Chhutagi, The Ladakhi Pasta, A Perfect Winter Wholesome Meal
Image Credit: Dickeydol Recipe@Facebook

Ladakh is a land of an enigma. Akin to its scenic charm, its local cuisine often leaves a mainlander in awe of its exoticness. While Italy is known as the epicentre of our beloved pasta, Ladakh also has an indigenous one, which is no less exquisite. It is chhutagi, a popular Ladakhi dish similar to pasta. In Ladakh, chhu denotes water, and tagi means bread. The pasta dough is shaped like a bow tie and cooked in a hearty soup prepared of local lush green vegetables, potatoes, and carrots. A mutton-based variation is also available. It is one of the famous foods of Ladakh. 

Chhutagi, the traditional Ladakhi dish, is comparable to Thenthuk. It is primarily consumed in the winter. This meal is well-liked in Chuptse in the Zanskar Valley of Ladakh and Leh and the surrounding districts. Its distinctive form is a defining characteristic. Chutagi, a dish consisting of wheat flour, is prepared in a hearty broth that contains either meat or vegetables. Many people use seasonal vegetables, including fenugreek greens, French beans, cauliflower, green peas, and carrots. With all of these additions, it becomes incredibly nutrient-dense and the ideal warm winter dish.

Traditional chutagi dish, Image Source: cookuntilgolden.mb@Instagram

Chutagi means "water bread" in its literal sense. The flattened dough is often sliced into circles to make a bow tie. This pasta is hand-rolled, and it is quite a tedious process. It is thicker than Italian pasta, making them a filling dish. After that, the dough is cooked in a pot of thick soup. Chutagi is a filling meal frequently offered to harvest workers to provide them with energy. A few neighbourhood eateries in Leh have developed various chutagi variations. It is unquestionably one of the Ladakhi culinary specialities that must be tried.

Freshly rolled chutagi, Image Source: Dickeydol Recipe@Facebook

The base is made of a medium-hard wheat flour dough that has been kneaded with salt and water. It is then divided into several parts and rolled to make bread flat. They are manually rolled into bow shapes after slicing into tiny circles. Masala and sauce are not necessary for this dish. Use any vegetable, but be lavish with ginger, garlic, tomato, and onion. Typically, chutagi is prepared with dried yak milk cheese or mustard oil. The latter is used in minimal quantities to saute onion, garlic, and ginger.

So, it’s time you must try Chutagi, a traditional food of Ladakh, which is a local version of pasta and prepared as dumpling soup.