Himachal Pradesh is a hilly region where cold climate prevails. Hence here the regular cuisine consists of food that provides heat and energy. Also the taste of people varies in different regions. The regular food has a generous dose of non vegetarian food along with good quantities of spices. Nearly all the people in the state like a variety of meats. However, the staple foods of the people of Himachal Pradesh are rice, paddy and maize.
On the barren lands of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur, more emphasis is given to the grains and cereals that are locally grown like barley, millet, etc. The areas that contain large pastures, use milk and milk products in their dishes. The people of Himachal Pradesh are not very fond of vegetarian food. Till recently, the only vegetarian food they preferred to eat are potatoes and turnips. But now-a-days more and more green vegetables are being used in the daily diet of the Himachal people.
One of the famous cuisines of Himachal Pradesh is the Sidu. Made from the wheat flour, it is kneaded along with yeast and then the dough is kept to rise for almost five hours. It is then stuffed with fat followed by its roasting over a small fire. Then it is steamed. Sidu is normally eaten with meat or pure ghee. The ankalos, a dish made up of rice flour is another cuisine of Himachal Pradesh used to add taste to the festivities in some parts of Himachal.
The Dham is a very popular traditional meal partaken during festivities. It is a kind of holy food which is only prepared by the hereditary Brahmin chefs. This mid day meal is mostly served on leaf plates to get the typical flavour of the dish. In the Chamba region, the dham has a typical menu that starts with rice, moong dal and rajma cooked in yoghurt. This course is followed by boor ki kari and a dark lentil that is topped with sweet and sour chutney which is made up of tamarind and jaggery. The culmination of dham is marked with the serving of a dessert that is made up of sweet rice and dry fruits.
The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their special virtue of hospitality. They are one of the most hospitable people that remain on earth. They do not stop from inviting an acquaintance, who may be someone they have just met, for a feast or any occasion or festival. Incase the guest does not have enough time, then he/she is offered packed food.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/06