Let’s start by understanding what is pahadi food? Pahadi comes from the word ‘pahad’, which means hills. So pahadi food is essentially the food that is mostly cooked in the mountainous areas of Himachal, Uttarakhand and the surrounding Himalayan areas. Given the cold weather that prevails most of the year in these areas, the food is made to warm up the people and help them defy the harsh climate. With the rest of the country shaking in the high winter right now, it’s only wise to start with the pahadi food culture and make some of their meals home to enjoy a respite from the cold.
One would assume that pahadi food is greasy and heavy, just like we have in the winter months. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Pahadi food is the simplest cuisine in the country and is very light with minimal use of oil. The use of seasonal foods, fresh spices and homemade ghee does all the magic. If you sit down to explore, pahadi food is surprisingly delicious, despite being simple. The peppers grown in the mountains add some delicious flavors to the food that you just must not miss.
Are you tempted to try some dishes right from the hills? Here we have gathered some easy to make recipes that you should try this winter or any other season.
(Also read: Himachali Dham: The Grand Vegetarian Wedding Feast)
Here are 10 pahadi recipes to try:
1. Pahadi Murgh:
Tender chicken is cooked in a creamy pool of milk and yogurt and is flavored with a wide variety of spices, including coriander, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel and many more. You may need to gather a lot of spices, but the rest of the cooking process is very easy. Click here for the full recipe.
Chainsoo is a popular pahadi valley from the Garhwal region. It is made with black gram dal and is commonly made in households due to its high protein content. The valley is also called bhaat is usually eaten with rice. This traditional pahadi dal recipe is a must try. Click here for the full recipe.
Pahadi chicken snack
A protein-rich and warming chicken snack loved by pahadi people. Chicken pieces are fried with a paste made from mint, coriander leaves, garlic and ginger. Green chilies and garam masala add more warmth to the snack. Click here for the full recipe.
Babru is a pahadi-style poor. Like Punjabi poori, babru is made by kneading the dough with a little salt and oil and deep frying the rolled rotis. The difference is that baking powder is also added to the dough, and the poor are filled with boiled black grams of dal, the same dal used to make Chainsoo. Click here for the full recipe.
5. Chana Madra
This is another signature pahadi dish that you will definitely love. Kabuli chana (chickpeas) are slowly cooked in thick yogurt-based sauce, and spices like cardamom, cloves, turmeric and cumin add lots of flavor to the dish. Click here for the full recipe.
Siddu is basically a local steamed bun that pahadi people have with a hot cup of tea to defy the cold waves. The bun is usually made from maida (or atta) flour, yeast and salt. The buns can be filled with various sweet and savory fillings. Do you feel a gap in the air? Make masala tea and enjoy with a Siddu bun. Click here for the full recipe.
Want to try pahadi-style papad? Try Shakuli, a simple papad made with a mixture of refined flour, salt, water and oil, which is steamed and then dried in the sun for a few days to make crispy and crispy papad. Click here for the full recipe.
8. Aloo Palda
Potatoes cooked in a dense and creamy sauce of onions, whipped curd and crushed rice. Spices like cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom do their own work to keep you warm and happy even on a gloomy day. Click here for the full recipe.
9. Chamba-style fried fish
Deep-fried, crispy golden fish straight from the Chamba Valley. Freshwater fish are rubbed with a spice mixture of ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, turmeric and red chili powder. It is then coated with a dough of besan and deep fried. Click here for the full recipe.
10. Kullu Trout
Another fish delicacy from the hills. This special recipe for trout fish from the Kullu region has fish smeared with some hot Indian spices, fried on the pan and served on a bed of hot rice. Click here for the full recipe.
Do you already get hilly vibes? Time to make and enjoy some pahadi dishes.
(This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own physician for more information. NDTV assumes no responsibility for this information.)