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Vyanjanam : Cuisines of Laddakh.

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Trunicle is introducing a section on the variety of food all across INDIA. The fabric of this country is incomplete without its food trail. It is one of the biggest unifiers and a sure shot topic that gets any conversation going. We are randomly selecting places and bringing the culinary delights from them. It will only be enriching to have the readers add more to the list in case we missed something!!
This issue we are focusing on the Union Territory of Laddakh.
Laddakh has a very arid climate and it’s a vast cold desert .The locals grow variety of vegetables like beetroot, pumpkin, potatoes, spinach, barley and various types of beans. The non- vegetarian cuisine comprises of Yak meat, mutton and chicken.
Laddakh has a lot of influence on its cuisine from Tibet, China, Korea, and Middle East owing to its geographic location and ancient trade practices.
Some famous dishes from this region are
MOMOS: – This dish has become part of almost all cities and towns in India now but it has been a popular dish of Laddakh from time immemorial. These are dumplings filled with meat or vegetables which are popular either as fried or steamed. It’s usually served with a spicy dip.
THUPKA: – This is a staple food of the region. It’s a spicy broth that contains vegetables, noodles made of barley or wheat and minced meat for the non vegetarians.
CHUTAGI: – Another variant of a soupy preparation. This dish contains bow tie shaped dumplings much like the Pastas available now. The vegetables in the broth are potatoes, carrots and spinach.
SKEW: – quite similar to Thupka and Chutagi the skew is a spiced soup with thumb sized chappatis and vegetables. Skewed mutton is added to enhance flavors for non vegetarians.
PABA: – It’s a dish where roasted barley flour is kneaded and eaten with sugar. Incidentally a very similar dish to Bajra roti popular in Rajasthan.
SAAG: – The name must resonate with most Indians, as it refers to a leafy vegetable. In Laddakh the spinach is pureed with cloves, garlic and red chillies. It is tempered in mustard oil and served with rice or chappatis
LADAKHI PULAO: – This dish holds its fort along with the pulaos from Kashmir and Lucknow. It is layered with Caramelized onions, carrots and other vegetables. Local spices and condiments add their unique flavor.
Other famous dishes from this region are Kulcha Bun, Cholak and Khambir.
Phirni :- made of boiled rice, vermicelli and sugar.. Garnished with pistachios and almonds is a common dessert.
Butter Tea, Chhang( local beer) , Kahwa are beverages popular in the region. Churpee( dried Yak Cheese) and Tingmo ( bun shaped Tibetan Bread are unique to this region.

The food of Laddakh is a riot of flavors subtly blended with the spices that are suited to the cold climate of the region.

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