When a person thinks about Leh and Ladakh they generally visualize a treacherous terrain that stretches well beyond the horizon with a climate so harsh that they cannot sustain any kind of vegetation. This place, located in the much-disputed state of India, Jammu & Kashmir brings forth adventure seekers and casual travelers all around the world every year to gaze at its beauty. The place has it all, they have mountains that are any climbers dream to conquer, roads that can give formula one racetrack a run for their money, mountain passes housing the highest motorable road in the world and sights that can make even the most emotionless being express their inner feelings. When you enter this mountainous district, you get to observe a sight that cannot be found anywhere in the world and a sight so serene and beautiful that it would make you want to live the rest of your life over there.
The place seems to have it all. Except that Ladakh has not been a popular destination for foodies. There have not been many travelers vlogging about the cuisine of this isolated place and nobody in general ever thinks about the food of Ladakh when they go over to that place. Here is where most people are wrong. Ladakh might not have the most sophisticated food to offer but they do have a lot of local cuisines that are still made in the traditional ways and I can guarantee you that your mouths will water as much as they do when you enter a posh restaurant as soon as you take the first whiff of smell originating from their food. This article focuses on such delicacies and will try to introduce you to some of the famous foods in Leh-Ladakh.
Chutagi – Must Taste Ladakhi Food
This is a food synonymous with Ladakh food. Since vegetation is sparse in this area the locals came up with a dish that can fill the hungriest stomach and be nutritious at the same time. It is a soup dish so it warms up anyone in the freezing climate and is made of flour with dumplings that are added later on. The soup also contains vegetables such as spinach, beans, and carrots making it a very healthy dish.
Tasty and Filling Thukpa
This is another soup-based dish but it is much more filling than the previous one. The dish mainly consists of soup made from flour and noodles. To this, a person can add a variety of vegetables such as carrots, beans, spinach, coriander, chili to name a few. Meat is also generally added to this dish which ranges from chicken, pork or beef. This purely depends upon what a person likes to eat. The dish has its roots in Tibet but it is quite a popular dish in Ladakh.
This is a dumpling and soup-based dish similar to Chutagi but here the dumplings are shaped like little thumbs. The dish is generally served with a lot of vegetables, but potatoes have to be added to give the dish its signature taste and texture.
Butterlicious Butter tea
Okay, this might not sound relishing enough but hear me out, as soon as you take the first sip, you will be addicted to this beverage and will be asking for it at every restaurant throughout your trip. The locals have created the perfect beverage by mixing butter and salt into boiling milk. Trust me the beverage is worth every penny.
Paba – Must Taste Local Delight
This is a very healthy food that you can try over there. This is made from the flour of barley that has to be roasted and kneaded. The end product can be eaten with sugar or buttermilk. Vegetables are also generally eaten with Paba. This is a very healthy and nutritious food that you can have, and it must taste good because the locals love it.
Okay so this dish is not purely local, but this is the closest traditional momos you will get across all of India. Momos are an extremely popular dish across all of India but every state has modified them according to their own preference. This dish has its roots in Tibet and the locals have crafted something that closely resembles and tastes like the Tibetan Momo. This is a fairly simple dish where meat mixed with vegetables is enveloped in a flour mold that is steamed and then served with spicy sauces and a bowl of soup. Many have tried to make it but the Momo’s of Ladakh are the only ones that have stayed true to their roots.
These are just some of the glorious foods that you are going to find in Ladakh that is sure to give you a gastronomical experience every time you take a bite. After reading this I hope that when you plan a tour of Ladakh, you are also planning a sensual experience for your stomach.