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Famous Food of Sikkim

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Deccan Chronicle

Published on: September 5, 2022 | Updated on: April 5, 2023

These were the 21 famous food in Sikkim that's prepared in all restaurants and street food shops.(Photo: File)

The gorgeous glaciers, luxury casinos, and beautiful sightseeing spots make Sikkim a part of every tourist’s travel list. But sightseeing and adventure are not the only things that make Sikkim a famous tourist destination. The state is known for its excellent variety of foods, which is a delicious mixture of Nepalese and Tibetan food.

The culinary delights in Sikkim are not found in other parts of India, which gives foodies another reason they should add Sikkim to their bucket list. Savor the street food or try the latest restaurants serving Sikkim-special cuisines. We are sure once you savor the sweet and spicy flavors of Sikkimese food, you will not want to leave the place. Let’s check out the famous food of Sikkim you shouldn’t miss.

21 Famous Foods of Sikkim

Sikkim is a state in India that has borders with Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. Nepal and Tibet have had a significant impact on the cuisine of Sikkim. The combination of three cultures has had a remarkable effect on Sikkim cuisine. Sikkim cuisine is simple and tasty in its own way. Sikkim's major diet is maize. Sikkim offers a variety of delicious cuisine options. Let's find out the famous
foods in Sikkim to satisfy your cravings.

1. Momos

The scrumptious steamed momos have become India’s favorite evening snack, not only in Sikkim but in all parts of India. This Tibetan delicacy is famous in Sikkim. For those who haven’t tasted it, you should definitely order momos once. These soft dumplings are served with spicy sauce and herbs with a delicious filling inside. The filling could be of vegetables, chicken, and other ingredients. What can be a better place to taste the deliciousness of momos than Sikkim?
The next time you visit Gangtok, try street momos. You will love it.

2. Sha Phaley

Sha Phaley is a combination of meat, vegetables, and minced meat stuffed in the bread, which is given a semi-circle shape and are deep-fried. Sikkim is all about dumplings, and Sha Phaley is another one of the crisp-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside dumplings that will leave you craving more. The juicy flavors of Sha Phaley can satisfy all types of foodies — whether you like foods with a hint of spices or soft foods. Because of the high demand for Sha Phaley, the locals
have added many special variations to serve tourists something unique and traditional.

3. Sinki
There is something about the traditional Sikkim-style food that everybody loves it. Sinki is one such delicious Sikkimese cuisine that hasn’t changed in terms of cooking style and ingredients used. This Nepalese cuisine is made of radish taproots and looks a bit similar to Gundruk, except the latter is prepared with vegetables. Sinki takes months to prepare and remains fresh for years, which is why it’s often used as a pickle or served with soups.

4. Sael Roti
This is not the usual roti that you can eat with Dal. It’s a ring-shaped sweet bread roti that’s deep fried and served with potato curry. It’s a famous Nepalese food and is served in all restaurants and cafes. The dish is made of rice and water paste, which is then deep fried and served with a curry. Although it originates from Nepal and Tibet areas, seal Roti has gained immense popularity in Sikkim. You can fry it in oil or ghee.

5. Thukpa
Another famous food in Sikkim that nearly every tourist savors is Thukpa. It’s a noodle soup that’s made of nearly all locally grown vegetables, including carrot, bell pepper, celery, cauliflower, and spinach. The meat version of the soup is also available for non-vegetarians. The recipe also includes chopped onions, garlic, and chilies — all of which give it a spicy flavor. The meat version is a combination of poached eggs and red meat. You shouldn’t miss out on Thukpa when you are in Sikkim. This northeastern delicacy will satisfy your taste buds and give you
flavors you might have never tasted before.

6. Dal Bhaat
Dal Bhaat is not a new term for Indians. But, what people don’t know is that the dish originated from Sikkim. It consists of boiled rice, roti, and lentil soup. Locals eat Dal Bhaat regularly. Dal Bhaat is also served with chutney and vegetable curry. Not only in Sikkim, but Daal Bhaat is a popular recipe in all parts of India and Bangladesh. The recipe for lentil soup might vary, but a few spices and turmeric are used everywhere. If you are craving a light, delicious, and flavorful
meal that can satisfy your hunger pangs, Dal Bhaat is your best bet.

7. Dhindo
Originating in Nepal, Dhindo has gained popularity among Sikkimese and other northeastern parts of India. The recipe is also quite famous in Darjeeling and is loved by locals and tourists. The recipe is pretty simple. You just add mixed flour to the boiling water and keep stirring the mixture until you get a good consistency. The flour is made of different grains, such as wheat and corn flour. Once you get a thick paste, you can roll them into small balls and eat them with
chutneys or spicy soup.

8. Chambray
Indians can’t say no to Pulao. Most states in India have their special Pulao recipe that attracts tourists. Chambray is Sikkim’s special Pulao that’s served as part of your lunch Thaali. You can have Chambray with a potato dish, or you can eat it alone. The dish itself is full of so many flavors that you don’t need any curry or soup with it. The recipe is simple. You need onions, rice, bay leaf, cinnamon, clove, and other spices.

9. Gundruk
Vegan people won’t leave Sikkim unsatisfied. Gundruk is a 100% vegan fish made of cabbage, cauliflower, and other leafy vegetables. It also has mustard and radish. Earlier, Sikkemeses used to make Gundruk in an earthen pot to retain its earthy and spicy flavors, but now pans and modern pots are used. If you want to taste the best flavors of this dish, you should visit a household in villages that makes it at home. Not only is Gundruk tasty, but it has a very good
effect on your metabolism.

