The Best 5 Traditional Foods of Himachal Pradesh

April 3, 2024

Nested in the midst of the grand Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, frequently referred to as the “Land of Gods,” is a mother lode of natural magnificence and cultural diversity. This captivating state is praised not only for its amazing landscapes, immaculate mountains, and peaceful valleys but also for its rich and varied culinary heritage.

The traditional food of Himachal Pradesh is a living testament to its way of life, history, and geographical variety. Himachali food offers a tempting blend of flavours and ingredients, with each dish reflecting the remarkable identity of this lovely region. From aromatic spices to hearty dishes, traditional Himachali cuisine plays a pivotal role in preserving the cultural identity of this picturesque region. 

It’s a journey through taste that connects you with the essence of Himachal’s rich history and diverse heritage, making every meal a memorable experience that resonates with the land’s splendour. In this article, we will dig into the main 5 traditional food varieties of Himachal Pradesh.

Best 5 Traditional Foods of Himachal Pradesh

Here are 5 famous Himachal Pradesh traditional food you should look for

1. Babru


Babru is a delightful and hearty dish that is a beloved staple in Himachal Pradesh. It is essentially a type of local black gram (urad dal) pancake. The preparation is simple yet flavoursome. Black gram is soaked overnight, ground to a coarse paste, and then transformed into pancakes or fritters. These fritters are fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy outer layer and a soft, flavorful core.

One unique aspect of Babru is its accompaniment, the tamarind chutney, which provides a tangy contrast to the earthy flavours of the pancake. This combination of textures and tastes creates a delightful culinary experience. These fritters are perfect for a quick snack, but they can also be a fulfilling meal when served with other Himachali delicacies. Whether you’re enjoying them on your own or as part of a larger spread, Babru is a must-try dish that captures the essence of Himachal’s rich culinary tradition.

In a world of evolving food trends and tastes, Babru stands as a delicious testament to the enduring appeal of Himachal Pradesh’s traditional cuisine. It embodies the essence of simplicity, resourcefulness, and the timeless art of turning local ingredients into culinary delights that have been savoured for generations.

2. Aktori


Aktori is a delectable traditional Himachal Pradesh food that can be considered a distant cousin of the popular North Indian dish Aloo Paratha. What distinguishes Aktori from other dishes is its exceptional use of buckwheat flour, a locally grown grain known for its health advantages.

For making Aktori, an exceptional dough is made by joining buckwheat flour with wheat flour. This dough is loaded with a combination of mashed potatoes, aromatic spices, and fresh green herbs. The filled dough is then flattened and cooked on a griddle until it gets a superb golden brown colour. The use of buckwheat flour gives Aktori a distinctive nutty flavour that is truly Himachali.

Aktori is often served with a dollop of homemade butter or ghee, and it pairs wonderfully with local pickles or yoghurt. It’s a warm and satisfying dish that resonates with the comforting essence of Himachali cuisine. With its delightful flavours and healthy ingredients, Aktori is a culinary treasure of Himachal Pradesh, waiting to be savoured by all who appreciate the joys of regional cuisine.

3. Bhey


Bhey, known as Lotus Stem, holds a cherished and distinctive place in the heart of Himachal Pradesh’s culinary traditions. This remarkable ingredient is highly treasured in the region for its exotic character. The dish exemplifies the state’s culinary finesse in elevating ordinary ingredients into extraordinary delights. Lotus stems, precisely sliced and expertly prepared, attain a level of culinary excellence that is truly remarkable.

The preparation of Bhey entails a meticulous process, painstakingly removing any hint of bitterness. This is followed by a meticulous marination with an array of spices before the final step of frying. The result is a snack or side dish that boasts a perfect combination of crispiness, rich spiciness, and an explosion of flavour.

Bhey can be relished as a delectable standalone snack, but it also frequently finds its place within larger, more elaborate meals. Its distinct texture and taste make it an invaluable ingredient within Himachali cuisine. The singular flavour it imparts, along with its satisfying crunch, lends a delightful and unique dimension to the rich culinary heritage of Himachal Pradesh. As such, it stands as a must-try for culinary enthusiasts seeking to explore the diverse and enticing world of Himachali cuisine.

4. Madra


Madra is a traditional Himachali dish that embodies the rich and vibrant history of the region. Madra is a luscious and velvety curry that comes to life with ground chickpeas, painstakingly prepared. 

This dish follows a slow and conscious cooking technique where it mixes different spices and dried fruits, giving it a satisfying, sweet, and nutty taste. What adds to the interest of Madra is its adaptability; it can be prepared with a collection of vegetables or meat, appealing to both vegans and non-veggie lovers.

The hallmark of Madra lies in its unique preparation method, where spices luxuriate in the embrace of yoghurt, resulting in a sumptuous and aromatic gravy. In a culinary landscape brimming with fiery flavours, Madra distinguishes itself with its gentle and soothing taste, offering a delightful contrast.

Serving Madra alongside rice or the traditional Himachali bread known as “Siddu” enriches the meal with an extra layer of authenticity, making it a truly wholesome dining experience.

5. Siddu


Siddu is the quintessential traditional bread of Himachal Pradesh. These fluffy, steamed bread buns are a staple in the region, served with ghee, dal, or various chutneys. Siddu can be made with different grains, but wheat flour is the most common choice.

The preparation of Siddu begins with making a dough using wheat flour, yeast, and yoghurt. The dough is then allowed to ferment, resulting in a soft and fluffy texture. It is then stuffed with a mixture of local ingredients, often featuring ingredients like spinach, fenugreek leaves, or even minced meat. The stuffed dough is then steamed to perfection.

Siddu is not just a delightful bread; it is also a cultural emblem of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a wholesome and comforting food that showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of Himachali cuisine. If you wish to delve into the heart of Himachal’s culinary traditions, tasting Siddu is a must on your gastronomic journey.


In conclusion, the traditional food of Himachal Pradesh is a reflection of the state’s cultural diversity and natural abundance. From hearty dishes like Babru and Aktori to exotic delicacies like Bhey and the rich flavours of Madra and the iconic Siddu, Himachali cuisine offers a wide range of flavours and experiences. 

These delicious dishes beautifully capture the unique flavours and heritage of Himachal Pradesh, making it a food paradise for those looking to experience the essence of this region. So, the next time you find yourself in this heavenly “Land of Gods,” make sure to treat your taste buds to these fantastic traditional offerings. You’ll discover that they leave a delightful and lasting impression, leaving you with a strong desire for more culinary adventures in Himachal Pradesh.

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