Uttarakhand is known as Devbhumi or Land of the Gods and is known for many temples with fascinating history. As one of the most beautiful and famous tourist states, it has two main districts – Kumaon and Garhwal. The Kumaon region is spread across the eastern half of the state, including Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora, Pithoragarh and Jageshwar. In this article, we will introduce you to popular Kumaon delicacies.

Garhwal is the western region of Uttarakhand, including Kedarnath, Dehradun, Chamoli, etc. The two regions are distinct and have their own histories. The cuisine of these two regions offers you many mouth-watering delicacies and very home-cooked dishes.

Cuisine of Kumaon Cuisine

All of these Kumamoto recipes are easy to make. Packed with nutrients and energy, these dishes are perfect for locals living in hilly areas to cope with harsh weather conditions. This blog is for everyone who likes to try different cuisines. Many of the dishes given below are made in two places in Uttarakhand and are a must try when you travel there.

alukgutek

When we think of Dussehra in Gujarat, we think of “Jalebi and Fafda”, and Holi in Maharashtra means “Puran-Poli”. As we say when we say “Aloo Ke Gutke” in Uttarakhand, Holi is what we imagine it to be. This is a specialty of Kumanihuri festival. No, that doesn’t mean you can only eat this dish once a year. It can be made anytime, anywhere.

Delicious delicacy of Aloo Ke Gutke Kumaon cuisine.Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The best way to eat this dish and the way Pahari eat especially during Holi is delicious but sour and spicyBungy Chutney. This is another famous Kumauni food. This delicious and colorful Kumamoto dish is nothing more than fried potatoes mixed with all the basic spices and boiled potato chips. ‘Pahari aloo’, commonly referred to in the Himalayas as a potato produced in the plains is quite different and very tasty.

please read: Golu Devta – God of Justice of Almora Chittai

batkichulkani

As the name suggests, Bhatt ki Churkani is made from Bhatt or black soybeans. It is grown in abundance in Uttarakhand and forms a very important Kumaon crop. This dish requires very little effort but is nutritious.

Bhatt Ki Churkani dishes
Bhatt Ki Churkani dish is a popular dish in Kumaon cuisine

Bhatt is blended with rice noodles and other ingredients such as ginger garlic paste and basic spices such as turmeric, salt and paprika. Then garnish with cilantro, best served with rice. We Kumaunis have a very soft corner to Bhatt as you will find many dishes prepared by Bhatt. This is a very easy recipe to make and you should definitely try it as it is healthy and delicious. You won’t regret eating this dish.

Chains or Chainsoo – Kumaon Cuisine

This is one of the most delicious dishes in the Kumamoto area. Chains or Chainsoo is made from Black gram or Urad Dal, finely ground and then roasted until you can smell it. It is usually made from ghee and cooked with onion and tomato paste and other spices. The best and only way to eat Chainsoo dal is with rice.

Chainsoo A Pahadi Dal, Kumaon Gourmet Delicacy
Chainsoo A Pahadi Dal served with rice.Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Although it is a typical Garhwali dish, it is also made in the Kumaon region. An ideal way to prepare this dish is to cook with an iron as it makes the chain tastier. It’s also full of protein, which makes this dish even more incredible. Chainsoo is a typical winter food, but people in hilly areas eat it every season. This is a must try dish, if you haven’t already, then be sure to try it when you visit Uttarakhand.

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Sana hua Nimbu Mooli / Nimbu Saan

Basking in the sunny winter light and enjoying Sana Hua Nimbu is what every Pahadi longs for in winter. This is a mouthwatering winter snack made of lemons (large sized ones are grown in Uttarakhand) and radishes, mixed with curd, bonbon powder and salt. That’s it, it’s served in a bowl and tasted by Uttarakhand. This is a must-try dish that is sour and salty.

Bhatiya/Bhatt ka Jaula – Popular Kumaon Food

Bhatt Ka Jaula Cuisine - Kumaon Cuisine
Bhatt Ka Jaula dishes

Usually, no Indian food is complete without spices, but let me tell you, this Bhatiya is made without any spices. It’s made with just two things – Bhatt (black soybeans) and rice. To make this dish wholesome, it is best served with Kadhi (a blend of curd, besan and spices) or “Hara Dhaniya Namak” (green coriander salt). This is my favorite dish, and if asked which kumani I prefer, it is it.

please read: Bird watching in Kumamoto

kappa

Commonly called “Palak ka Kaapa” by the locals, it’s a nutritious spinach gravy that’s super easy to make. Usually, when a vegetable is cooked to saturation, it loses its nutrients. However, in the case of Kaapa, the spinach does not cook for long. So, when you serve this dish, it retains its nutrients in a lovely green color. It is made by mixing rice noodles into the perfect thick gravy and liquefying it with water. It cooks for a few minutes and is best served with a steaming bowl of rice. Palak ka Kaapa is prepared in winter as Pahadi spinach only grows during that time, however, you can eat and make it any time of the year.

