Garhwali food or Garhwali cuisine is full of love and affection if you ask me what do you love I would reply, daal bhaat that’s a very common dist at every garhwali household.
Although its a description that would not do justice to the real garhwali cuisine.
The Garhwali Food (cuisine)
The roti right off the Tawa, daal tempered a few moments before serving and that arhar dal one of the most loved things by every garhwali.
The real flavors or garhwali and kmauni food lies in the fresh hand oicked vegetables and the freshly made spices, simple ingredients and a lot of love which makes everyone believe that its no less than any other cuisine.
Every cuisine has its own uniqueness, and so is the garhwali cuisine, it is a regional cuisine of Uttarakhand which is made with simple ingredients, minimum spices but has a lot of flavors.
I have a lot of garhwali friends, and what I learned about garhwali food is, its simplicity I bet no other cuisine can match that simple yet flavourful dishes. The base of Garhwali cuisine lies in “Ghar ka ” or everything that is homemade is flavourful and healthy.
Garhwali food is accompanied by homemade pickles which can vary from season to season. Sometimes mangoes, mixed and a lot of varities.
So one thing people ask me is where can we find that garhwali food?
Although there are a lot of restaurants in Uttarakhand that serve the Garhwali food for me, the real taste of that food can only be found in a garhwali house.
Everyone has its own version of garhwali food or garhwali cuisine and undoubtedly everyone has that taste too.
Garhwali mainly means simple, low in spices yet full of flavors. Garlic, ginger, chilies, asafoetida are favored.
Some local Spices like Jakhiya, a tiny seed resembling mustard is used in much the same way to temper dishes, adding delightful, nutty crunch. jambu, a chive-like herb is popular for tempering dals. Bhaang (hemp) and bhanjeera seeds are also used in dishes and chutneys.
The starch content in the garhwali cuisine comes from some traditional grains like :-
jhangora (barnyard millet) made into savory and sweet porridges. Mandua (finger millet) flour made into rotis (flatbreads) and unpolished red rice. Corn, wheat flour and white basmati rice came later to the Garhwali cuisine. A staggering variety of pulse, lentil, and lentil preparations contribute protein.
In Summer light, easily digested dals like mung, arhar (pigeon pea), Malka (split deskinned masoor) and channa (split chickpea)in
In winter and heavier dals like urad (black gram), rajma, pahadi toor (pigeon pea), gehat (horsegram) and bhaatt (local soyabean) attributed with warming properties become prevalent.
Lentils and pulses are also used in local preparations like chainsoo,( a deliciously textured thick smoky gravy of roasted dal ) and Phanu, (a textured aromatic gravy made from soaked crushed dal. )
Urad dal is extremely important to Garhwali cuisine and urad ki pakodi (lentil fritters) are can be found on all occasions.
Vegetables play a very important part in Garhwali food in the form of raitas, chutneys, and subzis. Some may simply be tempered with jakhiya and chilies in mustard oil. Others cooked into simple gravy preparations called jhols.
As it might appear Garhwali cuisine is largely vegetarian but non-vegetarian dishes are much loved too although elaborate recipes are limited.
River fish especially trout is fried or cooked into jhols (curries), occasional chicken curry is eaten but meat-bhaat (mutton curry and rice) are still the most loved. The meat came from hunting and when an animal was killed no part was wasted.
Choice cuts cooked into curry, and intestines into bhuttua (blood pudding). One notable, traditional meat recipe is kachmauli in which a goat is spit-roasted, the meat is taken off the bone, tossed with mustard oil, salt, chili, and turmeric and served.
what i explained till now if you think it was bland, the garhwali cuisine is far from that, they have a fantastic option of chutneys like chilli and bhaang, pickles like kathal, kachner and flavoured salts like lehsun ka namak (green garlic pounded with salt) just to tell you a few.
Garhwalis also have a very sweet tooth. Kheers and halwas full of ghee and lots of love.in festival special foods like, gujiyas for Holi, and kheel batashe, gulgule and much more. ‘Chaclate’ and bal mithai are some kind of fudge, In winter you might be fortunate enough to find singhori (sweets molded into cones made of aromatic indigenous leaves called malle ka patta).
Wherever you eat in Garhwal, I guarantee you will eat well, without complaint, feel extremely fortunate. Because Garhwali food is soul food.
My visit to Garhwal was a huge surprise as I never thought Garhwali food was that beautiful, and will surely want to live the life of a “Pahadi“.
Here I have listed out some of the must-try Dishes in Garhwal which according to me are extraordinary and, if you are from Garhwal don’t forget to Share this:-
This dish is for all the diet-conscious people out there. it’s nutritious and flavourful at the same time. kafuli is a dish every person in Uttarakhand is a fan of. It is basically primarily prepared with Spinach and fenugreek leaves. This exotic dish is prepared in an iron kadhai and complemented by hot steaming rice. It is the most nourishing and health-conscious dish you will come across in Uttarakhand.
