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Sikkimese are essentially rice-eaters. Alcoholic drinks are popular both amongst men and women. Beef eating is common amongst the Bhutias. It is not uncommon to see Marwari plainsmen gulping down Momos and Thukpa and Bhutias partaking to Indian dishes like Puris and Dosas - a turn sign of national integration. Atypical diet of a working Sikkimese consists of dal bhat (lentils and rice) with meat for breakfast, a light lunch of momos, and an early dinner consisting of noodles. Some of the local cuisines are:- Momo Momo is a very popular Tibetan delicacy in Sikkim. It is prepared by stuffing minced meat, vegetable or cheese in flour dough and then moulding them in the form of dumplings. These are then steamed for about half an hour in a three tiered utensil that has bone or tomato soup in the lowest compartment. Steam from the boiling soup rises through the perforations in the containers above and cooks the dumplings. Momos are taken along with soup and home
made chilly sauce. Eight momos which constitute one double are quite filling. It is available in most of the local restaurants. Thukpa It is noodle soup with vegetable. Thukpa is readily available in most of the local restaurants. Phagshapa Phagshapa is strips of pork fat stewed with radishes and dried chillies. Sael Roti This Nepali cuisine is prepared by grinding a mixture of rice and water into a paste. The paste is then poured into hot oil and deep fried. It is normally eaten with potato curry. Normally not available in restaurants but is widely prepared during parties. Niguru with Churpi Niguru is a local fiddlehead fern and its tendrils when light with churpi (cheese) forms an irresistible dish. Normally not available in restaurants but is prepared as a household dish. Gundruk Gundruk are leaves of the mustard oil plant that have been allowed to decay for some days and then dried in the sun. these dried leaves are then cooked along with onions and tomatoes and forms a tasty dish. Chang (Thomba) Chang is a local beer with is made by fermenting millet using yeast. It is sipped from a bamboo receptacle using a bamboo pipe. The receptacle which has millet in it is topped with warm water a couple of times unit the millet loses its potency. Chang can sometimes be strong and very intoxicating indeed.
Home to glimmering glaciers, beautiful meadows and thousands of varieties of flowers, Sikkim is one destination in India that is on the list of many travelers. The place is famous not only for its beauty but also for its culinary delights. Try the delectable Sikkim food options to understand the place and its culture better. The use of the locally-sourced ingredients and the many different flavors that wouldnt otherwise be used in the dishes across India makes the Sikkimese food options a delight to savor. Try out the many local cafes, restaurants, and street kiosks to make the best of the many culinary delights offered in this beautiful state.
Sikkim is an Indian state located in its North-Eastern part. It is bordered by three countries, namely Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. Combining the local influences and the ones from the countries around, the Sikkim dishes are varied and made of a plethora of layers of flavors. The Sikkim cuisine has major influences from Nepal and Tibet. The majority of the state has an ethnic Nepalese and Tibetan majority with the former overpowering the latter. Due to this reason, most of the people in the state are rice eaters. There are soups, dumplings, stews, meats, and a whole lot of vegetables in this amazing intermix of Sikkimese flavors. The state has plenty to offer for one to relish. Check out the Famous food in Sikkimas you read on below.
Momos is the ultimate favorite Tibetan delicacy amongst the people of this state. Not just Sikkim, Momos have expanded its base in the entire country as a scrumptious snack served in restaurants as well as street kiosks. For the ones who dont know what a Momo is It is a dumpling made out of flour dough with a filling inside. It is steamed to perfection and served with a spicy mix of sauces and herbs. There are fried and sauteed versions of this dish as well. The fillings usually include ingredients like meat, cheese, and vegetables. The utensil apparatus that is used to steam the momos have three layers, with usually tomato soup in the lower compartment to let the flavor of the juices absorb into the dumplings. No wonder, Momos is a famous food of Sikkim. While you are here in Sikkim, relish on these flavorful wonders.
Another delicacy that can be tried while in the Indian state of Sikkim is the Thukpa. The dish is a flavorful noodle soup that has its origins in the eastern parts of Tibet. Sikkim street foodis quite rich with Thukpa leading this culinary bandwagon. Not just the street kiosks, but almost every restaurant in the state serves this amazing dish. The noodle soup has garlic, chopped onions, and green chillies to add a flavor of spice and a dash of tang. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this dish. While the former would have shredded and chopped vegetables in its mix, the latter would combine the likes of red meat and boiled or poached eggs. Savor this amazing dish while you are in Sikkim.
