Uttarakhand, where nature bestowed its beauty in the form of luscious mountains and lush green valleys, where Gods and Goddesses have taken abode, where the pious rivers Ganga and Yamuna chose to originate, is a must visit place for a calming, rejuvenating and a unique spiritual experience. Garhwal has a rich cultural heritage, from its soft and lingering soulful folk music to beautiful handicrafts created from all natural products. Garhwali food is also very special in a number of ways. Food of Garhwal is colorful, flavorsome, easy to prepare and not very spicy. There are so many local mountain grains that the hills in Garhwal host and produce and they are used in preparing special Garhwali cuisine. Rice and Roti made of different grains are typically eaten with a variety of local vegetables and dals. Garhwali food is rich in proteins and has numerous health benefits, as it mainly comprises native cereals, lentils and pulses.
Here are a few authentic Garhwali dishes, worth a try when visiting this part of the world.
Thenchwani : Thechwani is a vegetable with the main ingredients being crushed, namely Mountain Radish Root and Mountain Potato, with a flavor of ginger and garlic, and other spices like cumin, asfoetida, coriander and other aromatic spices. Thenchwali is best relished with Roti/Chapati, and has a peculiar flavor to it that you would never have tasted before.
Picture Source : ezpzcooking.com
Chaunsa : Chaunsa is a protein rich gravy, made with black lentils, roasted to aromatic perfection and then grinded to a coarse powder. It is then cooked with spices and flavors along with water to get a curry texture. Chaunsa is enjoyed with rice or roti, and a healthy treat for the body as well.
Picture Source : Cookilicious.com
Phaana : Phaana is a special Garhwali dish, made from lentils, specially Gehet, or Kulath. Dal is soaked overnight, and then ground to a thick batter. This batter is used to make the gravy and also to make the small pancakes that are cooked with the gravy. It is tempered with a special tempering spice “jakhiya” (native Garhwali ingredient again) and other powdered spices.
Pic Courtesy: iyp2016.com
Maithiyali Roti : Maithiyali roti or Bhari Roti is a special stuffed roti, made by filling spiced and flavored cooked chana dal, and vegetables in a dough and rolling into a round pancake. It is best paired with a dollop of butter or ghee and mostly consumed during the cold winter months. The dough is made with Wheat of Koda(Ragi) aataa or a mix of both.
Picture Source : food NDTV
Kode ki Roti : A fibrous and tasty roti made from a local coarse grain called Koda (Ragi), is very popular and native to the Garhwal region. This grain is rich in fiber and iron. ‘Kode ki Roti’ is often prepared with a stuffing of Dal (usually ‘Gaath’) or had plain with butter or ghee.
Pic Courtesy: Uttarakhand News
Kaafuli / Kaapli: Kaafuli is the Garhwali and healthier version of Saag. It is made from spinach and fenugreek, ginger and garlic, onion and spices, thickened with rice paste or rice powder and cooked to aromatic perfection. Kaafuli is a delightful and colorful accompaniment in a Garhwali meal.
Picture Source: BetterButter.com
Jhangore ki Kheer : This dessert made with barnyard millet or ‘Jhangora’ only produced in mountains along with milk, sugar, raisins and nuts. The texture of this kheer is nutty and a little more fibrous than rice, a must try!
Pic Courtsey : AboutUttarakhand.com
Chholi Roti : It is called roti, but actually it is a pancake. It is made from soaked and ground rice and can be made sweet or salty as per your choice. It is enjoyed with any Garhwali curry or chutney. It is a favorite among Garhwalis.
Pic Courtsey: Pinterest
Bhang ki Chutney : This is a special relish made with roasted bhang seeds grown locally and cumin seeds along with other spices. It is a part of meals, as a subtle spicy accompaniment.
Pic Source: Keep Calm and Carry On.com
Bhaddu Dal: The speciality of this dish is the cooking technique. It is the special narrow neck and heavy bottom utensil called “Bhaddu” in which this dal is made. Dal is soaked and cooked on a low flame in a ‘Bhaddu’, which doesn’t let the special aroma escape, and the dal is super aromatic.
Picture Source : Demosite Design
Hope the list has spiked your curiosity towards Garhwali cuisine. Try some of these during your stay at Prakriti-The Retreat where chefs prepare these dishes with freshest ingredients. So make a trip to the humble highland of spirituality and indulge in the healthy and delicious cuisine of the Garhwal Himalayas.
Categorised in: Food
This post was written by Vartika Gupta