There are a lot of elements to experience in Leh Ladakh like trekking, sightseeing and others. One main element that people miss is the exotic and lingering cuisine of Leh Ladakh. The cuisine of Leh Ladakh is a mixture of Indian and Tibetan cuisine. You would find important taste strings from Kashmiri cuisine, Tibetan cuisine and exotic Himalayan taste. Here are the top foods to enjoy in this place.
Make sure to use the word Chhupuri as people would not understand the term ‘yak cheese’. While you are in this city, you would see a lot of yak. Yak milk is not much of a delicacy. But the cheese made out of the milk has a unique taste and flavour. The yak cheese has high amount of omega 3 fatty acids and is very good for heart health.
It is made by mixing yak milk with lime, lemon or any other citrus juice that would ferment the milk. It is consumed as a drink, hard sweet, stuffing for momos, side dish and others. This is a traditional Himalayan dish and also a delicacy. Usually people would not show you how to make this dish as it takes a lot of time. The dish would be pre-made in most of the shops and restaurants. You need to walk into a traditional or local restaurant to enjoy this delicacy.
This is a stew made with fermented bread. There are both vegetation and non-vegetarian variations. You can find this stew in many local restaurants here. It is a flavoured stew that is both consumed as a snack and also as a meal. A lot of vegetables are used in this soup and fermented bread pieces are added to it. The bread is made out of white flour usually. You can also request a variation of bread made with wheat too.
The stew has a spicy, sour and sweet flavour. The flavour of this stew would be very strong. If you want a spicy version of the stew, request a Tibetan spice blended stew. Sometimes the bread would be served separately and you need to break it and add it to the soup.
This is a pink coloured tea that is bit salty in taste and has the most unique taste and fragrance. There are two reasons for you to taste this tea in Leh Ladakh. The first reason is that you would not get this tea elsewhere. The second reason is that this tea would help you to protect your lips from the harsh cold climate. The salt would help you to overcome altitude sickness.
This tea is made with wooden apparatus which is used to churn butter to be added to this tea. This is a basic drink of people in Tibet, Himalayas, Nepal and India. The main ingredients are tea leaves, yak butter, salt and water. The high quality tea would be prepared by boiling tea leaves in water for half a day and adding fresh yak milk and salt into it. The resultant solution would be purple in colour. The low cost variety would be made with tea bags, cow’s butter and others. It is not easy to find restaurants which would serve butter tea. This is a homemade item today and if you could get in touch with any Leh family, you can enjoy this legendary drink.
You would have tasted momos in numerous Chinese styled restaurants. There are many variations to this momos. What makes momos in Leh Ladakh unique? The mystical spices of Himalayas make this momos special. Momos is sometimes served with Thukpa. It is a soup of Tibetan cuisine. It is a clear vegetable soup which is sometimes served with noodles. Momos, Thukpa and red chilli paste is the best combo for a very cold night here in Leh Ladakh.
These four are must try dishes here. There are a lot of other signature dishes like Qahwa which is made with cinnamon and saffron, Mokthuk which is similar to momos, Kulcha and Langar. Remember to choose the right traditional restaurant to make sure that you are enjoying the authentic Leh Ladakh cuisine. The most important money saver tip is to enjoy these items in heart of Leh. The more far you get from Leh; it becomes harder to find good restaurants. Even if you find one, it would be very costly.