Food of Sikkim - Explore Sikkim Cuisine On A Plate

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The food of Sikkim is a rich mixture of Nepalese, Tibetan and native Sikkimese food. Maize is one of the staple produce consumed in Sikkim. Influenced a lot by Nepal and Tibet, Sikkim cuisine is flavourful and delicious, maybe a bit too spicy for a non-asian. The cuisine of Sikkim is primarily non-vegetarian but sikkim food also has fermented vegetables, which enables them to be preserved for a longer time.

Here Are 9 Types of Sikkim Cuisine You Must Try:

  • Momo (Dumplings)
  • Thukpa or Gya Thuk
  • Phagshapa
  • Sha Phaley
  • Gundruk
  • Sinki
  • Kinema
  • Dal Bhat
  • Dhindo

1. Momo (Dumplings)

A plate of momos with chutney, Food of Sikkim

Believed to be of Tibetan origin and modified by the Nepalese cuisine the momos are the lifeline of Sikkim. Momos are steamed buns with a filling. It typically consists of two parts - the cover and the filling. The cover is made of dough of white flour and water. Sometimes yeast or baking soda is also added to the dough to enhance the texture of the momos.

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. To get the best momos in Sikkim, one should visit The Roll House and The Taste of  Tibet in Gangtok.

Where to Try: Shuffle Momos,

2. Thukpa or Gya Thuk

A bowl of thukpa is the staple food of Sikkim

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. One can find both vegetarian and chicken versions of the dish. 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. 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.

Where to Try: Taste of Tibet

3. Phagshapa

Phagshapa is a famous food of Sikkim

Phagshapa is a strip of pork fat that is stewed with dry chillies and radish. A spicy and tangy endeavour of this Sikkimese dish is rich in proteins and is made with no oil. The Golden Dragon hotel in Gangtok serves the most authentic and delicious Phagshapa in the whole of Sikkim.

Where to Try: The Golden Dragon Hotel

4. Sha Phaley

Sikkim On A Plate, Sha Phaley

Bread stuffed with ground beef and cabbage made into semi-circles and then deep-fried is everything that you need to know about this famous food of Sikkim. Crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside, this is what you get when you take the first bite into the golden fried dumpling. With different people having different dietary demands, many variations have been done to the traditional dish. Among the more popular variations of the dish include cheese and tofu versions. The Roll House in Gangtok is the best place to try one of these.

Where to Try: The Roll House, Gangtok

5. Gundruk

Gundruk, Sikkim Food

Gundruk is a food of Nepalese origin and is one of the staple foods of Sikkim. Gundruk is a leafy dish that is completely vegan and is made out of some leaves of mustard, cabbage or radish. Authentic 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 Sikkimese 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.

Where to Try: Hill Queen

6. Sinki

Sinki is a traditional food of Sikkim

Sinki is another traditional dish of Sikkim that has not shown any major change either in the ingredients or in the making process. It is very similar to Gundruk but is made out of radish taproots. These radish roots are chopped and put into bamboo and pressed over with straw. This bamboo is covered with vegetation and mud for about a month and is allowed to ferment.  This month-long prepared Sinki can now stay fresh for a year and is ready to be used in stews and soups. It can also be used as a pickle and eaten with parathas and other dishes.

Where to Try: Hill Queen

7. Kinema


Kinema is a dish made of soya beans that are boiled and fermented to attain a sticky texture. The dish gives out a pungent smell. Kinema can be had with bhat (rice) as a side dish. It is a substitute for meat for vegetarians as it is high in antioxidants and low in fat. Kinema is popular not only in Sikkim but also in Nepal and Darjeeling. 

Where to Try: 9ine Native Cuisine, Kookay Restaurant

8. Dal Bhat

Dal Bhat

Dal Bhat is nothing but a Lentil Soup with Rice. Dal Bhat is a staple food in Sikkim which is served with tarkari (vegetable curry) or meat and chutney. Dal Bhat interestingly is a staple in many kinds of cuisines from South Asia. 

Where to Try: Bhansa Ghar

9. Dhindo


Dhindo is prepared by boiling water and slowly pouring in buckwheat, ground millet or cornflour. The mixture is then continuously stirred until a sticky paste is formed. The paste is rolled into balls, dipped into lentil soup or chutney and swallowed since the millets stick between the teeth. This dish is consumed on a daily basis in Sikkim and Nepal.

Where to Try: Thakali, the square
Which of these dishes of the food of Sikkim appeal most to you? Let us know in the comments below!

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