When it comes to exploring a place, the very first thing that seems important to explore is FOOD – love of almost all and no doubt, a need.
When you have the chance to travel to different places, it becomes a need to try different cuisines, especially for a foody. Therefore, Dalhousie trip was, of course, an opportunity to let the pahadi spices react with our senses. This feeling encouraged us to get into every shop and restaurant to get the taste of pahadi cuisine, specifically Himachali food.
Unfortunately, the market did not help much with this, as most of the shops in Subash Chowk and Gandhi Chowk provided the same Delhi street style menu. However, unlike Delhi, it was very delicious.
We started the first morning by serving our tummy with delicious aloo paratha and chole pudi. As told earlier, the place didn’t let us down with the taste even with the simplest dish. The evenings enjoyed hot momos with spicy chatni, that too from different shops. You see, we are very generous and wanted to appreciate every shop’s hard work. The hotel staff was even more generous, to cook for us even after their closing timings. Our late night cravings were satisfied with nicely cooked Maggi and tasty omelette. Mornings, on the other hand, got mouth-watering veg sandwiches and love of our life, Coffee.
Something that you should definitely try is momos (dumplings).
Yes! Yes! Momos lovers, if you go to Dalhousie, treat yourself with deliciously amazing momos (veg or non-veg) served with spicy and tasty chatni.
Coming to other menu items, the market offers burgers, fried rice, aloo paratha, coffee, sweet corn, chole kulche, pudi sabzi and much more. You can find everything here when you feel homesick for Delhi. There are a number of shops for the non-vegetarian cravings as well, but do pick the shop after asking the locals, as our experience with a non-veg dish was not so pleasing.
Since our main focus was to find a place which can introduce us to the traditional food of Dalhousie, we kept looking for the same in the market.
And bingo! A restaurant caught our attention at once when I saw the name written on it ‘Himachali Kitchen| Baskin & Robins’.
“This is it!”, we all said together and as we entered, we knew “Today’s dinner, here!”.
Have a look at the menu and the ambience of the place and you will know ‘why?’.
We tried Himachali thali here, which served 5 different sabjis, 2 chapatis, and rice. Out of these, 3 sabjis were known to us, namely ‘Kadi’, ‘Moong Dal’, ‘Chana Dal’ and rest two were totally new. ‘Mahni’, the show stealer, was a dish of tamarind, with flavours nicely blended together to create a sweet and sour blast in the mouth. The second one was ‘Madhra’, a dish of rajma cooked in an ample amount of ghee, making it a little hard to digest. We got to know that rajma is cooked with different ingredients at different places in Dalhousie, out of those we tasted the ghee and rajma combination.
The ambience and the food made our evening special as we felt like the guests of mountains served with a delightful meal.
No doubt this restaurant and other shops in the market did help us calm down our taste buds, but the quest for real traditional food is still on. Next time we are determined to explore the depths of it and try dishes from local houses and not a shop or a restaurant to taste the reality. There is a huge difference in what is being served to the tourists and what the locals eat. We, specifically are interested to know both. So, this trip got to explore one side of it but the next trip will get the best of both worlds.
Ohh! Did I miss something? Yesss.. there is something a few kilometres before Dalhousie.
That is “Aam papad”.
Varieties of Aam Papad! Sweet, sour, mixed and what not. All these sold by many little shops on the sides of the road, where buses stop for a while for the refreshments. They sell it in bundles, in small packets and as per the weight. If you cross that road do stop to taste the speciality of that unknown spot between Pathankot and Dalhousie.