02 Aug 2020

Maas, Machili, Mountains - A lip-smacking journey into Himachal

The Himachal region boasts a wide array of delectable foods of every nature; most of which are unique to Himachal. Being the Dev Bhoomi, with a rich culinary tradition, sometimes the vegetarian offering can feel overwhelming to the detriment of meat cravings. The omnivores amongst us love to dig into some meat now and then, don’t we? Meat-eaters shouldn’t feel left out. Himachal has an excellent selection of local meat and fish preparations that will have you coming back for second and maybe third helpings, and you are welcome. Below, we’ve listed a few meat dishes that are widespread throughout the hills. Dive in to read more! 

Village Life in Himachal Pradesh

Chha Gosht Image Credit: Himachal Tourism

1. Chha Gosht:
For most residents here, the primary source of protein is red meat. Chha Gosht is a flavorful preparation with mutton as the main ingredient. It’s a stellar dish, self-sufficient, yet is an excellent accompaniment to many types of flatbreads and rice served in the region. Everything used in this recipe is in line with the cooking style and eating habits of the folks of the hills; gram flour and mustard oil are the key components that add flavour and some thickness to the curry, along with buttermilk for a rich umami flavour and to tenderise the meat. But there’s also plenty of other flavours at play here. The standard Indian mix of cardamom, bay leaves, Kashmiri red chillies, asafoetida et al. are never redundant and add the perfect finishing touches to a unique red meat dish.

2. Pahadi Chicken Curry:
To those that are more adventurous at the dining table, Pahadi Chicken (in its dry form) might be a familiar friend. But this dish truly comes into its own when prepared and consumed in its eponym, the mountains. Pahadi chicken is an absolute flavour explosion that has no particular origin; its flavours and complexity vary from region to region, household to household. But the core ingredients are chicken, mint, coriander, curd, milk, and a bevvy of other spices. It is also one dish that can be prepared both as a dry accompaniment to your evening beer, or a creamy curry to be had with some nice Bhaturu or Rotis.

The Quintessential Himachi Village

Kullu Trout Image Credits: Himachal Tourism

3. Trout:
The Himachal region places a heavy emphasis on Trout, responsibly sourced, of course, a delectable river fish that is plentiful in the rivers that flow here. They were introduced here as a healthy table fish alternative, and now they’re one of the most popular sources of marine food. Trout fishing is also a popular activity in some parts of the Beas river! Trout prepared the standard way, fried, grilled or turned into curry is a staple. Our recommendation, enjoy your trout in its purest form, subtly spiced to get the authentic taste of river fish in their entirety.

4. Chamba Fish Fry And Chukkh:
As the name suggests, this variation of fried fish is mainly prepared in the Chamba region but is popular throughout Himachal. Sardines or Mackerel are usually used in this preparation, although it can vary depending on availability and area. The fish is generously coated with ginger, garlic and coriander, then fried with its skin intact. An extremely simple, yet tantalising flavour combination that goes superbly well with Chukkh, a local chutney consisting of many sweet and sour ingredients, that’s an entirely new flavour explosion.

If you’ve been reading this far, surely you are tempted to try out a few of these yourselves. Whenever you drop by at Rakkh, our homely resort in Dharamshala, do ask our talented in-house chefs to prepare these for you in our Rasoi, and watch these magicians do their best!

Featured Image Credits: Only Gluten Free Recipes

Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061