The day to day dishes of the people of Himachal Pradesh is very similar to the rest of north India in the sense that they too have dal-chawal-subzi-roti (lentil broth, rice, dish of vegetables and bread). However, one difference is that non vegetarian items are more in famous here than other north Indian states. Till recently, all that Himachal knew of vegetables were potatoes and turnips. However, now gradually, green vegetables are making their importance felt more and more. Some of the dishes that are unique to Himachal include Pateer, Chouck, Bhagjery and chutney of Til. Apart from these Nasasta is a sweetmeat of the Kangra region, Indra is dish prepared of Urad dal and Bada/Poldu is cooked in the Shimla region.
Dham is a traditional food festival celebrated in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachali food varies from region to region. The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh is largely based on the climate and topography of the state. While the everyday meal is the usual dal-chawal-subzi-roti, special dishes are cooked during festive occasions. Amongst festive food, the traditional meal, Dham (lunch served in traditional occasions) finds instant mention. The traditional Dham is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Himachal is credited with many lip smacking and mouth watering dishes. The dham offers one with an opportunity to be acquinted with the various delicacies of the state.
Dham is cooked only by botis (a particular caste of Brahmins who are hereditary chefs). Preparation for this elaborate mid-day meal begins the night before. The utensils used for cooking the food are normally copper ones. It is served in courses to people who sit on floor. The food is served on leaf plates. The Dham includes plain aromatic rice, fried pulses or dal, spicy vegetable curry of red kidney beans and many desserts to satisfy one’s appetite.
The traditional dham differs in every region of the state. The typical menu for dham would start with rice, moong dal and a madra of rajma(red kidney beans) or Chole ( chik pea) which is cooked in yoghurt which is prepared in unique style by adding approximately twenty spices . This is followed by mash dal, topped by khatta (sweet & sour sauce) made of tamarind and jaggery, the dham ends with the mitha (dessert) – sweet rice or mithdee (made of boondi or bread crumbs etc.
The day to day diet of Himachalis is though similar to the rest of north India but is unique for its taste and ingredients used. They have lentil, rice, and vegetables. The rotis (breads) are made of flours like wheat and maze. Some of the specialties of the Himachali cuisine include Mandra, Maahni, Batt, Mitha Saloona, Bhujju, Saag, Palda, Redhu, chouck, bhagjery, jhoul, patrode, siddu/batooru, beduan, chutney, khatti dal, etc.