2. Bhang Ki Chutney
No we are not kidding! yes there is chutney made in Uttarakhand that is actually called bhang ki chutney. It simply enhances the taste of every other dish and its fresh aroma and tangy taste will not leave your tongue even after you consumed it.
3. Aloo Tamatar ka Jhol
This dish may sound like any Bengali curry but it actually comes from Uttarakhand. Aloo Tamatar ka Jhol is easy to cook that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. All you need to do is boil potatoes, make a curry of tomatoes and onions, mix both and leave it on low flame.
4. Gahat Ke Paranthe
With aroma so pleasant that it makes enough room for having 4-5 paranthas at once, Gahat Ke Paranthe is a very famous breakfast dish of Uttarakhand. This dish is made by stuffing gahat (a special brown lentil) in a mixture of wheat and mandua flour (finger millet). It tastes even better when served with Bhang ki Chutney or any homemade pickle.
5. Aloo ke Gutke
This palatable dish comes from Kumaon but is equally popular in the Garhwal region as well. Every one in Uttarakhand has a unique way of making it. For making Aloo ke Gutke, you only need very few ingredients namely boiled potatoes, jakhiya (Cleme Viscosa), red chillies and coriander leaves to garnish it. This dish has made a special place in the hearts of Pahadis, who love it with pooris, bhang ki chutney, and Kumaoni raita.
6. Sisunag/Kandali Saag
if you are a pahadi, then I know your mouth would be full of water right now. This finger-licking good dish is prepared by boiling the kandali or stinging nettle plant, which is then converted into a fine pulp and is cooked on a very low flame. The dish is garnished with tomato and lots of butter. Preparing it might be a bit difficult but once it’s ready you can’t resist it.
7. Garhwal ka Fannah
This heavenly dish is a staple of Mussoorie and is good enough to satisfy both your eyes and stomach. it’s one of those dishes that will simply leave you craving, for more. Since it is so divine in its taste and aroma, Garhwal Ka Fannah has become a must have food item in the menu card for every occasion that takes place in Uttarakhand
Phaanu is a dish that is very famous mostly in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is rather complicated to prepare since it is made by mixing lentils of different varieties that are soaked in water the whole night. It is a kind of a soupy dish, served mostly with rice. The unique flavor of Phaanu will definitely be a treat to your taste buds!
Baadi is one dish that has mesmerized the locals of Uttarakhand for a long time, mainly by its aroma and taste. This dish is as simple as the people of Uttarakhand. It is full of all the essential nutrients that are hard to find in one dish altogether. It is abundant in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A among others.
If you have been to Uttarakhand you might have heard of Chainsoo at some place or the other. It is a very famous Garhwali dish which is made of Urad or Kali Dal and filled with a lot of protein. Many people may find it hard to digest, but this dish has a totally earthy flavor which is definitely worth giving a shot. It is tasty enough to compete with Punjabi’s Maa Ki Dal!
as one of the most famous dishes of Uttarakhand. It is a dal preparation and is best served with rice. now You might think what’s so special about this. Well, Dubuk will change your perception. Though the suitable time to eat Dubuk is during winters, who can stop you from eating it all throughout the year.
12. Jhangora Ki Kheer
this is one of the most famous sweet dishes in Uttarakhand. If you visit Uttarakhand and don’t taste this then according to me you visit was a waste. Jhangora is basically a type of millet which is the main ingredient of this dessert. Jhangor Ki Kheer has an unforgettable taste and is a must-try after a heavy meal of the Garhwali cuisines. Its rich texture and the goodness of milk will leave you craving for more.
Arsa is the most in-demand dessert in the Uttarakhand region. this dish occupies a permanent place in every household of the State. This sweet dish is high on the taste meter and low on the calorie meter which makes it so popular. No festival or occasion in Uttarakhand is complete without the presence of Arsa.
14. Aloo ka Jhol
Jhol means ‘thin gravy’ in Hindi. Aloo ka Jhol is a potato recipe served with pooris or chapatis that may have a lot of variants. It is also called as Aloo rasedar, Mathura ke dubki wale aloo, poori bhaji, poori masala, and many more.
last in this list but not last in flavors. thechwani can be prepared with radish roots (pahadi Mula with round roots ) as the name suggests the potatoes or radish roots are not cut by are crushed which makes it unique.
if you are from Garhwal do share this Garhwali food, so that these amazing Garhwali Dishes to everyone. if you have any suggestions do let us know in the comments.