Famous Street Food Of Himachal Pradesh [Popular Dishes]

. 10 min read
Famous Street Food Of Himachal Pradesh [Popular Dishes]

Nothing serves as a better reminder and an accurate representation of a region’s culture than the food served by locals in the business. Hence, it is more profitable to set up a food-cart than a 5-star hotel in tourist spots like Manali. With over 55 places to visit and a hill-station to top it all, families feel Manali is the number one destination during long summer breaks.

Before starting a street-food business here in Manali, you must first know of the local delicacies in Himachal Pradesh. If Vada-Pav is to Mumbai then what is to Manali? Curd, ghee, lentils, seeds and clarified butter are certainly an integral part of its cuisine as fresh vegetables are not readily available in Himachal Pradesh. That’s why we have curated this list for you to make your research easier while giving an adventurous time to your taste-buds! Here are the famous street-foods of Himachal Pradesh that can definitely leave your future customers asking for more.

Street food of Himachal Pradesh

1. Khatta

A drool-worthy combination of sliced pumpkin, heaped spoonfuls of dry mango powder and sprinkled deep fried boondi, this Pahadi delicacy is a best-seller as it brings out all the rich flavours in one bite! Served with either roti or rice, this gravy will surely not disappoint those who love gorging on tangy food.

2. Sidu

Both a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian’s delight, Sidu comes in variants. For the non-vegetarian, Sidu stuffed with mutton will work while for a vegetarian, channa fried in ghee and topped with spices would taste heavenly. Sidu is prepared with wheat dough that is cooked halfway on direct flame, steamed and set aside for the yeast to ferment. A health-conscious tourist will definitely prefer this over a deep-fried Samosa any day as Sidu is either baked or steamed but certainly not fried.

3. Babru

Fancy preparing a Kachori but in Manali? Then don't worry as your search is fruitful once you meet its relative the Babru. Made from the same soaked black gram paste, the only difference between a Babru and Kachori is that the former is a filling breakfast for Himachalis. Available in both sweet and savoury varieties, tourists will be spoilt for choice if they order a Babru from a street-food joint.

4. Kulu Trout

For tourists who don't want to pack on the pounds while also enjoying the best of street-foods in Himachal Pradesh, know that you can satisfy their expectations with a Kulu Trout. The fish that is freshly caught in the Kulu river at Himachal Pradesh is marinated and slowly cooked. Families on a road trip are going to definitely stop by your cart if they see you grill, steam or offer a curry variety of the Kulu Trout!

5. Patande

If your tourists are bored with the never-ending tangy and sour food saga at Himachal Pradesh, it’s time you satiated them with a Patande! A desi version of crepes and pancakes, this relishing dessert is made with milk, sugar, wheat flour and caramelised apples! What gets you more business than serving five-star delicacies as a local street food?

6. Bhey

A literal  translation of ‘In the lap of Himalayas’, Bhey is made from stir-fried lotus stems soaked in gram flour and sprinkled with the best of spices like ginger-garlic paste. Found in Dhabas as a side-dish in heavy meals, it is an easy-to-cook quick-to-eat street food that is popular in Manali.

7. Aktori

A sweet made during festivals in Himachal Pradesh, it can also be the perfect example of a street-food dessert after a tiring hike by tourists. Made from buckwheat and dollops of ghee, Aktori provides the required energy for tourists while out and about in Manali.

8. Tudkiya Bhat

Why should Hyderabad or Kashmir only have their own pulao? The Himachali Pulao, better known as Tudkiya Bhat, is cooked with the help of ingredients like lentils, garlic, potato, yogurt, tomatoes, cardamom and cinnamon. As a street-food you can serve it with mashed dal and sprinkled lemon juice to give it the authentic taste that it deserves.

9. Channa Madra

Originating from the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, Channa Madra has quickly made its way into the street food map of Himachal Pradesh owing to its experimental but lip-smacking taste. A yogurt gravy brought to taste with chickpeas, tamarind and cloves, this protein infused street food snack will sustain your tourists for all their journeys.

list of famous food of Himachal Pradesh

10. Mitta

Unarguably, Mitta is the number one recommended dish by locals in Himachal Pradesh for those who have just landed and are yet to begin their touring. A delectable sweet rice meal consisting of mainly dry fruits like raisins and cashews, you can discover new variants within it by infusing saffron milk.

