Sikkim is an Indian state located in its North-Eastern part. It by three countries, namely Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. Combining the local influences and the ones from the countries around, the Sikkim dishes are varied and made of a plethora of layers of flavours. The Sikkim cuisine has major influences from Nepal and Tibet. The majority of the state has an ethnic Nepalese and Tibetan majority with the former overpowering the latter. Due to this reason, most of the people in the state are rice eaters. There are soups, dumplings, stews, meats, and a whole lot of vegetables in this amazing intermix of Sikkimese flavours. The state has plenty to offer for one to relish. Check out the Famous traditional food of Sikkim as you read below.
Famous Food of Sikkim:
Dhindo is one of the famous dishes of Sikkim that is quite popular amongst locals and tourists. The dish originates from Nepal but is quite a rage in many parts of Sikkim and Darjeeling as well. The preparation is that of flour mix added to boiling water while continuously stirring it with a ladle. Clarified butter or normal butter is optional. The flour is traditionally prepared from buckwheat or millet. Grains like wheat and cornflour are common as well. One can use almost any grain provided that it is grinded into flour. The utensils used for its preparation is usually an iron pan called Palame Tapke and an iron spatula or ladle called the Dabilo. The latter helps stir the mixture and bring to the creation of a tasty comfort meal that almost all Sikkimese population love.
A culinary delight for the non-vegetarians, Phagshapa is a much-loved food item in Sikkimese cuisine. The main ingredient for this dish is the pork fat that by radishes and red chillies. The pork fat strips first and kept separate. While preparing the stew with radishes and spices, the pork along with the red chillies to provide a hot and spicy tinge to the dish. The entire preparation has no oil and combines just the vegetables and protein, making it a healthy food choice. Because of its burst of flavours and being a healthy option, it by many the popular food of Sikkim that one can relish.
3. Gundruk and Sinki:
Gundruk and Sinki are dishes of Nepalese origin. The former of a combination of radish leaves and cauliflower. The mixture with spices and tomato sauce. For the latter, taproots as the main ingredient. The further process is that of fermentation to lend it a sour taste. Mustard leaves and oil to Gundruk to lend it a nice taste. The dish is rich in roughage and helps one maintain their metabolism. Traditionally, this dish in an earthen pot. With modernization, other utensils for their preparation. Out of the many dishes of Sikkim, both these dishes are quite popular for their taste and health benefits.
Thenthuk is yet another yummy soup. Prepared in the form of noodle soup made of vegetables, wheat flour and meat or mutton, it is one of the best Tibetan foods in Sikkim. It is a favourite dinner for the people in Sikkim. To make it spicy, several restaurants use chilli powder while some people serve vegetable Thenthuk to keep it healthy. The origin of the Thenthuk is from Tibet.
5. Kinema curry:
Kinema curry is a favourite food of Sikkim people taken with rice. What makes the curry special is its unique flavour and that it is a protein-rich food. The different taste of the curry comes from the soybean after fermentation. Turmeric powder, onion, red chili, and tomato before adding the fermented soybean which enhances the flavour.
6. Gya Kho:
Gya Kho is one of the lips smacking local dishes in Sikkim. It is the Chimney soup served in the bowl and since the bowl resembles the shape of the chimney, it got its name Chimney soup. because of its great taste. The extraordinary taste comes because of its cooking process. It gets cooked under the coal with a lot of other ingredients in it.
7. Kodo Ko Roti:
This local Nepali cuisine is a favourite local food among people in Sikkim. The best combination is Tomato Achar and the Kodo KO roti. It can also with a variety of pickles. The typical pancake is prepared with finger millet as its main ingredient, locally called Kodo. The other important ingredient includes sugar and ghee.
8. Masuria curry:
One of the famous Nepali cuisines, Masuria curry is a favourite local dish of Sikkim. The main ingredient that takes to make the curry is the fermented black gram. It looks like a ball and is spicy condiments. Don’t forget to try this amazing cuisine while you are in Sikkim. This dish with cooked rice.
9. Niguri with Churpi:
When talking about local Sikkim food then Niguru with Churpi is one thing you can’t miss out on! This household dish is very delicious and offers the true flavour of Sikkim. It is a fermented food in which cheese with the fiddlehead fern.
10. Shimi ko achar:
Best accompanied with seal roti, Shimi ko achar is a kind of pickle made of string bean and flavoured with green chillies, sesame seeds, and lemon juice. This is among the famous vegetarian traditional food in Sikkim.
Traditional Sweets of Sikkim:
Khapse is a deep-fried pastry with a somewhat sweet or salty flavour. It and prepared on special occasions, as well as at Tibetan marriages. These into attractive shapes, and colours to make them look more appealing.
2. Sael Roti:
Sael Roti is a fried bread that along with Potato Curry. For its preparation, water and rice together to form a paste. This to perfection in boiling hot oil. Even though the dish has its origins in Nepal and Tibet, it is quite a popular food in Sikkim as well due to the Nepalese and Tibetan influences in this Indian state. Satiate your taste palettes with this flavourful and amazing dish while you are holidaying in Sikkim.
Street Food of Sikkim:
Momo’s is the ultimate favourite Tibetan delicacy amongst the people of this state. Not just Sikkim, Momo’s have expanded its base in the entire country as a scrumptious snack served in restaurants as well as street kiosks. For the ones who don’t know what a Momo is – It is a dumpling made out of flour dough with a filling inside. It to perfection and served with a spicy mix of sauces and herbs.
2. Sha Phaley:
Sha Phaley is a combination of deep-fried flavours, bread, and a whole lot of minced meat. Originally a Tibetan dish, it is quite famous in Sikkim as well. The bread or the pastry with a mixture of ground beef, cabbage, and spices. It into semi-circles and finally deep-fried to perfection. The outcome is a crispy pastry with a soft flavourful filling inside. With modern variations, ingredients like Tofu and Cheese have also into the recipe. Vegetarians and vegans can relish the Tofu version and enjoy their food.
Another delicacy that can while in the Indian state of Sikkim is the Thukpa. The dish is a flavourful noodle soup that has its origins in the eastern parts of Tibet. Sikkim street food is quite rich with Thukpa leading this culinary bandwagon. Not just the street kiosks, but almost every restaurant in the state serves this amazing dish. The noodle soup has garlic, chopped onions, and green chillies to add a flavour of spice and a dash of tang. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this dish. While the former would have shredded and chopped vegetables in its mix, the latter would combine the likes of red meat and boiled or poached eggs. Savour this amazing dish while you are in Sikkim.
4. Dal Bhat:
Dal Bhat is a traditional food of Sikkim that is quite a craze in many parts of Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. The combination is that of boiled rice and lentil soup. Many parts of India call this dish Dal Chawal. The Sikkimese population loves their share of Dal Bhat as their everyday meal. The lentil soup can differentiate in flavours from places to places with certain ingredients remaining static everywhere, like salt, turmeric, and a little spice. The mixture of boiled rice and lentil soup is a comfort meal for many that to satiate their taste palette to the core. If you want to keep things simple and have light meals, Dal Bhat could be your ultimate choice of food item to relish.
5. Bamboo shoot curry:
Bamboo Shoot Curry is a staple dish of Sikkim and fermented bamboo to cook this delicious curry. Turmeric to the curry to remove the bitter taste of bamboo shoots. Also known as Tama Curry, you can find this dish at numerous places in Sikkim.