumin seeds and fenugreek. Saute till light color with whole red chillies and ginger. Add pumpkin cubes. Stir fry the pumpkin on high heat till it becomes glossy.

Now add turmeric, salt, coriander powder, garam masala, chilli powder and a pinch of sugar. Mix well. Keep the kadai on low heat. Cover it and let it simmer till the pumpkin is cooked. Stir the mixture 3-4 times. Let it cook for less than 5 minutes. Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

When in Himachal, remember that meals here are often topped with sour and finished with sweet. So, you can take your taste buds to a diverse trip here – sweet, sour and spicy. People of this state are habitual of living in fresh air. They live life in a simple way. It reflects in what and how they eat. Experience the simplicity woven with delicacy in Himachali food, especially in its desserts.

Related Image


Also Browse Following Under This Section

Related Topics

Fairs & Festivals In HP

Himachal Pradesh is an Indian state that has not been affected by external traditions, especially because of difficult...

Culture In HP

The difficult terrain and isolation of Himachal has made it largely untouched by the modern and western influences....


Outdoor activities always fascinate...


The state of Himachal Pradesh in the...