For a foodie, a visit to Sikkim is full of gastronomical delights. If mentioning the food of Sikkim brings forth images of the quintessential steaming Momos that are available from the roadside shacks to fine dine restaurants, there is lots more on offer. Read on!
Sikkim is largely a rice eating state. A typical meal for the locals comprises of dal bhat (lentils and rice) with meat for breakfast, momos for lunch and noodles for dinner. Here are the various delicacies that you can gorge on while you are in this beautiful place.
Momos– First things first! No discussion of Sikkim’s food of course is complete without the mention of Momos; those meat or vegetable stuffed dumplings that are nowadays savoured all over the country with relish. Savour them with chilli sauce or even wipe them down with steaming soup and you have a lot going in the taste department!
Thupka– This Tibetan style noodle soup with vegetables will have you asking for more. Relished by locals and tourists alike it is available at most eateries and is a must try!
Phagshapa– If you are a pork eater, you will relish this. Strips of Pork fat stewed with radish and dry chillies, this makes for one delicious dish.
Sael Roti– If you happen to visit locals in Sikkim, the one delicacy you are likely to be treated with is Sael Roti. Prepared by grinding a mixture of rice and water into a paste and then deep frying it, it is eaten with tomato curry.
Niguru with Churpi -Once again a favourite with locals, Churpi is a kind of traditional cottage cheese eaten with Niguru, a local fern.
Gundruk– The spate of gorging on food continues unabated as you savour Gundruk- leaves of mustard oil plant that have been dried in the soon, cooked with onions and tomatoes.
Kinema– This fermented soybean food is best eaten with rice. Its unique flavor and high protein component make it rich in both the taste and nutrition department.
Another exotic local dish worth tasting is the Sishnu Soup, prepared from leaves of edible wild varieties of nettle.
For those who relish spicy food, the one other must have is the Tomato Achar. It is a fit accompaniment to the steaming momos. Talking of pickles, the non fermented soyabean pickle, locally referred to as Vatamas ko achar, is also a speciality of the place. Mesu, a traditional fermented bamboo shoot product is also eaten as a pickle.
Wash all this mouth watering food down with Chang, a local beer made by fermenting millet. What is spectacular is not just its taste but also the fact that it is sipped from a bamboo receptacle using a bamboo pipe.
Your taste buds will not be able to thank you enough after this visit to a land not just of spectacular natural beauty but also of lip smacking food!