In Sikkim, Gangtok is the capital city and it is also the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim administered by Gangtok Municipal Corporation. It is one of the best tourism places where people gather from all around the world. It is also the junction of various tourism spots at Sikkim – Like Nathula pass, Namchi, Pelling, Ravangla, etc. Gangtok is known for its cookery area has to offer in its most yummy, splendid, authentic form with a flattering variety of options includes Momos, Thukpa, Wonton, Gyathuk, Thenthuk and more, along with a Sikkim style meat patty called Shah-Phaley.
History of Food Culture in Gangtok, Sikkim
Basically, Sikkim is a state which blend culture and traditions of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet prevail which reflects in the Gangtok food culture. Therefore, the unusual mix of many traditions in foods preparation brings out a unique style of cooking which is also known as the cuisine of Sikkim.
Popular food recipes in Gangtok have emerged with the traditional wisdom and experiments of generations. Rice is main food of Sikkimese, even meat, and dairy products are consumed. Other than these, agricultural foods and local beverages are traditional basic diets of the habitats of Sikkim. Altitudinal variation crops like finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetable, potato, soybeans etc. are cultivated there. The cuisine is taken with Dals (lentils), fresh vegetables, bamboo shoots, wildflowers, mushrooms and nettle leaves. Preservation of seasonal vegetables is one of the important features of the local habitats in Gangtok. There is a craze for non-vegetarian food, beef, pork, and fish as well. For surviving in the chilly weather, the local habitats of Sikkim rely on alcoholic drinks that are famous amongst both males and females.
Gangtok boasts it’s dietary food culture which contains various food habits and many special recipes, which build with time collecting from different cultures. In the world’s kitchen Gangtok famous foods have made a place where dishes like – Momo (steamed dumpling), Tomato Achar (Pickle), Thukpa /Gya-Thuk (Noodle soup), Kinema curry (Fermented soybean), Gundruk and Sinki Soup (Fermented vegetable soup), Gundruk ko Achar (Pickle), Chhurpi Soup (Traditional cottage cheese), Chhurpi ka Achar (Pickle), Chhurpi-Ningro Curry (Chhurpi with wild fern), Sel Roti (Fermented rice product), Shimi ka Achar (String bean pickle), Pakku (Mutton curry) and Mesu Pickle (Fermented bamboo shoot) are been accepted globally.
Review of a Tourist About Local Dishes in Gangtok:
“Yummy & delicious dish in Gangtok”
“It is my first tour in Gangtok, Sikkim and went to the food festival in the December at MG Marg, where I have a wonderful experience being a tourist and food lover. The food stuffs like Momo, Thukpa, Churpi, and many more are delicious and yummy in taste. Even, I have come to know interestingly about Cherry pepper or the round chilly which is not found in our home town Kolkata. Gangtok foodies have no compare.” By Rahul Banerjee, Sonarpur, Kolkata”.
Gangtok Food Speciality
During December months Sikkim tourism dept. organizes Gangtok food & cultural festival promoting the taste of Sikkim for food lovers gathering from all over the world. Gangtok food prices are very reasonable but it varies from one restaurant to another. There are almost different food habits as per blended mix of diverse food cultures that can be categorized as – Crusine, dietary, beverages, etc. Some of the famous local foods of Gangtok accepted all over the worlds are discussed below –
Momos are the most famous traditional food item emerged from Nepal and China. These delicious food items are available in different restaurants in Gangtok zomato like Roll House, Baker’s Cafe, Taste of Tibet, Cafe Infinity, The Square, Hotel Sher-E-Punjab, 9’INE Native Cuisine, Tripti’s, Dynasty Wine & Dine, Parivar Restaurant, Chopstick, Allen’s Kitchen, Cacao etc. Momo is a form of hot, steamed that is made with flour and stuffed with vegetables, cheese and crumble meat. It is presented with well served hot soup & chili sauce.
Thukpa is a mix of Tibetan style noodle that is blended with the soup and flavored with crumpled vegetables. It can be found in different streetside restaurants in Gangtok.
3. Gundruk and Sinki Soup
Gundruk is prepared by drying and crumbling the leaves of the mustard oil, cauliflower and radish plant cooked and spiced with onions and tomatoes. Whereas, Sinki is made by tap roots, due to fermentation it is sour in taste. This dish is prepared at homes as a restaurant does not serve this dish.
This is a fermented dairy product which is made from cow milk or yak milk giving a mild sour taste. These are also used for making Achar or soups, also be mixed with Ningro to make the most exotic combination. It is available at the roadside shops anywhere in Gangtok.
5. Kinema curry
A fermented soybean dish which contains protein served with rice which is used in curries followed by Pickles & Soups. Kinema curry can be found in the food lists of any restaurants or hotels of Gangtok.
Phagshapa is made from strip fat pork that is covered in shiny coating with radishes and Dried Chilies. It is generally found in many restaurants at Gangtok.
7. Sael roti
From Nepali food tradition Seal roti has emerged in the food culture of local habitats in Gangtok. Seal roti is prepared by blending water and rice which is deeply fried to be eaten with tomato curry. This particular dish is homemade which might not be possibly found in any restaurants or shops.
8. Tomato Achar (Pickle)
Tomato Achar made of tomatoes is one of the yummy tasting food served on Momos and other food items and sometimes is served as at the end of dishes. It is found in the Gangtok city at the roadside hotels or restaurants.