In the northern most corner of India is a quaint region of Ladakh known for its breathtaking landscape and scenery. It offers to everyone who comes there, a rich history of Buddhism and is influenced by the culture of its neighbours. The place is known to tourists for its beauty but it’s somewhat known for its cuisine which includes momos and thukpas.
Being at a high altitude, most of its dishes are filled with dry fruits and spices providing warmth to the body and also the dishes are hot brews which keeps one away from catching cold. Apart from the commonly known dishes, Ladakh has other dishes that not many know about and fewer that have tasted it.
Table of Contents
Gyathuk is a vegetarian version of Thukpa which is also a noodle bases soup filled with home grown vegetables like peas, carrots, cabbage, onions, etc. Mixed with garam masala, red chilli powder, black pepper and a pinch of turmeric garnishes with chopped coriander.
Prepared with wheat and root vegetables like potatoes, beetroot, carrots, turnips; Skyu is a traditional soup based dish. The wheat is beaten till it’s soft which is then kneaded into noodles and the brew is heated till boiling point.
Khambir is like the rotis in Ladakh and an important part of the Ladakhi cuisine which is served as sides to soupy vegetable dishes. It is made of whole wheat but is much thicker and crispy compared to the rotis. At times, it’s a delicacy to have Khambir with Ladakhi Butter Tea.
Most commonly ordered dish which is made from a clean vegetable stock boiled along with home cultivated vegetables chopped into dices or in lengths or meats like chicken or mutton. The thick noodle makes it a fulfilling dish especially for foodies who love to have their stomachs filled and their hearts lifted.
This dish doesn’t need an introduction, a soft bread steamed till it’s wiggling is filled with fined chopped vegetables and chicken or beef added gives a seismic tingle to your taste buds. Momos can also be deep fried and made into a crispy delight though less healthy than the original steamed cooked bun.
This is another popular dish sold in the streets of Ladakh which is similar to momos but doesn’t contain any kind of filling and is served with stew which has a spicy flavour necessary in the cold streets of Ladakh.
One may think this is the craziest drink they have ever known but believe it or not, it’s consumed daily by the people of Ladakh and is in fact a signature dish of Ladakh. As the sunsets, it gets even colder and Butter tea is what most people turn to for heat. During the evening with some home made snacks this is served. Made by mixing butter and salt while the tea leaves infuse with the water and brought to boil giving an aromatic fragrance.
Chhurpi is a well known cheese which is made churning the milk extracted from Yak which is very hairy and commonly found in the region. Lemon is added to the milk as it is churned and once the milk splits because of the citric acid in the lemon they extract the lump of cheese and sell it in the market. Having Chhurpi with Tingmo and butter tea is a delight which keeps you warm and hearty.