Pahari Food/ Dishes from Himachal Pradesh

Pahari food, is a little known cuisine, that can be traced back to the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. My family is mostly Pahari. Our origins lie in the beautiful Kangra Valley region which is nestled in the majestic Himalayas. The word “Pahar” literally means mountains.

There is a such a wide variety of foods in this region and it is all delicious.  When I was growing up, every year at Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, we would cook a traditional pahari meal. Last year ….after 14 years I made it back home for Diwali to eat my favorite meal of the year. Over the next few days, I will blog some of the recipes of this wonderful cuisine.

Here are some of dishes we make – the titles link you to the recipes.

KHATTA 

KALI DAAL

CHANNA MADRA

ALOO PALDA

Masala Fried Okra 

AURIYA KADOO   (PUMPKIN WITH MUSTARD SEEDS)

TUDKIYA BHATH

SPICY LOTUS STEMS (BHEY)

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58 thoughts on “Pahari Food/ Dishes from Himachal Pradesh

  1. Yum
    if you are here for a bit call me. sent Rupa aunty a Pahaadi cookbook 2 years ago – ask her to show it to you
    Aparna

  2. Hi malini
    Can you send me the pumpkin recipe

    I eat pumpkin every other day it would be good to try something new

    Xoxo

    Sunita

  3. Pingback: Khatta « The Food Fairy

  4. Pingback: Masala Fried Okra (Masala Bhindi Fry) « The Food Fairy

  5. Hi,

    I have been looking for Pahari recipes for years and was so excited to see this blog…….could you please tell me where can I find all these recipes…………..I will be so grateful
    Thanks

  6. I m also from kangra and i love oahari food.. I miss all this because i dnt knw how to cook this …..this time my mum teach me madra .I very happy that you add recepies ….. i will try all these today and lets see……thanks

  7. Would be nice to get Jimikand and kathal recipes and the seasonality and how to choose a good kathal and jimikand and mitha which goes really well with Khatta. And the recipes for kali daal which is used for pattal serving- it is less liquidy but just as soft- I think you have to soak it overnight.

    Some of the chatni’s are seasoned with live coal and heeng I think- it will be so cool to collect them- my chachi in Simla is a treasure trove of them- but I dont know them.
    I have tried them but would love the proportions etc.

    Did you know that Mustard oil is best for high temperature cooking like Indian food- EVVO decomposes at high temp. Sarson oil has to be smoked before you cook in it – there has been some interest in the desirable qualities of

    • Hi Kum Kum aunty
      Thanks for all the great info and ideas. Yes I need to keep collecting these recipes – am trying whenever Im in India.

  8. Hi, Soon I am on my way to publish a Recipe book on Himachali Cuisine particularly from Kangra. My book is almost complete and recipes are being authenticated. my email is divya_lal1@yahoo.com, if you need any particular recipe pl. do feel free to write me.
    Neha

    • Hi gaurav
      Isnt kangra raita the same as palda?
      I have 2 recipes for it in my blog.
      I will post the other 2 recipes soon

    • Hi Malini,
      Recipe of Teliye Mah, as requested. Let me know your comments.
      Best wishes.
      Neha

      Teliye Mah

      Pre-preparation Time: Preparation Time: 20 minutes
      Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

      Ingredients

      1 whole black gram (sabut urad) - 1½ C
      2 fresh curd (taza dahi) - 1 C
      3 fresh cream (cream) - 2 tblsp
      4 mustard oil (sarson ka tel) - ½ C
      5 clarified butter (desi ghee) - 4 tblspn
      6 onion (piaz) (long and thick julienes) – 2 nos. medium or 1C (julienes)
      7 ginger julienes (adrak) - 1 tspn
      8 salt (namak) - according to taste
      9 asafoetida powder (heeng pisi) - ¼ tspn
      10 cumin seeds (sabut jeera) - 1 tspn
      11 dry coriander powder (dhaniya sookha) - 2 tspn
      12 red chilli (lal mirch) - 1 tspn or according to taste
      13 turmeric powder (haldi) - ½ tspn
      14 brown cardamom (badi elaichi) - 2 nos.
      15 clove (laung) - 6 nos.
      16 cinnamon bark (dal chini) - 3 pieces of 2” long
      17 bay leaves (tez patta) - 2 whole leaves
      18 black pepper (kali mirch) - 6 nos.
      19 fresh ginger pounded (adrak) - 1 tspn
      20 green coriander leaves chopped (hara dhaniya) - 2 tblspn
      21 mixture of indian spices (garam masala) - ¼ tspn
      22 reduced milk grated (khoya) - 4 tblspn

