Kumaon Cuisine: A Perfect Blend of Nutrition and Taste

There is diversity in every aspect of India. Be it language, culture, tradition or food, there is an essence of diversity everywhere. When it comes to food, every Indian state has a different taste, owing to its use of ingredients and ways of preparation. The cuisine of Uttarakhand also has a distinct taste, just like any other state in the country. Simple, yet delicious dishes representing the cuisine of Uttarakhand are very nutritious, thus making the cuisine a unique one. Lesser known to the rest of the country, the cuisine of Uttarakhand is an infallible blend of nutrition and taste.

A traveller’s delight, the Kumaon region of the state is known for its mesmerising view of the Himalayas, serene wild retreats and magnificent rivers, yet the food of the region hardly finds a reference. The culinary tradition of the region is deep-rooted in nature, as most of the dishes are cooked with ingredients that are either found naturally in the Himalayas or cultivated locally. There are several lip-smacking delicacies, which has the ability to find a prime spot in a connoisseur’s list. If you haven’t yet tasted any of the delectable dishes from the Kumaoni cuisine, you should consider doing so on your next visit to Uttarakhand. The unsung cuisine truly deserves a mention and so I thought it would be nice if I could make people aware of the same. Here are some toothsome delicacies, which might tempt you to plan a trip to the Kumaon region at the earliest.

Aloo ke Gutke:

Prepared from boiled Pahari potatoes, Aloo ke Gutke is a typical Kumaoni snacks. This delicious delicacy is one of the most common Kumaoni dishes and its speciality lies in the way of presentation. The garnishing involves red fried chillies, coriander leaves and sometimes tomatoes. Spicy in taste, the dish is a favourite delicacy among the Kumaoni people and I can bet that after savouring this dish it’ll become your favourite too.

Rus:

Rus is a nutritious, yet scrumptious delicacy from the Kumaon region. A hot favourite during winters, this dish is prepared by mixing various pulses, which are a very good source of protein. The mojo of taste of the dish lies in the small amount of ghee, which needs to be put just before eating. It helps to keep the body warm in the chilling atmosphere of the region and goes well as an accompaniment with boiled rice. So next time when you visit the region, make sure that you devour this great delicacy.

Gahat ki Dal:

Gahat Dal, also known as Kulthi or horse gram has many medicinal values, especially for stomach and kidney related diseases. According to Ayurveda, Gahat seed is considered as panacea for appendicitis and kidney stones. Along with its health benefits, the dish is a tasty delight, if prepared authentically. Normally served with steamed rice, Gahat ki Dal helps keep the body warm in the cold weather of the Kumaon region. Aren’t you tempted to taste the dish yet?

Sisunak Saag ki Sabji:

With high nutritious value and delicious taste, Sisunak Saag ki Sabji is an important dish in the Kumaoni cuisine. Prepared from the tender leaves of Sisunak Saag (nettle leaves), it is a green vegetable dish, which is quite common among the people of Kumaon region. The saag is locally known as ‘bicchu ghaas’ and can be found prepared in every household of the region.

Bhang ki Chutney:

Chutney is an integral part of the Kumaoni cuisine and Bhang ki Chutney is a real show stealer among the lot. The irresistible fresh aroma and the tangy tamarind taste of the chutney make it the perfect accompaniment to go with any dish of the region. Prepared from Hemp Seeds mixed with cumin seeds, garlic, tamarind and salt, this chutney is one of the most favourite dishes in the entire state of Uttarakhand.

Since, the list is endless I could not mention all the delicious dishes from the region, which I may pen down in the days to come. However, I can bet that after reading this piece, you are craving for some luscious Kumaoni dishes. So, on your next visit to the region, make sure to treat your taste buds with some of the mouth-watering delicacies of the region and spice up your Himalayan experience. Bon Appetit! 

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