The legendary Dhaam is a response and challenge to the royal Wazwan feast of Kashmir. Dhaam started as a royal feast for the King’s guests and slowly percolated into the local populace who started contracting the Botis (Brahmin cooks who are the only ones allowed to cook Dhaam) on special occasions such as marriages, birthdays, naming ceremonies among others. Your arrival is reason enough for us to celebrate. For larger groups, we can organize the Dhaam on request and sufficient advance notice as the Boti chefs have to be contracted and an intensive 12-hour preparation is required for the Kangri Dham, a variant of the Kumaoni Dhaam. This completely vegetarian fare is prepared with multiple varieties of lentils and gram cooked with milk served along with rice. This feast is conspicuous by the fact that no vegetables are also used in its preparation. Special copper pots placed in fire pits in the ground slow cook this lentil and pulses delicacy, a must-experience local tradition. The food thus prepared is believed to be Sattvic as the food is not boiled but cooked gradually over the smoky coal, a technique known as Dhuni.
The cooking of Dham at Rakkh is a sight to behold with the kitchen, the locus of the entire festivity, built in the traditional style of Kangra, made of locally sourced materials. Once the feast is ready, people sit in rows, on the ground, cross legged and the steaming hot food is served in a pattal or pattlu leaves plate which enhances the taste of the food along with being completely environmentally friendly. Dham as a feast is a marvel of menu design which is viable for preparation in all seasons of this mountain country where the harsh winters make it impossible to grow vegetables.