Bal Mithai and Singori – Popular Kumaon Foods

If you think this list is all about delicious food, you are wrong. No savory meal is perfect until it comes to the sweet tooth. So, Singori and Bal mithai are the Pahadi delicacies you need to try and serve this festive season. Singori is made of khoya and wrapped in cone-shaped Maalu leaves. Bal mithai, on the other hand, is usually like chocolate fudge coated with white sugar balls. The ingredients required for both dishes are very simple: khoya (light cream), grated coconut, granulated sugar, cane sugar and butter.

Bal Mithai, Kumaon
Popular Bal Mithai in Kumaon.Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The process is also simple. All you have to do (if you want to try it at home) is to bake the khoya, add sugar, and place it in your favorite shape on a butter pan.

If you want to try Uttarakhand’s famous sweets, look no further than Almora (a district in the Kumaon region). Overall, we would definitely say that trying this recipe is one of the easiest ways you can experience Uttarakhand from the comfort of your home.

please read: Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal – Mysterious Lake Kumarn

Dubuque / Dubuque

Circles originating from Garhwal, Dubuk or Dubke are true traditional dishes from Uttarakhand circles. This is a lentil soup with Gahat/Kulthi (mark) or Bhatt (black soybeans) as the main ingredient. However, it can also be prepared with different lentils/beans such as Arhar, Chana and Moong. Apart from that, it also includes ingredients like cumin, fenugreek seeds, onion, asafoetida (hing), and other regular ingredients like turmeric and paprika, garlic, etc. It’s a winter treat in the foothills. Steamed rice or grilled meat, I like it best with rice.

Dubuque
Dubuque

In the most basic way, the dish is prepared by grinding/blending overnight soaked Bhatt dal into a coarse paste. Also, mix it with other ingredients already present in the wok. You might think this dish is nothing special (just the old basic dal turned into a thick gravy-like gravy), but once you try it, it will change your mind.

Bungy Chutney

Bhang ki chutney has to be my favorite because nothing beats it. It’s not enough to make Thandai with bhang, this chutney from inside Uttarakhand might be something new you need to try. The process is also simple. All you have to do is toast the bhang seeds and grind them in a blender. Add green chillies, lemon juice, mint leaves, coriander, water and salt to the seeds and grind to a paste. Voila! Chutney is ready.

please read: Jageshwar Dham – Residence of Shiva and Shaivism of Kumaon

Manduwa Ki Rorty

Another delicious and healthy pahari recipe you should definitely try is Mandua Ki Roti. The preparation of this dish is very simple, as opposed to the complexity of the name of the dish. For this recipe, Ragi flour is simply kneaded with salt, carrots, yogurt, green chillies, and scallions. After letting the dough rest for a few minutes, you can make pancakes with this flour. The process of making pancakes remained the same, while the nutritional value of the food increased tenfold.

Russ/Tavani

Ras Bhaat is made from legumes such as Chana or chickpeas, Bhatt, Rajma or kidney beans, and Gahat or horse gram. The name makes you think it’s a thick liquid made from all these ingredients. The preparation of this dish is a daunting task as it involves boiling the beans and then cooking them in an iron container. Additionally, the pulses are separated from the liquid and the process of making Ras begins. Add rice flour and basic ingredients like salt, paprika to the liquid and finish it off by giving it “Jeere ka Tadka”.

Served with a bowl of hot ras with rice and mixed beans that are separated at the beginning, ras is not complete without these beans. You can eat ras and beans on their own, or mix beans and ras together, it’s up to you. It’s a perfect winter treat and highly recommended. Try it!

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Tchiwani

This delicacy gets its name from the way it is made. “Thech” means crush and “wani” means curry. This means that the dish is made by mashing potatoes with a mortar and pestle. Then add it to the sauteed garlic and ginger. Also, top with ingredients like black-eyed peas, turmeric, paprika, and salt. To make it in curry form, pour hot water. You can also prepare this dish with radish root or Pahari Mooli. Serve it with crepes/rice to your non-pahari friends and they will love it.

These delicious treats will be delightful and nutritious (except sweets, but we need those calories too) for all non-Pahari and Pahari people.