You can add a great dimension to your trip to Darjeeling by exploring the local food & cuisine here and trying out some of them. They are quite unique and different from what we are used to having. You will love them all.
A mouth-watering Tibetan dishes that is famous in Darjeeling is the Thukpa. It is a form of noodle served in soup along with vegetables or diced meat. Thukpa is the staple food of the locals in Darjeeling. This is available at almost every local restaurant and road-side stalls.
2. Darjeeling Tea
Any trip to Darjeeling is incomplete if you haven't taken a sip of the world famous Darjeeling Tea. Cultivated in the luscious tea gardens across Darjeeling, it is known for its premium quality all around the globe.
3. Sel Roti
Sel Roti is traditional Nepali homemade sweet, ring-shaped rice bread. These are usually home-made and served during private functions or parties. These are basically Rotis (flat round breads) made from rice paste and then fried deeply. Tasting little sweet, it is recommended to consume it with butter, cheese or chutney.
Gundruk is one of the famous dishes in Darjeeling. It is found in every Gorkha household. It is prepared from the fermentation of leafy vegetables like mustard leaves, spinach, etc. Gundruk is a significant source of minerals.
5. Kakra Ko Achar and Kinema
They are essentially pickles and favorites of the locals, especially the Nepalis. Achar meaning Pickle. The first one, i.e. Kakra Ko Achar is prepared of julienne cucumbers and can be taken as a salad or pickle. Ingredients used include long stripes of cucumber pieces, sesame seeds, garlic, green chili, salt etc. Kinema, on the other hand, is prepared using fermented Soybeans.
6. Alu Dum
You ask any local of Darjeeling about Alu Dum and you will notice a smile on their face. They just can't live without it. So how can you not try such food which has become a household favorite. It is prepared by boiling cut potatoes in thick gravy and mixing dried red chili powder in it along with onion slices, few cloves of garlic, some mustard oil and sometimes even red color. Watch out! It can be quite hot but very tasty. Usually served with potato wafers or 'bhujia' to make it a tempting snack.
This is one of the most popular local snack items found at every corner of Darjeeling. Tibetan origin Momo is prepared by dumplings stuffed with minced meat, vegetables, and cheese flour dough. You can choose to have it either steamed or fried. But mostly people savor the steamed momos served with homemade chili sauce and a bowl of soup. These are quite wholesome and filling.
8. Churpee Milk Based Snack
A milk base snack items which are prepared from the cows or yak’s milk and mostly taste like cheese. Churpees are delicious healthy snacks which are served with Niguru which both make the fantastic combinations.
9. Dal Bhat
The staple food of Nepal, this thick lentil soup is made from black lentils or beans, which are slow boiled to give a thick, gloopy texture, and then seasoned with the Himalayan herb jimbu. Dal Bhat is normally served as part of a thali set - a metal tray holding separate metals bowls containing rice, curry, pickles, and vegetables. You will be surprised to know how something simple like this can be so tasty and soul-filling. Pickles, meats, and yogurt dips are also served along the side.
10. Dalle Chilli Pickle
This ‘spicy little thing’ is called “Dalle Khorsani”. Once you taste the Dalle chillies it is sure to carve a hard core fan in you. Its flavour and the aroma make a permanent memory on the taste buds and the craving just keeps coming back.