The perfect time to relish the cuisine of Himachal Pradesh is during its festivals and fairs. During this time, the traditional methods of cooking take a backseat. The local people in the state don their creative hats and cook elaborate and scrumptious dishes that are hard to resist.

The daily meal of a typical Himachali consists of the usual roti (Indian bread), sabzi (vegetable), dal (pulses) and chawal (rice), which is similar to a classic north Indian meal. Yet, during a festival, people here cook special dishes that titillate the taste buds. The person who tries them for the first time can never forget the taste their whole life!

The famous traditional festival dish of Himachal Pradesh

The traditional festival dish of this state is Dham. It is actually a food festival. Only ‘botis’ cook this meal. They are a specific caste of Brahmins who are chefs from generations to generations. They began preparing for this elaborate lunch the night before. The meal consists of several courses. It is served on leaf plates or epattalsi.

In Chamba, a classic Dham menu starts with rice and ‘moong dal’ (broth of green lentils), plus ‘madrah of rajma’ (red kidney beans) that are cooked in yoghurt. The next course comprises of dark lentil (mash dal) and ‘boor kikari’. This is topped by ‘khatta’, a sweet and sour sauce made from jaggery and tamarind. The Dham meal ends with ‘mittha’ or dessert, which is sweet rice containing generous amounts of dry fruits and raisins.

Utensils used in cooking this meal are generally of copper. People sit on the floor to have this meal. This food festival of Dham attracts tourists from all over India and the world. Dham is a special attraction for foodies and those who appreciate simple living and simple eating. The menu of this meal displays simplicity and at the same time, dynamics and vibrancy of the locals of Himachal Pradesh.

Other popular festival dishes of the state

Other dishes prepared during festivals include Ankalos, which are prepared from rice flour. There is also a kind of cake called Aktori. It is made by mixing wheat flour and leaves of buckwheat. The dish is popular in Spiti and Lahaul areas of Himachal Pradesh.

Patande is yet another festival dish to try. It is a kind of pancake, which is a specialty of Sermur area of the state. This dish is one of the essential items of Himachali cuisine. The dish is made from wheat. It is popularly called Himachal Pradesh’s Indian Pancake.

Sidu is also a popular dish made from wheat flour and garnished with butter or ghee. Locals generally offer this dish to guests. Its heavenly taste leaves people wanting for more.

Himachal Pradesh is a state where people are busy with festivals and fairs. Tourists find bursts of activities in almost all months of the year. This means cuisine of the state is almost always bubbling with delicious menus. Mouth-watering dishes and drinks await visitors here anytime, anywhere in Himachal Pradesh.

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