It seems like the list of things that Spiti Valley has to offer is never-ending. With the picturesque landscapes, green meadows, ancient monasteries, and authentic local life – You name it, and Spiti Valley has it. When it comes to the local food, the valley doesn’t disappoint either. We compiled a list of some must-have food in Spiti Valley for all the travelers who are also big-time foodies.
Be it for foodies who have an eye for the cultural and authentic food, or the ones who just want to try something new! Experiencing the culture and local life through its food is one of the best ways to make your trip to Spiti Valley an enriching one.
8 Must have Food in Spiti Valley :
To start with our list of Must-have food in Spiti Valley, we present you with this traditional dish that carries the pure essence of this beautiful valley.
Madra, which originated from Chambra in Himachal Pradesh is offered here with spices and a dash of love.
It is a yogurt-based dish, prepared after assembling soaked chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans, and veggies to develop a unique, kadhi-like dish.
After that, it is flavored with onion, garlic paste, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, coriander powder, cloves, and turmeric powder which is roasted in clarified butter or oil. And at last, it is garnished with dried fruits. In fact, it is served all over Lahaul and Spiti Valley as it is a traditional dish.
Where to find? Taste of Spiti, Kaza serves this delicious dish.
Must read: Places to eat in Spiti Valley
This is a whole nutritious meal in itself which was traditionally only prepared for Brahmins and was served on leaves.
‘Botis’ who are traditional chefs are hired to prepare this dish on any auspicious occasion in Spiti Valley. It is indeed a star of the evening when celebrating any festivals.
To prepare this carefully crafted beautiful dish, one combines Khatta, Sepu Badi, Rajma, moong dal, and authentic rice. The traditional method is followed and hence everything is prepared in natural conditions and using staple components.
As a side dish, mashed daal and a sweet and tangy sauce made from jaggery and tamarind are served in addition to complement this dish which is filled with taste.
To best taste this mouth-watering dish it should be experienced when it is prepared for festivals. Alternatively, when planning to stay at homestays, you shouldn’t miss out on tasting Dhaam.
Recommended Read: Festivals and Fairs in Spiti Valley
It is a variant of Thukpa, with less spice and flattened noodles. It is a beautiful Tibetan origin dish, which when served with the charming smile of the locals will easily be the highlight of your day.
The dish includes Gravy with noodles, which are prepared separately with utmost care and love.
Poultry meat mostly chicken, and vegetables like tomatoes, onions, leafy greens, potatoes, and radish, constitute the gravy. Cilantro, ginger, and garlic are added to further enhance the taste.
The noodles are pull-apart and melded with flour dough clumps and served hot.
Where to find? Kelsang’s Kitchen, The Himalayan Cafe, Taste of Spiti, and in homestays as well.
4. Trout curry
If you are a seafood lover then Trout fish curry is a must have food in Spiti Valley.
Himachal’s icy waterways are fed by evaporation, glacier melts, and snowfall.
These are all the preferred fertile grounds for scrumptious trout. These fish are packed with nutrient content, so Trout Curry is one of the healthiest food options.
It is prepared by seasoning the trout before being shallow roasted in mustard oil with modest flavors. Thus preserving the fish’s authentic, natural flavors.
Afterward, it is blended with steamed veggies. To serve this, it is sided with scorching rice along with a splash of lemon for a refreshing add-on.
Where to find? Cafe Zomsa, Hyolmo Food Corner, The Himalayan Cafe, and Cafe Piti.
Recommended Read: Frequently asked questions about Spiti Valley
It is one of the most unique dishes in our list of Must-have Foods in Spiti Valley since Bhey is made out of Lotus.
A scrumptious and addictive snack of Lahaul and Spiti, that will make your trip a memorable one.
To prepare Bhey, the stems of lotus are finely chopped and steamed. Afterward, they’re stir-fried with flour, cayenne pepper, red onion, garlic-ginger paste, and garnished with herbs.
It can be served either as a snack or a full whole meal. One thing that you can know for sure is, that it’s always served with love and a warm smile from the locals.
Where to find? Sol Cafe, Cafe Zomsa, Taste of Spiti, and Poonam Dhaba.
6. Seabuckthorn Juice
Seabuckthorn berries (also known as ‘Drilbu‘ and ‘Chharma‘ in Himachal) are among the most nutrient-dense fruits.
In addition, every component of the Seabuckthorn plant has historically been used for treatments, herbal products, wood products, and fence construction.
To commercially use this nutritional plant, it is prepared to be consumed as a juice. Additionally, It is squeezed naturally to retain its nutritional value. Above all, it can be found all over in the valley as it’s a staple beverage of Spiti valley.
Where to find? Himalayan Cafe, Spiti Organic Kitchen, and Spiti Ecosphere.
Recommended Read: All Girls Trip to Spiti Valley
7. Butter Tea
Butter Tea in Spiti Valley is a very unique twist to the ‘Pahado wali Chai’ we all crave. Also known as chaaku-chaa and Pocha locally, it is one of the best hot beverages served in Spiti.
It helps to beat the bone-chilling cold in Spiti and additionally protects you from getting flaky skin as well. This tea has an astounding pink color and a unique aroma. This color comes from the Himalayan salt that is used in the tea.
It is prepared by a combination of milk, yak butter, salt, and a transfusion derived from organic native to the Himalayas. It is a common beverage and so on can be found all over Spiti Valley.
Where to find? Sol Cafe, The Himalayan Cafe, Cafe Piti and Taste of Spiti.
8. Yak Cheese
Yak Cheese is a regional delicacy in Spiti Valley. As interesting as the name sounds, this cheese ensures that it leaves an imprint on you with the unique taste it offers. It is indeed a rare treat and is different than the cheese you might have tasted before.
It is locally known as chhurpi or chhuru cheese. Interestingly the reason is that Yak Cheese is not an ideal and preferred name for it since Yak is the male, it does not provide milk, and hence the cheese is not procured from it.
Instead, Chhuru is what the female Yak is called, and so the local name is more suitable. It is available at local bakeries all over Spiti Valley.
Where to find? Cream Team Confectionery & Bakers, Spiti Organic Kitchen, Sol Cafe, and The Himalayan Cafe.
That’s a wrap on our list of Must-Have food in Spiti Valley, and if you are craving to savor the food then you might just know what to do but in case you don’t, we are here to tell you. Take that much awaited trip to Spiti valley and devour some of the most authentic local food.