      Method of Preparation

      1 Pick, clean, wash Dal in cold water and drain it.
      2 Put the Whole Black Gram in a pressure-cooker and add a sufficient quantity of water. Cook on a medium flame till the Whole Black Gram becomes soft and tender. Let the cooker release pressure at least 5-6 times.
      3 *Separate the Black Gram from the broth (the water in which it is boiled). Drain and keep aside.
      (This broth can be used for preparing another drink called Gulabi Mahni.)
      4 Heat Mustard Oil in an Indian Wok (Karahi) till it emits smoke on a high flame. Let it cool. Fry Onions in the Mustard Oil until they turn golden brown on a medium flame. Reduce the flame and add Bay Leaves, Brown Cardamom, Cinnanmon sticks, Cloves, Black Pepper, Cumin Seeds, and fry for a few seconds. Add Asafoetida, Ginger, Dry Coriander Powder, Red Chilli, Turmeric Powder and keep on stirring till it becomes light brown in color.
      5 Add Curd and Cream, keep stirring vigorously to avoid the formation of lumps. Heat on a medium flame until the oil is separated.
      6 Add boiled Whole Black Gram, Clarified Butter and grated Reduced Milk. Mix the ingredients.
      7 Keep on stirring till the water dries up. Cook it for another 2-3 minutes.
      8 Season with Salt and Mixture of Indian Spices. Keep stirring and let it cook till the oil starts floating on top. Teliye Maan is ready.
      9 Before you serve, garnish with Ginger julienes and freshly chopped Coriander leaves.
      10 Serve hot with Aromatic Rice and Chapati.

  9. Hi gaurav,
    I have the recipe for Raintha, teliyen mash and meethe chawal, pl. Let me know your email I’d, I will send you the recipes. I have written a book on himachali cuisine. My book is ready for publication.
    Neha sood Lal

      • Hi Malini,
        Please find the Recipe of Meetha Bhaat.
        Best wishes,
        Neha

        ehBs esos okys pkoy
        meetha bhaat

        Pre-preparation Time: 2 hours Preparation Time: 20 minutes
        Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

        Ingredients

        1 basmati rice (chawal) - 1 C
        2 sugar (chini) - 1 C
        3 clarified butter (desi ghee) - ½ C
        4 milk (doodh) - ½ C
        5 anise seed (saunf) - 1 tspn
        6 green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) - 5 nos.
        7 almonds (badam) - 10-12 nos.
        8 cashew nuts (kaju) - 10-12 nos.
        9 raisins (kishmish) - 15-20 nos.
        10 pistachios (pista) - 10-12 nos.
        11 coconut grated (gola gari kaddukas) - 1 tblspn
        12 saffron (kesar) - 1 tspn
        13 dough of wheat flour for sealing the lid - 1 C
        14 silver foil (edible) (chandi ka vark) - 2 nos.

        Method of Preparation

        1 Soak saffron in lukewarm milk for 2 hours and keep aside.
        2 Soak Almonds in lukewarm water for 1 hour. Peel skin and cut them lengthwise.
        3 Pick, clean, wash Basmati Rice and drain. Keep aside.
        4 Grate the Coconut and keep aside.
        5 Boil the Basmati Rice in 6-7 cups of water. When the rice is almost done (say ¾ done), strain and spread it on a clean Cloth or a plate, preferably on a cloth as it absorbs the moisture from the cooked Rice. Keep aside.
        6 Heat Clarified Butter in an Indian Wok (karahi) and put Anise seed, Almonds, Cashew Nuts, Raisins, Pistachio, Green Cardamom and fry for a few seconds. Switch off the flame. Keep aside.
        7 Divide the Sugar, Saffron Milk, cooked Rice, Dry fruits and grated coconut into three equal portions. Keep aside.
        8 In a heavy bottom pan, melt Clarified Butter on a low flame. Spread the melted clarified butter to grease the inner surface and the sides of the pan. It is essential for preventing the sticking of cooked rice to thurface. Switch off the flame.

        9 Spread one portion of cooked Rice in the pan. Sprinkle one portion of sugar on Rice. Add one portion of saffron milk and fried dry fruits. Spread 1tblspn of Clarified Butter.
        10 Repeat this step again in a similar manner for the remaining two portions. Finally on the top layer, spread 2 tblspn of Clarified Butter. Close the lid tightly. Seal the lid with dough of Wheat Flour. Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Switch off the flame. Let it remain for some time in its own heat. This enhances the flavours. The dish is ready.
        11 Before serving, garnish it with edible silver foil. Serve hot.

