Tudkiya Bhath: Heard Of This Himachali Comfort Food?
Image Credit: This slow-cooked rice dish is a part of the Himachali dham.

You know the days when you are in a rush and can’t think of what to make for lunch? At such hours, a quick rice dish comes to the rescue. In a lot of north Indian states, khichdi is considered to be a mild comfort food that is tasty, filling and easy to prepare. Rice, by nature, is easy to eat and requires lesser cooking time. You can add as many vegetables and ingredients to it and cook it in a huge bowl or cooker. The ease and comfort associated with rice dishes is what makes them such a hit across cultures. 

You would find a plethora of rice-eating communities in India, including Biharis, Konkanis as well as several parts of southern India. The methods of preparation may differ but one thing is definitely guaranteed, taste. We found a close cousin of khichdi from the himachali kitchens called tudkiya bhath. A cross between khichdi and pulao, tudkiya bhath is Himachal’s lesser-known comfort meal that is usually eaten for lunch. 

The Essence Of Tudkiya Bhath In Himachali Cuisine 

For those untouched by the phenomenon, tudkiya bhath is a rice-based dish that includes several vegetables and an even greater number of spices. This dish holds a special place in Himachali cuisine as it is served as part of the Himachali dham. Dham is a special pahadi feast that is prepared for festivals and other special occasions. From lentils and legumes to locally-produced vegetables and grains, everything forms a part of this lavish feast. 

Each region in the state boasts of a special dham that is similar to one another in certain ways and different in some others. You’ll find the Kangra dham, Shimla dham, Chamba dham and plenty of other varieties. It was Chamba where the concept of dham began when King Jaishthambh, inspired by Kashmiri food, tried to replicate the flavours and dishes in Chamba. The close geographical proximity between Himachal and Kashmir makes this amalgamation understandable. 

Rajma to madra, several dishes came to be a part of what was known as a celebratory feast i.e. dham. A slow-cooked rice dish like Tudkiya bhath also became a part of this luncheon. For preparing the meal, the potatoes are washed and sliced. A paste of ginger-garlic, coriander, cardamom, tomatoes and onions is blended to marinate the potatoes. Meanwhile, masoor dal is soaked and rinsed in water. Rice is washed too and the whole spices like bay leaves, cardamom, star anise etc, are added to the pot. Next, ground paste and spices are added along with sautéed onions. Rice and masoor dal are added to it with the marinated potatoes. Sprinkled with some salt and water, the rice is cooked to perfection. 

Once tudkiya bhath is ready, you can serve it with a bowl of yoghurt or teliya mah, which is an authentic Himachali mashed dal that goes well with this dish. Thinking of lunch already? Try this Tudkiya Bhath recipe then.