Dal Bhaat is a traditional food of Sikkim that is quite a craze in many parts of Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. The combination is that of boiled rice and lentil soup. Many parts of India call this dish Dal Chaawal. The Sikkimese population loves their share of Dal Bhaat as their everyday meal. The lentil soup can differentiate in flavors from places to places with certain ingredients remaining static everywhere, like salt, turmeric, and a little spice. The mixture of boiled rice and lentil soup is a comfort meal for many that are considered to satiate their taste palette to the core. If you want to keep things simple and have light meals, Daal Bhaat could be your ultimate choice of food item to relish.
Dhindo is one of the famous dishes of Sikkim that is quite popular amongst locals and tourists. The dish originates from Nepal but is quite a rage in many parts of Sikkim and Darjeeling as well. The preparation is that of flour mix added to boiling water while continuously stirring it with a ladle. Clarified butter or normal butter is optional. The flour is traditionally prepared from buckwheat or millet. Grains like wheat and cornflour are common as well. One can use almost any grain provided that it is grinded into flour. The utensils used for its preparation is usually an iron pan called Palame Tapke and an iron spatula or ladle called the Dabilo. The latter helps stir the mixture and bring to the creation of a tasty comfort meal that almost all Sikkimese population love.
A culinary delight for the non-vegetarians, Phagshapa is a much-loved food item in Sikkimese cuisine. The main ingredient for this dish is the pork fat that is accompanied by radishes and red chillies. The pork fat strips are cooked first and kept separate. While preparing the stew with radishes and spices, the pork is added along with the red chillies to provide a hot and spicy tinge to the dish. The entire preparation has no oil and combines just the vegetables and protein, making it a healthy food choice. Because of its burst of flavors and being a healthy option, it is considered by many the popular food of Sikkimthat one can relish.
Sha Phaley is a combination of deep-fried flavors, bread, and a whole lot of minced meat. Originally a Tibetan dish, it is quite famous in Sikkim as well. The bread or the pastry is stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, cabbage, and spices. It is then folded into semi-circles and finally deep-fried to perfection. The outcome is a crispy pastry with a soft flavorful filling inside. With modern variations, ingredients like Tofu and Cheese have also been imbibed into the recipe. Vegetarians and vegans can relish the Tofu version and enjoy their food.
Gundruk and Sinki are dishes of Nepalese origin. The former is made of a combination of radish leaves and cauliflower. The mixture is then cooked with spices and tomato sauce. For the latter, taproots are utilized as the main ingredient. The further process is that of fermentation to lend it a sour taste. Mustard leaves and oil are added to Gundruk to lend it a nice taste. The dish is rich in roughage and helps one maintain their metabolism. Traditionally, this dish is made in an earthen pot. With modernization, other utensils are now used for their preparation. Out of the many dishes of Sikkim, both these dishes are quite popular for their taste and health benefits.
Sael Roti is a fried bread that is usually served along with Potato Curry. For its preparation, water and rice are mixed together to form a paste. This is then deep-fried to perfection in boiling hot oil. Even though the dish has its origins in Nepal and Tibet, it is quite a popular dish in Sikkim as well due to the Nepalese and Tibetan influences in this Indian state. Satiate your taste palettes with this flavorful and amazing dish while you are holidaying in Sikkim.
Chang is the fermented form of Millet and yeast which helps in the fermentation process. Its other name is Thomba and is a traditional drink of the Limbu people of Eastern Nepal. Chang is the locally brewed alcoholic beverage served in and sipped with the help of a bamboo pie. Sikkim has many local distilleries and this locally made alcohol is really cheap. Dont forget to try this amazing drink when you are in Sikkim on your next trip.
Thenthuk is yet another yummy soup. Prepared in the form of noodle soup made of vegetables, wheat flour and meat or mutton, it is one of the best Tibetan food in Sikkim. It is a favorite dinner for the people in Sikkim. To make it spicy, several restaurants use chilli powder while some people serve vegetable Thenthuk to keep it healthy. The origin of the Thenthuk is from Tibet.