      • Recipe for Teliye Mah,
        Neha

        rsfy, eka (lkcqr mM+)
        Teliye Mah

        Pre-preparation Time: Preparation Time: 20 minutes
        Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

        Ingredients

        1 whole black gram (sabut urad) - 1½ C
        2 fresh curd (taza dahi) - 1 C
        3 fresh cream (cream) - 2 tblsp
        4 mustard oil (sarson ka tel) - ½ C
        5 clarified butter (desi ghee) - 4 tblspn
        6 onion (piaz) (long and thick julienes) - 2 nos. medium or 1c (julienes)
        7 ginger julienes (adrak) - 1 tspn
        8 salt (namak) - according to taste
        9 asafoetida powder (heeng pisi) - ¼ tspn
        10 cumin seeds (sabut jeera) - 1 tspn
        11 dry coriander powder (dhaniya sookha) - 2 tspn
        12 red chilli (lal mirch) - 1 tspn or according to taste
        13 turmeric powder (haldi) - ½ tspn
        14 brown cardamom (badi elaichi) - 2 nos.
        15 clove (laung) - 6 nos.
        16 cinnamon bark (dal chini) - 3 pieces of 2” long
        17 bay leaves (tez patta) - 2 whole leaves
        18 black pepper (kali mirch) - 6 nos.
        19 fresh ginger pounded (adrak) - 1 tspn
        20 green coriander leaves chopped (hara dhaniya) - 2 tblspn
        21 mixture of indian spices (garam masala) - ¼ tspn
        22 reduced milk grated (khoya) - 4 tblspn

        Method of Preparation

        1 Pick, clean, wash Dal in cold water and drain it.
        2 Put the Whole Black Gram in a pressure-cooker and add a sufficient quantity of water. Cook on a medium flame till the Whole Black Gram becomes soft and tender. Let the cooker release pressure at least 5-6 times.
        3 *Separate the Black Gram from the broth (the water in which it is boiled). Drain and keep aside.
        (This broth can be used for preparing another drink called Gulabi Mahni. See receipe on page ……)
        4 Heat Mustard Oil in an Indian Wok (Karahi) till it emits smoke on a high flame. Let it cool. Fry Onions in the Mustard Oil until they turn golden brown on a medium flame. Reduce the flame and add Bay Leaves, Brown Cardamom, Cinnanmon sticks, Cloves, Black Pepper, Cumin Seeds, and fry for a few seconds. Add Asafoetida, Ginger, Dry Coriander Powder, Red Chilli, Turmeric Powder and keep on stirring till it becomes light brown in color.
        5 Add Curd and Cream, keep stirring vigorously to avoid the formation of lumps. Heat on a medium flame until the oil is separated.
        6 Add boiled Whole Black Gram, Clarified Butter and grated Reduced Milk. Mix the ingredients.
        7 Keep on stirring till the water dries up. Cook it for another 2-3 minutes.
        8 Season with Salt and Mixture of Indian Spices. Keep stirring and let it cook till the oil starts floating on top. Teliye Maan is ready.
        9 Before you serve, garnish with Ginger julienes and freshly chopped Coriander leaves.
        10 Serve hot with Aromatic Rice and Chapati.

  10. I remember those day when we used to visit our maternal grandparents in “Raja ka Talab” near jasoor…. during marriages, they used to prepare all the items for dham….everything was served on plates prepared from dry lotus leaves…… and everybody wanted more madra…… and khate choole… meethe choole.. khati daal… meethi daal… in fact 7-8 dihses…. and above all eating rice with your hands…. it was simply awsome…..
    will try all these dishes someday….. thanks for this blog…

  11. Hello Malini Ji…
    Kindly share the recipe for AURIYA KADOO (PUMPKIN WITH MUSTARD SEEDS). The linked page is missing. Masala Fried Orka page is also missing but got recipe from other site.
    Thanks
    Hiten

  12. hy …… actually my husband is himachali and I am Haryanvi. and i dont know how to make Pahari dishes, can anybody tell me how to make and how can i learn…….. bcz he is very like these dishes

  13. thanks a lot for dishes. actually i was looking for teliya mah today. i made it & the taste was good. pl. let me know can we avoid onion??

  14. Pingback: Khatta: Food from the Mountains | Aam and Anaj

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  16. My mother is ”pahari” from ”kangra” & I’m v happy to find familiar dishes like madra,palda,’mah ki daal’,khatta etc

  17. Hi Malini,

    I reckon, mine wont be a lone voice in completely agreeing with your introductory line “Pahari food, is a little known cuisine”.

    I will appreciate in tons if you could either post on this site or email me the receipe of Chana Madra.

    Kind Regards,
    DD

  18. Pingback: Himachal Pradesh Lunch Thali | My Kitchen Trials

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