Momos, who doesn't love momos? Sikkim and Momos are complimentary to one another. Sikkim is the place that is going to serve you the best momos you'll ever taste in your life. Believed to be of Tibetan origin and modulated by the Nepalese cuisine, momos are the lifeline of Sikkim. Momo is a small package of steamed bun with some fillings. Momo typically consists of two parts - the cover and the filling.
The cover is made of dough made of white flour and water. Originally these momos were made with ground meat fillings, but over the years a lot of modifications have been made that have made dumplings even better. From Tofu (Paneer) to cheese everything can be included in the filling. The cheese filled momos are something no foodie would dare to miss.
Thukpa / Gyathuk
Thukpa is a kind of noodle soup of Tibetan origin that has found its way to being one of the most loved food in Sikkim. Thukpa is something that is very healthy and tasty at the same time - a rare combination to find, isn?t it? One can find both vegetables as well as chicken thukpa here and mind you both are worth trying. One can find almost every kind of locally grown vegetable in this soup, but the most common ones are carrots, bell peppers, spinach, cauliflower and celery.
It is rich in spices too and has an enriching taste. One serving is enough for an individual, but no one can stop at one because why not. Thukpa is available in almost every cafe and restaurant, but it is better to try it from a local vendor as they provide you with the best and most authentic taste that you can find.
This wonderful dish of Tibetan origin is literally heaven on your taste buds. Everyone loves bread, everyone loves meat, everyone loves the deep fried stuff, and Sha Phaley has all three. Bread stuffed with ground beef and cabbage made into semi circles and then deep fried is everything that you need to know about this dish. Crispy on the outside and heavenly on the inside, this is what you get when you take the first bite into the golden semi circle.
With different people having different demands a lot of variations have been done to the traditional dish, and people have readily accepted the addition of cheese and tofu to the stuffing. If you are a vegan even then, you can enjoy this delicacy with the tofu fillings. The Roll House in Gangtok is the best place to try one of these.
Gundruk is a food of Nepalese origin and is one of the staple foods of Nepal. Gundruk is a leafy dish that is completely vegan and is good for one's health. It is made out of some leafy vegetables from cabbage to radish leaves. Even mustard leaves are used for making of the traditional dish. Properly made Gundruk is only found in villages that people make in their households.
It is rich in roughage and helps in maintaining the metabolism of the body. Traditionally this dish is made in an earthen pot, but people have started using other ways of making the same dish. This is one food that has remained the same even after ages and seems to show little alteration.
Sinki is another traditional dish that has not shown any major change either in the ingredients or in the making process. It is very similar to Gundruk. It is made out of radish tap roots. These radish roots are chopped and put into a bamboo and pressed over with straw. This bamboo is covered with vegetation and mud for about a month, and bacteria does the miracle.
This month long prepared Sinki can now stay fresh for a year and is ready to be used in stews and soups. Sinki soup is very famous and is delicious. This soup is something one can not miss at any cost. The Sinki can also be used as a pickle and eaten with parathas and other dishes.
Yak Hard Cheese
Found mostly in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bhutan, chhurpi is not just another candy or lozenge, itis a way of life. All along the streets of these places, you can spot numerous shops selling garlands of what look like hardened cheese cubes brown or white in colour.
The brown ones are bland and the white ones are sweet in taste. These cheese cubes can be a little tricky for the first timers but once you start biting into it you gradually start falling for the taste. Well there is another Chhurpi that you will mostly see in the local produce markets of these regions. This variety is the softer version of the same Chhurpi with a tangy taste.
Rice Bread / Doughnut
These crispy rice doughnuts, Sel Roti, will satisfy the sweetest tooth. It is a traditional recipe prepared during the Tihar festival (Diwali) celebrated in October or November, but you could eat these at any time. If you happen to visit Sikkim then this is the one thing you surely shouldn't miss.
It is made of rice flour adding customized flavours. A semi liquid rice flour dough is usually prepared by adding milk, water, cooking oil, sugar, ghee, butter, cardamom, cloves, bananas and other flavours of personal choice. The ingredients are mixed well by stirring. Once the semi liquid dough is ready, it is deep fried in boiling oil or ghee.
Khabjey are traditional Tibetan Cookies made in huge quantities during celebrations. Khabjey are of different sizes and shapes. Some are as big as your arms spread out and some are tiny. Some even call it'Donkey's ears' and some are called 'Knot of eternity'. However the most common are hand twisted style.
The word comes from the Tibetan word 'Kha' which means Mouth and 'Sey' which means eat. So its something to keep your mouth busy while you're preparing for big celebrations and cooking many different dishes. Grab some while you are here at Sikkim.