Kinema curry is a favorite food of Sikkim people taken with rice. What makes the curry special is its unique flavor and that it is a protein-rich food. The different taste of the curry comes from the soybean after fermentation. Turmeric powder, onion, red chili, and tomato are fried before adding the fermented soybean which enhances the flavor.
Gya Kho is one of the lips smacking local dishes in Sikkim. It is the Chimney soup served in the bowl and since the bowl resembles the shape of the chimney, it got its name Chimney soup. This Tibetan cuisine is adopted by Sikkim because of its great taste. The extraordinary taste comes because of its cooking process. It gets cooked under the coal with a lot of other ingredients in it.
This local Nepali cuisine is a favorite local food among people in Sikkim. The best combination is Tomato Achar and the Kodo KO roti. It can also be served with a variety of pickles. The typical pancake is prepared with finger millet as its main ingredient, locally called Kodo. The other important ingredient includes sugar and ghee.
One of the famous Nepali cuisines, Masaurya curry is a favorite local dish of Sikkim. The main ingredient that takes to make the curry is the fermented black gram. It looks like a ball and is spicy condiments. Dont forget to try this amazing cuisine while you are in Sikkim. This dish is best served with cooked rice.
When talking about local Sikkim food then Niguru with Churpi is one thing you cant miss out on! This household dish is very delicious and offers the true flavor of Sikkim. It is a fermented food in which cheese is cooked with the fiddlehead fern.
It is a delicious and appetizing soup made of cottage cheese. This is one of the traditional foods of Sikkim and is served as a welcome drink to visitors. Cheese and panache phoran are the key ingredients of this soup. It is garnished with coriander leaves which adds a refreshing touch to this soup.This is one of the most popular traditional food of Sikkim.
Bamboo Shoot Curry is a staple dish of Sikkim and fermented bamboo is used to cook this delicious curry. Turmeric is added to the curry to remove the bitter taste of bamboo shoots. Also known as Tama Curry, you can find this dish at numerous places in Sikkim.
Who doesnt want to taste delicious Sikkim tea while staying here? Rich in flavors, the tea is prepared from the tea garden called Temi tea garden. Being served in unique traditional cups, this is one of the most special drinks to try in Sikkim!
Best accompanied with seal roti (bread), Shimi ko achar is a kind of pickle made of string bean (locally known as Shimi) and flavored with green chillies, sesame seeds, and lemon juice. This is among the famous vegetarian food in sikkim.
Another traditional beverage of Sikkim is Jaanr that is served in a lot of varieties at local shops. Makai ko Jaanr, Bhaate Jaanr, Simal tarul ko Jaanr, Gahun ko Jaanr, Jahun ko Jaanr, etc. are the most popular among tourists.
Go on and check out the many flavorful and tasty Sikkim food items while you are holidaying at this amazing destination in India. The list of the Sikkimese culinary delights keeps on increasing with many variations that can be savored while in different parts of the state. So, explore Sikkim food and culture, book your vacation to Sikkim with TravelTriangle and savor the many local delightful flavors.
A. Mostly fermented foods and drinks are popular in Sikkim due to the chilly climate. One of the famous traditional food of Sikkim includes Dhindo which is a traditional Nepalese food. Trying this dish is one of the must things to do in Sikkim.
Are you a gastronome setting off for an expedition to the north-eastern state of Sikkim? Replete with natural beauty, this wonderful travel destination is also crammed with some sumptuous eateries to beguile your taste buds with tantalizing flavors. Offering a pastiche of Tibetan, Chinese, Indian, and Nepalese cuisines, this enchanting hill station is famed for its exotic delicacies; and thus, never fails to impress a true foodie like you! So, gear up for an excursion to this state- a perfect amalgamation of rich heritage, vibrant culture, and mouth-watering food; and do explore the recommended restaurants in Sikkim for a delightful experience.
