Uttaranchal… Home of so many holy places.
Kedarnath. Badrinath. Haridwar. Rishikesh. Rudraprayag.
Origin of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. The holy place of Devaprayag where the rivers Alakanandi and Bhagirathi meets and flows forward as Ganga. (Prayags are places where two or more rivers meet)
And home for some great hill stations : Mussoorie, Nainital, Chamba…
The state is as beautiful as it’s dangerous. Land slides, floods all happen there.
Coming to food, other than the regular ‘North Indian food’ (dal-chawal-roti-sabzi), the state has some really different recipes which I wanted to try. There were many more recipes I wish I could have tried, but finally zeroed down on Phaanu (with toor dal), kaapa and thechwani.
Kaapa is not very different from how we prepare the spinach gravy. All it lacks is the tamarind which is a must in most Tamil based recipes (or South Indian, for that matter). Phaanu is toor dal soaked and ground with chillies and ginger-garlic. A portion of this ground mix is shaped as cutlets and deep fried and the rest is made into a pourable gravy.
Thechwani is also a gravy-ish curry that pairs well with rotis and rice.
Go through this link for Uttarakhand dishes. Though it’s a restaurant review, they talk about some of the state’s delicacies. Now, if only I could get that recipe for chancha (rice cooked in buttermilk!).
- Phaanu: Soaked and ground toor dal as a gravy base and a deep fried patty together in this recipe
- Kaapa: A gravy-ish spinach dish. I used the local variety available and mashed it a bit to get a homogeneous gravy.
- Thechwani : Radish and potatoes curry where the veggies are not cut using a knife, instead crushed/mashed.
- Tomato and Cucumber