Hot steamed flour dumplings filled with minced meat, cheese or
vegetable, accompanied by home made chilli sauce and piping hot soup. Yes, we
are talking about the Momo, the most commonly available food in Sikkim.
From roadside shacks to the most expensive restaurants, you will find Momos
on every menu. Another popular and easily available item is the Thukpa or
Gya-thuk, a typical Tibetan style noodles in soup, based with vegetables
But Sikkimese cuisine is much more than just Momos and Thukpa,
with every community having their own special way of cooking, using ingredients
typical to them. This results in a wide variety of dishes, each with a unique
taste and flavour.
The Nepalese prepare a special kind of bread, mostly during festivals called the
Saelroti. This is prepared from fermented rice batter which is deep fried
in a ring shape and eaten with potato curry or meat or simply by itself.
Fermented food, in fact, is an important element of many Sikkimese dishes.
a fermented dairy product prepared from cow milk with a mild sour taste is used
for making soups and Achar. It is often used with Ningro,
a wild fern to make a most exotic combination.
fermented soybean food, rich in protein and with a unique flavour is eaten with
rice while Gundruk and Sinki are two traditional fermented
vegetable products which are sun dried after fermentation and stored for
consumption. These are later used for soups, curries and pickles.
Bamboo shoot is another commonly used ingredient in local food. This can vary
from fresh bamboo shoot called Tama, which is often used with pork to
make an irresistible curry to Mesu, a traditional fermented bamboo
shoot product used to make pickles.
But the most exotic local dish is surely Sishnu Soup, prepared from
leaves of edible wild varieties of nettle.
Accompanying the food often is Chaang, a fermented cereal-based alcoholic
beverage. It is sipped from a bamboo receptacle using a thin bamboo pipe. The
receptacle which has millet in it is topped with warm water a few times until
the millet loses its flavour. No visit to Sikkim is complete till you try this