Most of the traditional food in Uttarakhand consists of lentils and is cooked over a slow fire
Uttarakhand is a beautiful hilly terrain in northern India. The state is known for mystical mountains, thrilling landscape, exhilarating adventure and simple cuisine. The food of the state is made from locally-grown ingredients without complex spices. The two major cuisines of the state are Garhwali and Kumaoni.
Most of the food in the ‘land of natural beauty’ consists of lentils and is cooked over a slow fire. And if we talk about the state’s popular dishes, aloo ke gutke, gahat and rabri are some of them that come to our mind. Sitting on the mountain, surrounded by clouds, away from the rush and enjoying the simple food of the local cuisine is best feeling.
But do you know that the natural essence of Uttarakhand’s food has started fading away, i.e., a lot of traditional recipes have started disappearing from the local kitchens. Here are some unique and delicious recipes from the local cuisine of Uttarakhand that have started losing prominence:
1. Chol Roti
Chol roti is actually a pancake that is made with whole wheat flour, caraway and jaggery. The dish got its name from the method of mixing ingredients and making a batter. The roti is made from wheat batter rather than dough. It's perfect for a healthy tea-time snack and the taste can be both sweet and savoury based on the kinds of flavourings and toppings.
The name of the dish means ‘new again’ and it is made from the commonly found weed of Uttarakhand known as hogweed, horse purslane, pigweed and tarvine. The dish made from the uncultivated greens is not only delicious but also very healthy and the weed is also used in Ayurveda. It is said to be beneficial for liver, diabetes and kidney diseases.
Baadi or Vadi is a way of consuming as well as storing the pulses for a longer duration and every region of the state has their own way of cooking baadi. It can be stored for an entire year without adding preservatives or chemicals. It is made with cucumber, ash gourd, pumpkin, taro root and lentils. The mixture is prepared and sun-dried for seven to eight days under the low heat of winter sun. The difficult climate and harsh weather gave birth to the dish but it is slowly disappearing as the preparation is time-consuming and requires patience.
Made with milk and ghee as key ingredients, this humble dish gives a good amount of heat and nourishment to the body during winter. Prepared in just six to seven minutes with milk, ghee, wheat or rice flour and jaggery, Lapsi is very delicious. The flour and milk are mixed nicely and cooked on low flame with the flavour of cardamom and jaggery. It is easy to digest and very healthy for new moms.
This unique flat bread is made by stuffing a finger millet dough inside the dough of whole wheat flour. It is flavoured with carom seeds, garlic salt and ghee that gives a delicious taste to it. Mostly made during winter, this heavy roti keeps the body warm and protects from the chilly weather of Uttarakhand. Finger millet being a good source of antioxidants, also helps in keeping the liver and heart healthy.
There are lots of traditional dishes that are being lost due to people’s inclination towards modernization and western food. It's completely fine to try and explore different cuisines of the world but one should always remember to preserve their traditional dishes. So next time whenever you plan to visit Uttarakhand don’t forget to taste these local dishes which are on the verge of disappearing.