With a dash of flavors from Tibet, Nepal, and China along with other Indian states, gorging on Sikkimese delicacies is quite an experience. Popular amongst tourists for its magnificent treks and scenic landscapes, the mere utterance of the state pops-up the images of its famous food items, such as momos, chowmein, wonton, thukpa, gundruk, and others that might leave you wanting for more. So, if you are already craving to delve into this culinary experience, let us take you on a tour of some of the best restaurants in Sikkim listed below:
Thakali is one of the popular restaurants taking you on an altogether a different culinary tour. Prepared with a variety of herbs and spices, the food served here represents the Thakali community. Albeit, their menu does not have many options, but if you want to sip a glass of mocktail and some fancy cocktails, they have a bar too.
If your taste buds are craving an authentic Korean cuisine, then head to Mu Kimchi- one of the best restaurants in Gangtok, Sikkim. Decked with hand-woven lamps and contemporary artefacts, its spectacular ambiance is worth climbing around eighty steps. On top of that, its lip-smacking Korean delicacies infused with a special cinnamon spice make the place even more alluring.
Ranked amongst the top must-visit restaurants in Gangtok, Sikkim, Dekid is a perfect place to explore if you are seeking a cultural experience. Offering the classic Bhutanese menu, its special dishes are: the spiced dashti cheese and red shakam curry. Apart from that, it also serves a glass of Sikkim special wine, called Saino that you cant refuse to have. However, if you are a vegan, you must give it a skip, for its a pure non-vegetarian eatery.
If you are on a week-long vacation of the north-eastern state, and your taste buds are craving a typical Punjabi food, then Parivar Restaurant has got you covered. Located on MG Marg, this place is one of the famous vegetarian restaurants in Sikkim. Being a replica of a five-star restaurant, the ambiance of this mid-scale eatery is really nice and its food is quite lip-smacking. Perfect for lunch and dinner, here you can have Butter Paneer Masala, Dal Makhani, Raita, Chapati, and other north-Indian vegetarian dishes.
Located just next to the Sikkim Tourism Centre, Rasoi is another best diner for vegetarians in the north-eastern state. Properly furnished, the ambiance of this place has a classy look, while the menu of the restaurant features authentic Sikkim cuisines. Boasting its Rasoi Thali, which is a platter of Jain food, this restaurant serves some highly recommended dishes to vegans.
With the majestic interiors and a sumptuous menu, the grandeur of Dynasty Wine and Dine cannot be defined in words. Head to this place for the love of traditional Sikkimese and Chinese cuisines, and do try their highly recommended desserts that are totally finger-licking! Starting off the dinner while sipping a cup of jasmine tea can be quite refreshing, and it keeps you energized throughout the dinner.
While exploring the west region of the state, you can head to Tatopani Bar and Restaurant, which is one of the best restaurants in Pelling, Sikkim. Apart from serving mocktails and mouth-watering food items at reasonable prices, this place also hosts live band performances to keep you hooked on for a longer duration.
A true foodie is always seeking a place to eat which serves multi-cuisines. And, if you are the one, then Adonai Family Restaurant is meant for you. Located adjacent to the Central Park, this is one of the most recommended restaurants in Namchi, Sikkim. Serving an excellent menu comprising Chinese and Continental dishes, they are popular for their mouth-watering meals cooked to perfection and hot coffee.
If you are a night crawler seeking a place to satiate your hunger pangs, then head to the Little Italy restaurant located just on the highway. As the name suggests, this restaurant represents a miniature of Italy serving some delectable Italian dishes. Visit this place for their perfectly baked pizzas and live music, and you wont be disappointed.
For the sheer love of traditional Tibetan food, Snow Lion Restaurant is what you must visit on the excursion of Sikkim. From thukpa to traditional Tibetan dumplings, this restaurant takes you on a culinary journey to Tibet. Garnished with green leafy veggies and served with a variety of sauces, their every dish leaves you craving even more.
Taste of Tibet is one of the best restaurants in Sikkim to dine in. With a perfect ambiance, it attracts innumerable people to hang out and chill with their loved ones. If youre looking for a perfect Tibetan restaurant in this place, dont look farther than the Taste of Tibet, Gangtok!
Offering hearty meals and sweet memories, Osm Restaurant in Gangtok is nothing less than a haven for foodies. From North Indian to Continental, this place offers the best of every delicacy. The cocktail drink Vompom and the sizzlerhere are the most suggested things to eat by the previous guests. After taking a tour around the city, resort to Osm Restaurant, Sikkim, for a lip-smacking meal with your friends.
