10 Dishes you must try in Ladakh
Amongst the favourite dishes of Ladakhi people is the thukpa, a noodle soup with boiled vegetables, chunks of chicken, pork, beef or mutton served with spicy ‘chutney’ to enhance the zing. A hot bowl of thukpa served with ‘khambir’, locally baked bread is the best way to beat the chilly weather. It is available in every little cafe or street-stall.
2. TIGMO OR TEEMO
It is a flavoured stew that is both consumed as a snack and also as a meal. A lot of vegetables are used in this soup and fermented bread pieces are added to it. One can have a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian variant in this too. It’s sweet and spicy in flavour and you can add more as per your taste. A great meal for the mountains, as you land in Leh, an elixir for acclimatizing.
Momo is a type of steamed bun with or without filling. Momo has become a traditional delicacy in most places in the Northern part of India. People of all ages are crazy about momos, but trust me if you eat the Ladakhi momos you would never want to have momos of any other place. Also found all over the place are golden dumplings and wontons or popularly called ‘momos’.
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Their staple, food, their bread, it’s shaped, and almost tastes like a thicker roti. It can be had smeared with jam, butter or pair it with the butter tea-and it fills up your stomach, readying you for a day of hard work ahead. Try an omelette with it, goes well too.
Ladakh apricot store has the most famous locally made products from apricot. At this store in Leh, you find everything made from apricots, from jams to pickled apricots to apricot face packs and scrubs. Enjoy the herbal life by splurging on some of these organic products. The jam is drooling worthy and definitely recommended.
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This brings together two of our favourite elements of mountain food, momos and soup. It’s essentially momos in soup. With added vegetables, spices and love, it makes for one delicious concoction!
Skyu is a traditional soup dish of Ladakhis and almost a daily meal for people here. The soft wheat dough is kneaded into thumb-sized balls and cooked with meat and vegetable stew. Root vegetable like turnips, carrots and potatoes are used in its preparation. It helps beats the cold and keeps the body warm when the temperature goes to -20 to -30 degrees. Yummy and delicious by itself, it is usually an accompanied with dumplings or momos.
8. CHHUPRI OR YAK CHEESE
A Himalayan delicacy, it’s made by adding lime and other citrus fruits to Yak milk and churned. A tedious process, but the end result is this yummy cheese. You can find it in local bakeries, have it laced in your momos, have it with crackers, or just ask them to give you a bit to taste. The taste can be called an “acquired taste”.
Tickle your taste-buds with a fuzzy and melty butter tea, made from green tea leaves, yak butter and salt. Don’t let the sound of this weird concussion fool you as it is plenty delicious and a perfect warm for your throat. Chhang is the local brew made from fermenting the miller with yeast in a traditional porcelain pot. Mildly intoxicating, this drink will keep you warm in the chilly Himalayan weather. It is often served hot from brass kettles.
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The seabuckthorne bush was previously used only for fencing when quite recently the properties of these “Leh berries” were discovered. Now they make for some yummy juice, up in the mountains. They have two bottling plants in Nubra and one in Leh. Rich in an Omega 7 fatty acid called palmitoleic acid, sea buckthorn is particularly beneficial for the skin, nourishing and moisturizing from the inside out. You must, must try this.
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