The hills of North-Eastern India are renowned for their natural beauty, friendly folks, and mouth-watering cuisine – and it’s the latter we’re about to expound upon in this article, for your benefit. Here are some of the best-known delicacies you must sample on your next visit up north to Gangtok, Sikkim!
Swaddled in the lap of nature, the picturesque foothills of North-Eastern India are a feast for sore eyes. The spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga summit—the world’s third highest peak—is unmatched from the mountainside town of Gangtok, and will surely take your breath away. Watch the rain from your window high up in the clouds, while indulging yourself in the delicious local fare for a memorable holiday with your loved ones!
Traditionally, Sikkimese cuisine involves plenty of rice preparations with piquant and refreshingly unique condiments. While there are many popular delicacies such as phagshapa (pork stew with chilies and radish), sel roti (a ring-shaped sweet bread) and sinki(made from radish tap roots), here are the best-known dishes from Sikkim that shouldn’t be missed for anything in the world!
The Sikkimese equivalent of gyoza, shaphaley is doughy and crispy on the outside with a soft gooey interior of chicken or minced meat, mixed with onion, cabbage and traditional spices. For some extra zing, pair this crunchy snack with some hot sauce, and down some rutangsoup (meat broth) for an unforgettable treat for your taste buds.
An accompaniment to the Sikkimese staple food of rice and curry, Kinema is prepared from fermented soybeans, and is popular with locals and tourists alike for its savouryflavour and tantalizing chewiness. Don’t give this one a miss!
If you frequently find yourself complaining about the lack of decent food options for vegetarians, don’t worry because Sikkim has something for everyone! A beloved leafy green delicacy, Gundruk is easily available everywhere and whipped up using cauliflower, mustard leaves and radish. A dash of year-long specially-fermented seasoning adds a heavenly aroma, not to mention the tingling aftertaste it leaves behind in your mouth. Not for nothing is it the national dish of Nepal!
A well-known Himalayan beverage, Chhaangis to the North-East what Feni is to Goa. This bitter beer is brewed by fermenting rice grains, barley or millet, and is traditionally served in a bamboo mug. During the long chilly winters, locals prefer to sip it piping hot using a bamboo pipe. Nicknamed “hot beer,” the Tibetan concoction is a must-try for first-timers visiting the seven sisters or Sikkim, especially for its heady kick. Cheers!
Noodle-lovers, this one’s for you. The finger-licking preparation of Gyathuk is a feast for the senses indeed. While the thukpa recipe is made using flat noodles, another Sikkimese specialty named thenthukrequires bite-sized and hand-pulled noodles. Meat lovers can top up their noodle soup with succulent beef, chicken or fish, but the scrumptious dish is filling all on its own as well. Delish!
Who doesn’t love a plate full of piping hot momos? These fluffy dumpling delights are hands down the most famous export of the North East, and have become a part of staple street fare all across the country. Steamed or deep fried, momos can be stuffed with different types of meats or vegetables, and they are eaten along with fiery chilli sauce to pack that extra punch!
This monsoon season, forego the overpriced, overcrowded and cliched hill stations of Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar in favour of the incredible North-East. Nestled up in the mountains, the quaint capital city of Gangtok, Sikkim promises unlimited wholesome entertainment for the complete family—street food, nightlife, nature and even casinos! Try your luck at the table games and head to DeltinDenzong for a night of fun and games. Visit www.deltin.com for information about bookings and holiday packages.