One of the best veg restaurants in Gangtok, Masala Restaurant offers the most homelike ambiance with its natural setting. It specializes in Indian and Chinese cuisines and serves delicious delights at a very pocket-friendly price. If you strongly believe that the world will end without potato, make sure you binge on the toothsome dum aloo here.Special Meal: Veg MomosLocation: MG Marg, Opp SBI, Arithang, Gangtok, Sikkim TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5/5TripAdvisor Review
This is one of the best cafes in Sikkim. From yummy dosas to paneer tikkas, you can find it all here to satiate your holiday cravings. And the best thing is that a meal here costs around only INR 100 to 200. So, if you were looking for pure veg restaurants in Sikkim then your search is over.
It is a wonderful place. Once you enter through a small unremarkable entrance, you will be pleasantly surprised by the ambiance which can only be described as great. The food is good with adequate quantity though a bit on the expensive side. The service is also good. It is one of the most famous eateries in Sikkim.
If you are looking for very basic Chinese dishes like fried rice and noodles cooked right in front of you at next to nothing prices, this is the place for you. The helpful family who run this place are ever ready to rustle up something for you even at odd in-between meals hours. The portion sizes are adequate. In addition, you can also get parathas and bhaji here.
Part of the Chumbi Residency Hotel, this restaurant is only 7 to 8 minutes away from the famous MG Road. Serving a delicious array of North Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine, this place surely knows how to win its guests hearts. Of all the things you eat, do make sure that murgh boti kebabs and tandoor chicken are on the list.
The Roll House, Sikkim is a kitchenette famous all across the city for serving the most mouth-watering luscious rolls. From paneer and vegetables to chicken and mutton, youd get a bit of every flavor here. So, dont focus on the interiors, rather wait for what is going to be served to you while you're here.
They serve Hyderabadi & Kolkatta Biryanis , both were good . Also the chicken rolls were excellent. Inside the restaurant, you will find many Bollywood theme posters which have some really interesting write ups. You will have the time of your life here and will not be disappointed by the food options here.
The cafe is very decent with clean washrooms. You can drink some sumptuous happy hour beers while you wait for the food to arrive. The staff highly suggests trying Thai food here. It is, we believe, the only place in Gangtok in Sikkim to serve Thai. The food is decadent and you absolutely must try it. If you visit only one restaurant in Sikkim, let it be Rhythm and Wine Cafe. Have fun dining!
With such an exhaustive listing of eateries, a foodie like you cannot procrastinate an excursion to Sikkim even for a day. So, plan a trip to Sikkim to explore all the amazing food places that may just leave your taste buds spoilt for choices. Infused with tantalizing spices and made with great flavors, the restaurants in Sikkim will keep reminding you of the spectacular state for life.
Content Creator by profession has over 4 years of experience in writing a diverse set of communications. Her love for weaving magic into words can be witnessed on her Instagram page- @poeticcottage, where she pens down her heart through poetry and shayaris.
Sikkim is surrounded by vast stretches of Tibetan Plateaus in the north, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet & the Kingdom of Bhutan in the east, the Kingdom of Nepal in the west & Darjeeling district of West Bengal in the south. Organic farming in the state has been a traditional way of farming adopted by farmers since ages. The major crops of the state are maize, rice, buckwheat among cereals, Black gram (Urad) and rice bean among pulses, soybean and mustard among oilseeds. The main horticultural crops are orange & pears among fruits, ginger, large cardamom, turmeric and cherry pepper among spice crops, cole crops, peas & bean, tomato, potato among vegetable crops. Besides, production of potato & pea seeds and off-season vegetables cultivation at high altitude is done extensively.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), FDI inflows in Sikkim (Including West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands), totalled US$ 5.59 billion between April 2000 and June 2019.
The tiny and beautiful state of Sikkim lies to the south of Tibet, sandwiched between Nepal to the west and Bhutan to the east. Measuring just 65km by 115km, its landscape ranges from sweltering deep valleys just 300m above sea level to lofty snow peaks such as Kanchenjunga (Kanchendzonga to the locals) which, at 8586m, is the third highest mountain in the world. A small but growing network of tortuous roads penetrates this rugged and beautiful Himalayan wilderness.