11. Chha Gosht

Tourists that are not used to the low temperatures of Manali, have a lot to look forward to in the piping hot Chha Gosht, which is gram-flour soaked mutton marinated in curd and spices. For a complete meal, you can serve Chha Gosht with rice. An easy to prepare street food, its fragrant flavours give one the impression of a rich and royal meal. Hence, it is something a meat lover would never dream of missing once they land in Himachal Pradesh.

We hope our article turned out to be useful for you. For more such informative content, you can visit these linked articles as well:
Famous Street Food of Manipur Famous Street Food of Sikkim Famous Street Food of Lakshadweep
Famous Street Food of Jammu & Kashmir Famous Street Food of Bihar Famous Street Food of Haryana

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FAQs on street food of Himachal Pradesh

Q. What are the other street-food options you can consider?

Ans. Apart from Himachali cuisine, do not hesitate to make masala omelettes, hakka noodles, bhel puri and momos a part of your menu since a certain section of the local population might want to gorge on snacks that are popular in other parts of the country as well.

Q. Is there any famous Himachali meal course?

Ans. Dham is a popular mid-day meal course cooked in brass utensils. It includes plain but aromatic rice, fried pulses or dal, spicy vegetable curry and dessert.

Q. Where can I go to enjoy HImachali cuisine?

Ans. Shimla, Manali, Kulu and Dharamshala are the places to visit to try some authentic Himachali cuisine.

Q. What are the common spices used to garnish Himachali meals?

Ans. The locals mainly use red chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom to make highly flavoured dishes.

Q. How can I run a successful Himachali cuisine restaurant anywhere in India?

Ans. Just like how Gujarat's jalebi and fafda is popular in Mumbai, you too can popularise the Pahadi cuisine anywhere in India if you strategise well. The Indian restaurant market is one of the fastest growing industries in the world with a compounded annual growth rate of 9 percent. You can start off by including any of the popular Himachali snacks as part of a larger menu with other cuisines. Once they become popular, you can slowly promote them on third party food delivery websites as this will target customers who are particularly searching for the dish in question. It will take about 3-5 years for this business to become profitable.

Q. Is opening a food-truck restaurant profitable?

Ans. According to a National Restaurant Association report, food trucks now contribute to about 2.7 billion revenue in India on a yearly basis. With mobility as its USP, one can be at multiple tourist spots in a day unlike a stationary stall. Tourists are tired of searching for the best view, the best sites, the best shopping centres that they would definitely appreciate a food truck that has come in search of them for a change.

Q. What do I need for a successful food-truck business?

  • Licensed Commercial Vehicle:

First you need to select a licensed commercial vehicle with all government approvals like fitness certificates, registration, road tax receipt and insurance in place. Due to the nature of street-foods and the slow cooking process required to give them an authentic taste, your vehicle needs to be at least 7-8 feet long. An initial investment would somewhere cost around 7-8 lakhs if you consider companies like Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. In case you opt for an old vehicle to save costs, ensure that it is not more than 5 years old to be an environmentally viable option in an eco-sensitive zone.

  • Brand new kitchen equipments:

Even if the vehicle is secondhand, don't compromise on electronic kitchen items like a juice maker, microwave, griller, steamer, exhaust fans or generators. It would be better if you buy kitchen equipment with a 1-2 year warranty period to assure a stabilised daily maintenance cost. The initial investment for a fully set-up kitchen equipment would be around 3 lakh rupees.

  • Manpower to hire:

If you are looking to keep your manpower to a minimum, then it's best to hire 2 chefs and at the most 1 additional helper to procure fresh vegetables from the market every morning. This can ensure the smooth and efficient operations of your business during rush hour. It will also seem professional if they are dressed in a staff uniform during working hours. However, keeping a delivery boy and partnering with a third party delivery site would be practical as tourists can sometimes order online as well.

  • Point of Sale Software:

A point of sale software is crucial to determine the success of your business among your cut-throat competitors. This is because it is responsible for not only protecting your data but also giving you a detailed understanding of your inventory and sales. It’s also one of the ways you can take customer orders and collect their feedback to understand what kind of food needs to be prepared more or less. High quality point of sale software usually costs around INR 24000 per annum.

  • Advertise your Menu Aggressively

Just like how the trailer of a movie creates the expected buzz, so does the menu, which can tingle the taste-buds of your customers and clear their reservations about ordering at a place they have never tried before. Since you are setting up your food truck business in a tourist state like Himachal Pradesh, it will be better if you act as a guide to your customers recommending the local delicacies they need to try for a wholesome Pahadi cultural experience.