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Truly Himachali

Himachali cuisine comprises a range of dishes that are definitely lip-smacking

Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

ONE MAY not know much about Himachali cuisine but a taste of it will reveal a varied range that may seem different yet scrumptious to the south Indian palate. Basic ingredients go into the dishes and cooking time is minimal. Check these recipes out.

Mahani (Lobia curry)

Black eyed beans (lobia) - 300 gm
Red chillies, (whole and dried) - 10 gm
Gram flour - 20 gm
Sugar - 10 gm
Fenugreek powder - 5 gm
Turmeric - 10 gm
Chilli powder - 10 gm
Water - 1.5 lt
Wheat flour - 20 gm
Mustard oil - 60 ml
Dry mango powder - 15 gm
Asafoetida - 3 gm
Salt to taste

Method: Wash and soak the beans in water for 4-5 hours. Heat oil in a pan and sauté fenugreek powder and asafoetida.

Add the turmeric and the red chillies, and immediately add the wheat flour and gram flour. Add lobia and cook till done and gravy is thick. Add sugar, stir and serve hot.

Madarah (Chickpeas with coconut)

Chickpeas - 300 gm
Oil - 60 ml
Ghee - 60 gm
Turmeric - 20 gm
Nutmeg powder - 5 gm
Cashewnuts - 30 gm
Yoghurt - 1 kg
Bayleaf - 5 gm
Sugar - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 15 gm
Chilli powder - 15 gm
Dry coconut, grated - 20 gm
Raisins - 45 gm
Salt to taste

Method: Heat oil and saute bayleaf, chilli powder, turmeric, coconut and chickpeas. Stir fry for five minutes, add 600 gm of yoghurt and bring it to boil, simmer till it is reduced to half. Add raisins and cashew. Add the remaining yoghurt and garam masala, sugar, nutmeg. Keep the flame low or gravy might curdle. Top with pure ghee before serving.

Roghani dal (Red kidney beans and black gram)


Black gram, whole - 100 gm
Rajma - 50 gm
Turmeric -10 gm
Fresh coconut, grated - 100 gm
Mustard - oil 30 ml
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Grated ginger - 10 gm
Grated onions - 50 gm
Butter - 60 gm
Chilli powder - 5 gm
Ghee -15 gm


Soak the dals in water for an hour. Boil the dals with ginger, coconut, turmeric, oil and salt. Fry grated onions in ghee, add chilli powder and coriander powder.

Add the onion masala to dal, sprinkle garam masala and top it with pure ghee. Serve hot.

Tali hui arvi (Colocasia masala fry)

Colocasia - 500 gm
Mustard seeds - 5 gm
Chilli powder - 5 gm
Turmeric - 5 gm
Ginger paste - 10 gm
Chopped coriander -10 gm

Oil for frying


Wash and par boil the colocasia until they are tender. Coat them with a mixture of chilli powder, ginger paste, turmeric, mustard seeds and a little oil. Deep fry till golden brown. Add salt just five minutes before serving. Garnish with green chillies and lemon wedges.


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