Whenever someone asks me, “so where in India do you belong to?” I never really know what to answer. My family hails from Himachal Pradesh, but as my father was in the Indian Army (infact, still is) we never really lived in Himachal, except for the annual vacation visits. I stayed all over India, in Bangalore, Secunderabad, Lucknow, Missamari, Siliguri, Pune yada yada yada. So the cliched answer would be I am from India. However, if there is one cuisine of India I feel most emotional about, it has to be Himachali food.
Sure, it could be because it is the food I grew up with. But I also grew up eating idlis, dosa, pohas, vada pavs, momos, dal makhani, butter chicken, tunday kabab, chicken 65, biryanis. So that’s not just it.It could be primarily because I feel that a lot of people don’t know how lovely and unique Himachali khaana is. And oh-so yummy. And I kind of also feel proprietorial about it. Plus as the years go by, I feel I need to preserve whatever part of my heritage I can. I tried learning the language and am still taking baby steps with it. I want to live in a village up in the hills but in my reality it is not a practical idea. So if all this translates into me recording a Himachali food diary, in the here and now, so be it. This is a dream I want to make into a reality. (I have this whole road trip charted out in my head, backpacking across Himachal, recording recipes and food habits and making my food journal ~all it needs are the start and end dates, and I wouldn’t mind some company~)
But until that trip happens, let me record the recipes I do know about and share them with you all. Hopefully, you enjoy them as much as I do, or maybe even more.