Sikkim, March 22: The worth of Sikkim lies not just in its beautiful locations and culture, but also in its food. Some of the culinary habits of the local Sikkimese have been adopted from its neighbouring destinations.
Sikkim is an Indian state located in its North-Eastern part. It is bordered 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 food in Sikkim as you read on below
Chaang and Thukpa
As Sikkim experiences bone-chilling winters, the locals keep themselves warm by drinking Chaang, an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting cereals. It is originally a Tibetan drink embraced by the Sikkimese. Chaang is sipped through a bamboo vessel using a bamboo straw.
On the other hand, Gya thuk or Thukpa is a popular noodle-based soup made with vegetables or meat. The dish is a flavorful 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.
Momos are the ultimate favourite Tibetan delicacy amongst the people of this state. Not just Sikkim, Momos 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 is steamed to perfection and served with a spicy mix of sauces and herbs.
There are fried and sauteed versions of this dish as well. The fillings usually include ingredients like meat, cheese, and vegetables.
The utensil apparatus that is used to steam the momos have three layers, with usually tomato soup in the lower compartment to let the flavour of the juices absorb into the dumplings.
No wonder, Momos is a famous food of Sikkim. While you are here in Sikkim, relish on these flavorful wonders.
Who doesn’t want to taste delicious Sikkim tea while staying here? Rich in flavours, the tea is prepared from the tea garden called Temi tea garden. Being served in unique traditional cups, this is one of the most special drinks to try in Sikkim!
Chhurpi is a fermented cottage cheese made from either Yak milk or goat/cow milk. While the former version is harder and darker, the other kind is a bit tangy to taste. Chhurpi is a traditional soup of Sikkim and is widely served on many occasions. It can be enjoyed as a snack and its powder is also added as a seasoning in soups. The locals also prepare chhurpi ka achar–a delicious pickle. All in all, Chhurpi is best enjoyed as a warming beverage during Sikkim’s harsh winters.
Resembling a soft pretzel, Sael Roti is bread made on festive occasions in Nepal. However, it has also made its way into the local Sikkimese food culture. It is made by deep-frying fermented rice batter. It can be enjoyed with black tea, Aloo Chura, and Phaley available locally.
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 food 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.
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 is stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, cabbage, and spices. It is then folded into semi-circles and finally deep-fried to perfection.
The outcome is a crispy pastry with a soft flavorful filling inside. With modern variations, ingredients like Tofu and Cheese have also been imbibed into the recipe. Vegetarians and vegans can relish the Tofu version and enjoy their food.
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 is accompanied by radishes and red chillies.
The pork fat strips are cooked first and kept separate. While preparing the stew with radishes and spices, the pork is added along with the red chillies to provide a hot and spicy tinge to the dish.
The entire preparation has no oil and combines just vegetables and protein, making it a healthy food choice.
Because of its burst of flavours and is a healthy option, it is considered by many the popular food of Sikkim that one can relish.