If you had thought that Darjeeling is all about exploring mountains, then you’re probably still living under the rocks. The picturesque town in West Bengal is also famous for some absolutely mouth-watering food options, momos being the king of them. In fact, Darjeeling has some of the most beautiful cafes that offer music, food, books and more. We have found out 10 regional dishes that you must try the next time you’re at Darjeeling:
Darjeeling momos are popular all over India. Momos are Darjeeling are softer and fluffier than the usual momos which we get in the metropolitan cities. Their veg, chicken and pork stuffings are blended beautifully with the hilly spices, giving a twist to our taste buds. Food joints in Darjeeling serve seven to eight of these delicacies with soothing veg or chicken stew. Also, did you know about this single mother who brought Darjeeling momos to Delhi?
2. Sel Rotis
This homemade delight is basically ring-shaped rice bread. It is moderately sweet and is usually prepared on special occasions like Dakshin and Tihar in Darjeeling, Sikkim and Nepal. To make the delicacy, the locals mix the rice dough with milk, ghee, cardamom, cloves, cooking oil and more. Sel rotis taste magnificent with piping-hot tea.
Shaphaley is an extremely crispy snack with chicken, pork, beef or other meat stuffing inside. It is deep-fried and dished out along with tangy chutney. Shaphaleys are either semi-circular or circular in shape. If you put up at a local homestay in Darjeeling, they will definitely have this dish on their menu.
4. Tibetian Thukpa
The noodle soup had originated in eastern Tibet and is now a very popular dish in the Himalayan region of Darjeeling. Loaded with oodles of vegetables, boiled chicken, pork, etc., thukpa is lightweight, healthy and delicious. It can make a comfortable and wholesome breakfast.
Kwati is a very unique soup, prepared with nine kinds of sprouted beans. It is basically a traditional Gorkha dish, and one will easily find it in Darjeeling. The soup is thick in texture and is high in protein. Nepalis consume it on the occasion of Guni Punhi.
Churned out of yak’s or cow’s milk, Churpee is the traditional cheese of Darjeeling. They come in either hard and soft versions. Churpees are sometimes there in momo and shaphaley stuffings.
7. Pork Curry
The spicy non-vegetarian dish, Pork curry, is prepared with cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, pepper, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and more. The delectable curry is best enjoyed with hot rice.
8. Aloo Tama
If you want to relish the soothing flavour of bamboo shoots, then aloo tama will get you sorted. The potato curry is prepared with fermented bamboo shoots. It is quite zesty and can give a spicy ride to your taste buds.
Gundruk is essentially a traditional Nepali dish made with dried leafy vegetables like mustard leaves, radish leaves and rayo sag. It is dark brown in colour and is consumed either in the form of an appetiser or as a soup.
10. Darjeeling Tea
Though Darjeeling tea is a beverage, while talking about the Darjeeling cuisine, how can we not throw some light upon its amazing teas? Darjeeling is home to some of the best tea estates in the world where tea leaves are harvested to make different types of aromatic teas like monsoon tea, first flush tea, second flush tea and loads more.
Also Read: Glenburn Tea Plantation Estate In Darjeeling
So, if you happen to visit Darjeeling sooner or later, don’t forget to tuck into these soul-quenching dishes. Meanwhile, here’s to tracing the history and origin of chai: