Here are a few of the most authentic and delicious Sikkim food that the state serves its visitors:
1. Momo (Dumplings)Momos, who doesn't love momos? Sikkim and Momos are complementary 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 the 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. 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. The cheese-filled momos are something no foodie would dare to miss. To get the best momos in Sikkim, one should visit The Roll House and The Taste of Tibet in Gangtok.
2. Thukpa or Gya ThukThukpa 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.
3. PhagshapaPhagshapa is a strip of pork fat which is stewed with dry chillies and radish. A spicy and tangy endeavour of this dish is rich in proteins and is made of no oil. Well for vegetarians, there is no substitute for pork in this dish so there is nothing much you can do. The Golden Dragon hotel in Gangtok serves the most authentic and delicious Phagshapa in the whole of Sikkim.
4. Sha PhaleyThis 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.
5. GundrukGundruk 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 made out of some leaves of mustard, cabbage or radish. 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.
6. SinkiSinki 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 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 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.
7. KinemaKinema is a dish made of soya beans which 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. Kinema is like a substitute for meat for vegetarians. Kinema is popular not only in Sikkim but also in Nepal and Darjeeling. Kinema is high in antioxidants and low in fat.
8. Dal BhatDal 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.
9. DhindoDhindo is prepared by boiling water and slowly pouring in buckwheat, ground millet or corn flour. 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.
Sikkim is a beautiful place with a few but great dishes. The food of Sikkim is adopted from Nepal and Tibet, but the local essence that it adds to the food is something one can only experience here. The proper mixture of taste and health is something we all can learn from Sikkim's wonderful cuisine. From momos to thukpa everything here is simple and yet elegant in its way. One can not deny the fact that these people have made vegetables sound tasty. The flavours that one experiences here will forever remind them of how wonderful this state is.