10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

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The best part of a trip to Ladakh is trying the local food and bringing back dishes to remind you of your trip. Ladakhi cuisine is very different from Indian cuisine, it is not spicy and it mainly originates from the culinary traditions of Tibet. Barley flour, called tsampa, is a traditional staple food of Ladakh.10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

To make sure you get to taste all the delicious food the region has to offer, here is a list of the top 10 dishes you should not leave Ladakh without trying.

1. Thukpa

10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

Thukpa is a much-loved classic dish of Ladakhi cuisine. It is a clear soup with vegetables and noodles made from wheat or barley flour. This dish also often includes meat such as pieces of chicken, mutton or yak. Thukpa is traditionally served with spicy “chutney” to further enhance the taste. There are many versions of this noodle soup and all kinds of delicious ingredients can be added to it for a subtle blend of flavors.

Thukpa is one of the most commonly eaten food in Ladakh and is also very popular in other areas of the Himalayas. It is available at budget prices in all the local restaurants in Leh and is the perfect dish to keep you warm in winters.

2. 10 Best Dishes to Eat in Ladakh, Momos

10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

Probably the most famous dish in Ladakh, momos are dumplings originating from Tibet that are usually filled with minced meat, vegetables (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, spinach) and cheese. Momos are either steamed or fried (be prepared for this difficult choice when ordering!) and they are usually served with chili sauces and soups.

Momos are cooked in a traditional steamer called “mokto”. It is a metal container with water in the bottom and several compartments one above the other with holes for the flow of steam. Momos are often shaped like a lotus flower or a crescent moon. Momos are popular not only in Ladakh but also in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, Nepal… They are always a part of the menu during special celebrations.

Feel like eating something sweet? Some restaurants in Leh have also started serving chocolate momos as a dessert. Not really traditional but worth a try! skyu food of ladakh recipe

3. Skyu

10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

Skyyu is another traditional soup-based Ladakhi speciality. It is a stew made by kneading barley or wheat flour into thumb-sized flat balls. It is cooked slowly in a pot with water, meat and root vegetables such as potatoes, turnips and carrots. This mouth-watering dish is often made in villages and its recipe has remained unchanged for centuries. This heavy and high-calorie food, containing energy in the form of carbohydrates, is a favorite for trekkers during the cold winter months and when temperatures in Ladakh drop below zero.

There is also a habit in villages to include fresh milk as the main ingredient. In that case, the dish is called oma-skew, “oma” meaning “milk” in the Ladakhi language. A particularly delicious version that you should definitely try if you get the chance.10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

4. Tingmo
10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

Tingmo or Timok in Ladakhi is a steamed Tibetan bread that is eaten with dal, cooked vegetables or meat. It is staple food for the people of Ladakh, similar to white bread or “baguette” in French cuisine. Tingmo is a soft and fluffy plain bun made from white flour and it does not contain any filling. It is best when served hot (after having been steamed for around 15 minutes) and it goes very well with stews. Tingmo is very similar to the Chinese “Hua Juan” (also known as Flower Bun or Mandarin Rolls). Tingmo is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a favoured tea-time snack too.skyu food of ladakh

5. Chutagi
10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

Tingmo or timok in Ladakhi is a steamed Tibetan bread eaten with lentils, cooked vegetables or meat. It is a staple food of the people of Ladakh, similar to white bread or “baguette” in French cuisine. Tingmo is a soft and puffy plain bun made from white flour and contains no fillings. It is best when served hot (after steaming for about 15 minutes) and it goes great with stews. Tingmo is similar to Chinese “hua xuan” (also known as flower buns or mandarin rolls). Tingmo is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is also a favorite tea time snack.10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

6. Chhurpi (Yak cheese)

Yak cheese, called “Chhurpi” in Ladakhi, is made from the milk of domesticated yaks called “Dzomo”. Dezomo is actually a hybrid of yak and cow. Females of this hybrid breed give almost three times more milk than female yaks. food of ladakh paragraph

The color of Churpi is white and the taste is mild like Italian ricotta. There are two varieties of Chhurpi: soft and hard. This traditional cheese is widely consumed in Ladakh due to the scarcity of vegetables and fruits. It is an essential component of the diet of the local people as it is the main source of vitamins and proteins. Chhurpi is found in Ladakh with all types of food like thukpa and is used as a filling in momos.

7.  Butter tea

Butter tea is a traditional pink drink from the Himalayan regions. Butter tea is also known as “gur-gur tea” in Ladakh. Its specialty is that yak butter and salt are mixed in boiling water along with tea leaves. This highly caloric beverage is excellent for cold climates and high altitudes. Butter also helps keep lips moisturized instead of lip balm! ladakh food images with name

Ladakhi people drink salted butter tea every day. It is also a traditional drink served at weddings and other special occasions. In Ladakhi hospitality tradition, the host refills the guest’s cup with successive sips so that the cup is never empty. If the guest does not wish to drink more, the cup should be left full until the guest leaves.

8. Chang

Chang is a traditional alcoholic beverage, the “local beer” of Ladakh made from barley with 5% to 7% alcohol. People have been drinking chang during festivals for centuries. For the marriage proposal, the boy’s uncle gives a pot of chang to the girl’s family. For the birth of a child, the family and neighbors bring chang with butter and flour to the parents.what is the famous food of ladakh

As a sign of respect, chang is served to guests with a small piece of butter on the edge of the cup. Before drinking, the guest dips his finger in the beverage and tosses a few drops into the air as an offering to the deities. This is usually done three times for the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

9. Khambir

Khambir is a delicious traditional leavened wheat-based bread. Handmade round shaped fermented dough baked on hot stone and then directly over fire. It is even better to eat roti when it is freshly baked and still warm. Typically, Ladakhi people eat khambir with eggs or vegetables for breakfast. Bread is also served as a breakfast with butter tea. Khambir can be stored for more than a week at room temperature, making it a popular staple food in Ladakh.10 best dishes to eat in Ladakh

10. Apricot jam

How about ending this list on a sweet note?

Apricot (or “chulli” in Ladakhi language) is the most popular fruit grown locally in the region. Apricot culture was brought to Ladakh from China and Central Asia in the early 20th century. Beautiful apricot orchards can be found in different parts of Ladakh located at lower altitudes such as Sham (western part of the Indus Valley), Nubra Valley and Dha-Hanu Valley.top 10 best dishes to eat in ladakh

Many products are made from this fruit. Apricot jam is a delicious dish that you will definitely enjoy for breakfast! Apricots are also used to make syrup and the seeds are used to make kernel oil. Dry apricot is a favorite of Ladakhi people.

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