If you are planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh then the local Pahari food is a must try. They Himachalis love their food and their food is rich and spicy and usually cooked with a lot of pure ghee, curd, and buttermilk, making it delicious. Dham is the name for a traditional Himachali meal and no festivals and celebrations are complete without the traditional Dham. It’s interesting to know that Dham is cooked only by botis who are a caste of Brahmin chefs!
The Dham is served in courses and here’s what you can expect to be served in a typical Himachali Dham:
The first dish to be served in the Dham is cooked rice and moong dal.
Then comes the Madra which can either be chana madras or rajma (kidney bean) Madra which is cooked in a thickish gravy.
Then comes the Palda, also called the Aloo Palda which is potatoes cooked in thick yogurt gravy.
After the Palda comes the Khatta. As the name suggests, this is a slightly tangy dish either made with black chana (Bengal gram) and in some regions with pumpkin. Either dry mango owner or tamarind is added o give it the tangy taste along with the spices and salt.
The Babru which comes next is like kachoris and it’s a Himachali version of the same. The stuffing is made with soaked and ground black gram daal paste.
The last on the Dham course is the Meetha Bhaat which the people of Himachal call Mittha. It’s a sweet variety of rice, cooked in ghee and topped with a generous helping of dry fruits and nuts.
Speaking to HFT, Bollywood art director Chokas Bharadwaj who is a Pahari from Himachal Pradesh says that there is a wide variety and each region has a different way of cooking and serving when it comes to the Himachali Dham.