10. Kinema
Do you like soybeans? Well, Sikkim has a special cuisine made out of fermented soybeans. These are boiled until they achieve a thick and sticky texture. Kinema curry can be eaten alone or served with rice. This is a perfect cuisine for vegetarians and those on a weight loss diet. Rich in antioxidants and low in fat, Kinema curry is one of the famous foods of Sikkim that locals and tourists can eat every day.

11. Thenthuk
Another noodle soup that's Sikkim's specialty and is loved by locals is Thenthuk. It's a blend of mutton, vegetables, and wheat flour. You can use spices to add different flavors to the soup or serve it with vegetables to keep it healthy. Originating from Tibet, Thenthuk is served as a side dish or the main dish. Add a bit of chili powder to make it spicy. You can try it at Taste of Tibet or other restaurants in Gangtok. Nearly all restaurants serve Thenthuk.

12. Chhurpi Soup
This traditional recipe of Sikkim is widely popular in the state and nearby and is prepared on a special occasions. Made of cow or yak milk, this dairy product has a soft white texture and a sour taste. Some restaurants prepare Chhurpi with buttermilk. This chhurpi powder is used for making soups and pickles. It’s also famous in Sikkim as an evening snack. If you ever visit Sikkim during colder months, try the steaming Chhurpi soup. You’ll love it.

13. Gya Kho
Also known as Chimney soup, the dish gets its name from the fact that the bowl it’s served in looks like a chimney. It’s a Tibetan dish that gained immense popularity in Tibet and Sikkim. It can be eaten as a starter or served as the main dish. This mouth-watering soup serves both purposes and is quite a satisfying recipe. The delicious dish is cooked under coal, where it gets its unique flavors and taste. The traditional cooking process combined with a hint of Tibetan taste makes Gya Kho the best recipe for locals and tourists.

14. Kodo Ko Roti
Ragi pancake or Kodo Ko Roti is another locally prepared delicious food of Sikkim served with Tomato Achar and other pickles. You need finger millet, also known as Kodo, to prepare these smooth and fluffy pancakes. This is a sweet dish prepared with ghee, sugar, and Kodo, but it is often served with spicy pickles. People love the combination of sweet and sour flavors in this dish. You can try it at The Square Family Restaurant and Bar in Sikkim. You could also try this recipe at home if you have finger millet.

15. Masauyra Curry
Momos and Thukpa are famous in Sikkim, but the delicacies in the state are beyond these two popular cuisines. There’s a lot to try, and you surely don’t want to miss out on Masauyra Curry. Made of black gram, this Nepali dish is the local’s favorite. It’s cooked in nearly all restaurants in Sikkim and is served with a bowl of boiled rice.

16. Bamboo Shoot Curry
A spicy and flavorful blend of mustard, curry leaves, onions, garlic, red chilies, bamboo shoots, and turmeric gives us this Sikkim’s special Bamboo Shoot Curry that you can try on all occasions or with your regular meals. Not only is it delicious, but bamboo shoot curry has many health benefits. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that improve your digestion and metabolism.

17. Sikkim Tea
Indians can’t do without tea. Whether you are touring an international country or a local area, you need a cup of tea to get the energy to perform your routine chores. The best thing about Sikkim is that it serves a traditional-style tea full of sweet flavors. The Temi tea gardens in Sikkim are quite famous, and the tea leaves are supplied to different parts of India from this state. So, who wouldn’t like to taste the delicious and fresh tea made by locals here? One thing that makes it more special is the traditional-style cups that the tea is served in. Sikkim tea is rich in sweet flavors and has a sweet and strong aroma.

18. Shimi Ko Achar
Earlier, we mentioned Sael Roti and its sweet flavors that can satisfy your hunger pangs easily. Well, it gets tastier when served with Shimi Ko Achar. Also called Shimi, Shimi Ko Achar is a local pickle that is cooked with string beans. The recipe includes green chilies for adding flavor, sesame seeds, and a few drops of lemon juice. The bread roti with Shimi Ko Achar is one of the famous foods of Sikkim that every tourist must try. You can order it at local food shops. Most
food stores, cafes, and restaurants in Sikkim have Shimi Ko Achar on their menu.

19. Sishnu Ko Soup
Also called Nettle Soup, Sishnu Ko Soup is served with rice and is a popular Sikkim dish. It’s often cooked by local households in Spring and Summer. The recipe includes nettles, most of which are grown locally and are deemed safe for consumption. Nettle soup isn’t only Sikkim’s specialty but offers a range of nutritional benefits. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, nettle soup can detoxify your body, improve your digestion, and help with certain allergies.

20. Hard Chhurpi
If you aren’t fond of soups, Chhurpi comes in a hard variety too. It’s prepared using buttermilk or yak milk. If you have had Italian Ricotta before, Hard Chhurpi looks like that only. The soft and white chhurpi is often left for fermentation for a while so that it achieves a hard texture and a tangy taste.

21. Mesu
Last but not least, tourists who like pickles must try Mesu, another famous delicacy of Sikkim that’s served with rice. Also called fermented bamboo shoot, mesu pickle needs mesu, garlic, mustard oil, and chili powder. You can make it at home, but if you ever visit Sikkim, add it to your must-try food list.

These were the 21 famous food in Sikkim that’s prepared in all restaurants and street food shops. When in Sikkim, you must try momos and the Sikkim-special tea. The state has food for vegans, vegetarians, non-vegetarians, spice lovers, and all types of foodies. Try as many of the above-listed dishes as possible and have a lovely time in Sikkim.