Located in the north-eastern part of India, Sikkim is a part of the Eastern Himalayan Range. It is surrounded by Tibet and Autonomous Region of China in the North, West Bengal to the south and Nepal to the west. Being closer to the state of Tibet, the culture here is greatly influenced by the Tibetans who practise Buddhism. The locals here follow the Buddhist beliefs. The food here is a contrast to the calm nature of the locals.
A famous local food found at every restaurant in Sikkim, Thukpa is basically vegetable noodles mixed with egg and red meat to enhance the flavour and spiciness of the dish. Chopped onion, garlic and green chillies are also added to spice up the dish.
Phagshapa’s key ingredient is pork fat. The pork strips are cooked separately and then stewed with radishes. The radishes and red chillies that accompany the pork fat are added to give a tangy and spicy twist. It is a must-try for health-conscious people.
3. Niguru with Churpi
Consumed all over Sikkim, this household dish is a must-try. Churpi is a traditional cottage cheese often eaten with Niguru, a local fern. This dish is not easily available at every restaurant. To get this dish you might have to befriend the locals as it is a dish that gives you the taste of the lifestyle of the locals.
Also known as Thomba, millets form an essential part of the drink. Chang is a fermented form of millets. Yeast helps in the fermentation of millets. A local beer, it is served in a bamboo receptacle and is sipped using a bamboo pipe.
5. Kinema Curry
Famous among the locals, this dish is eaten along with rice. The sundried fermented soybean used to make this curry makes it rich in protein and at the same time gives it a unique taste. The homemade masalas along with the onion and tomato give it a spicy yet tangy taste.
6. Chhurpi Soup
A traditional dish served to the visitors, it is made of cottage cheese. The cheese gives it a soft texture and a sour taste. The special taste of the soup comes from the Paanch phoran which is added to give it a distinct yet delicious taste which is sure to make you want some more.
7. Shimi ko Achaar
This local dish is made from a local vegetable called Shimi or String Bean. It is best accompanied by seal roti and flavour enhancers like sesame seeds and green chilli that add to the taste and spiciness of the dish. In order to give the string beans a twist and flavour of pickle, lemon is added to introduce the required amount of sourness to the dish.
8. Bamboo Shoot Curry
Rice forms a major part of the staple diet of the Sikkimese, to which they add a variety of curries based on their preferences and likings. Also known as Tama Curry, this dish is made using fermented bamboo and mainly turmeric powder as it cuts the bitter taste of the bamboo shoots, giving it a delectable taste.
9. Shya Phaley
Shya being the meat and Phaley representing the bread, this dish is a form of momo but with a size greater than the normal momos. It is made by stuffing the bread with a delicious meat stuffing and is mostly served by street-side vendors.
10. Kodo Ko Roti
A Nepalese cuisine adapted in Sikkim and also a form of pancakes, this dish has a bitter-sweet taste. Made from finger millets, this dish is prepared like a pancake with the required amount of sweetness and usually accompanied by a tomato achaar which adds to the taste of the dish.
Found in a number of varieties, it is a traditional local beverage in Sikkim. The varieties in the beverage are due to the raw material used in preparing the beverage. Some varieties are made using maize, some using barley, some with wheat and some varieties make use of cassava root. Some of the commonly found varieties are Bhaate Jaanr, Makai ko Jaanr, Gahun ko Jaanr, Simal tarul ko Jaanr and Jahun ko Jaanr.
12. Masauyra Curry
Comparable to the famous Punjabi Wari, this one is also a Nepalese dish adapted in Sikkim and a favourite among the locals. Generously seasoned with spices, this dish is usually shaped like balls and is made mainly using fermented black gram.
13. Chhrupi- Ningro Curry
This Sikkimese dish is sure to provide you with a delectable taste of the Sikkimese cuisine and culture. A combination of bamboo shoot and cottage cheese, this dish is given a distinctive taste by adding measured quantities of Ningro, chilli and turmeric powder.
An irresistible curry dish made of bamboo shoot and pork, it sure will make you fall in love with the Sikkimese cuisine. Made like a pickle, this dish makes use of fermented bamboo shoot and has a sour and acidic taste.