Food in Kangra
Earlier food in Kangra was prepared mainly from locally grown crops. Fortunately with the opening of roads different types of food ingredients are now being available in Kangra. Moreover, interaction with the outside world has also led to widening of the horizon for the people of this city. Consequently, food in Kangra has undergone a sea change. It is not limited to the traditional recipes anymore. However, that does not mean that the traditional food in Kangra is no longer appreciated. Contrarily, they are now as much appreciated as Chinese dishes or Italian pizzas. The article tries to through light on some of the traditional dishes of Kangra. We will start with dham.
Dham in KangraIt is important to clarify that dham is not a recipe; contrarily the traditional lunch served during festivals is known as dham. It is generally cooked by boti community, who are by tradition Brahmin cooks. The meal is generally served on leaf plates. People generally sit on the floor to enjoy such community dining.
Traditionally dham starts with aromatic rice and moong dal. Next comes Madra; it is made out of various ingredients such as panner, kidney bean or rajma, mukund or sepu badi, white gram etc. The dish is cooked with yoghurt and more than twenty different spices add to its unique aroma. This is generally followed by mashed dal; the dal is topped with a sweet and sour sauce.
This sauce is called khatta and it is made out of tamarind and jaggery. The dham in Kangra is never complete without Kale Chana ki Khatta.
The feast ends with different kinds of sweet dishes. Sweet rice known as mithdee is most popular; it is made out of boondi or bread crumb.
Everyday Food in KangraEveryday food in Kangra consists of broth made out of different types of pulses and legumes, curry made out of locally grown vegetables, chapattis made out of whole wheat flour and rice. As in every other place in India, the residents of Kangra too have grown a liking for different fast foods, which either can be bought or made with least efforts. Consequently, these fast food items too have crept in the list of everyday food in Kangra.
Preparation of Food in KangraThe people in Kangra use various methods to prepare their food. They are as follows:
- Dhuni: It is the most common method of cooking traditional recipes. In this method a few drops of mustard oil is put on a burning piece of charcoal. The fuming coal is then put in the food kept in a closed container so that it can absorb the aroma.
- Bhuja: This type of preparation requires the leaves to be chopped before cooking.
- Sag: In this type of cooking leaves are boiled and made into paste before they are cooked.
- Chutney: The ingredients are made into paste before being cooked.
- Pakode: These are basically used as snacks
Some Typical Kangra Food
Karalen ki sabji, lasiare ki sbzi, bhruni ki sabji, langru ki sabzi, lasaide ki sabzi, tremble ki sabzi, nashpati ka sabzi, addu ki sabzi phafru ka sag, kulfa ki sag etc are some of the popular vegetable dishes in Kangra. These are made out of locally available vegetables and fruits.
In Kangra, fermented food items such as bhatura and beduan roti are also very popular. While bhatura is generally plain and can be roasted or deep fried bedualn ka roti is always stuffed with fillings made out of soybean, black gram or mashed colocasia bulb and then fried. Other than these two, other popular wheat based food items in Kangra are dhandar, babroo, chareli and patende
Among the sweet dishes, we can name mithdee, rot, seera etc. Among them, seera is generally prepared during auspicious occasions and is highly nutritious.
Nutritional Value of Kangra foodIn fact, food in Kangra is not only very tasty, but their nutritious values are also very high. If taken in right proportion they provide enough protein, vitamins and minerals to sustain healthy life.
For example fruits and vegetables like Java fig, colocasea, basil, pigweed, buckwheat, watercress etc used in the preparation of food in Kangra contain abundant phosphorous, calcium and iron while buckwheat, grass pea and other legumes contains proteins. Even Seera, made from whole wheat, contains all the necessary nutrition.
Also Read : Restaurants in Kangra