For centuries Sikkim was an isolated, independent Buddhist kingdom, until war with China in the early 1960s led the Indian government to realize the areas strategic importance as a crucial corridor between Tibet and Bangladesh. As a result of its annexation by India in 1975, Sikkim has experienced dramatic changes. Now a fully fledged Indian state, it is predominantly Hindu, with a population made up of 75 percent Nepalese Gurungs, and less than twenty percent Lepchas, its former rulers. Smaller proportions survive of Bhutias, of Tibetan stock, and Limbus, also possibly of Tibetan origin, who gave the state its name sukh-im, happy homeland. Nepali is now the lingua franca and the Nepalese are socially and politically the most dominant people in the state. However, the people of Sikkim continue to jealously guard their freedom and affluence and remain untouched by the Nepalese Gurkhas autonomy movement in neighbouring Darjeeling. Although only Sikkimese can hold major shares in property and businesses, partnerships with Indian (non-Sikkimese) entrepreneurs and subsidies to indigenous Sikkimese industry have led to prosperity fuelled by its special status within the union.
Historically, culturally and spiritually, Sikkims strongest links are with Tibet. The main draws for visitors are the states off-the-beaten-track trekking and its many monasteries, more than two hundred in all, mostly belonging to the ancient Nyingmapa sect. Pemayangtse in West Sikkim is the most historically significant, and houses an extraordinary wooden mandala depicting Guru Rinpoches Heavenly Palace. Tashiding, a Nyingmapa monastery built in 1717, surrounded by prayer flags and chortens and looking across to snowcapped peaks, is considered Sikkims holiest. Rumtek is the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and probably the wealthiest monastery in Sikkim. The capital, Gangtok, a colourful, bustling cosmopolitan town, is home to a bewildering array of trekking agents only too happy to take your money in dollars and to arrange the necessary permits.
Sikkims gigantic mountain walls and steep wooded hillsides, drained by torrential rivers such as the Teesta and the Rangit, are a botanists dream. The lower slopes abound in orchids, sprays of cardamom carpet the forest floor, and the land is rich with apple orchards, orange groves and terraced paddy fields (to the Tibetans, this was Denzong, the land of rice). At higher altitudes, monsoon mists cling to huge tracts of lichen-covered forests, where countless varieties of rhododendron carpet the hillsides and giant magnolia trees punctuate the deep verdant cover. Higher still, approaching the Tibetan plateau, larch and dwarf rhododendron give way to meadows abundant with gentians and potentilla. Sikkims forests and wilderness areas are inhabited by a wealth of fauna, including extremely elusive snow leopards, tahr (wild goat on the Tibet plateau), bharal (blue sheep), black bear, flying squirrels and the symbol of Sikkim the endangered red panda.
No one knows quite when or how the Lepchas or the Rong, as they call themselves came to Sikkim, but their roots can be traced back to the animist Nagas of the Indo-Burmese border. Buddhism, which arrived from Tibet in the thirteenth century, took its distinctive Sikkimese form four centuries later, when three Tibetan monks of the old Nyingmapa order, disenchanted with the rise of the reformist Gelugpas, migrated south and gathered at Yoksum in western Sikkim. Having consulted the oracle, they sent to Gangtok for a certain Phuntsog Namgyal, whom they crowned as the first chogyal or righteous king of Denzong in 1642. Both the secular and religious head of Sikkim, he was soon recognized by Tibet, and set about sweeping reforms. His domain was far larger than todays Sikkim, taking in Kalimpong and parts of western Bhutan.
Over the centuries, territory was lost to the Bhutanese, the Nepalese and the British. Sikkim originally ceded Darjeeling to the East India Company as a spa in 1817, but was forced to give up all claim to it in 1861 when the kingdom was declared a protectorate of the British. Tibet, which perceived Sikkim as a vassalage, objected and invaded in 1886, but a small British force sent in 1888 to Lhasa helped the British consolidate their hold. By importing a Nepalese labour force to work the tea plantations of Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong, the British sought to diminish the strong Tibetan influence and helped alter the ethnic make-up of the region, with the new migrants soon outnumbering the indigenous population.
After Indian Independence, the reforming and intensely spiritual eleventh chogyal, Tashi Namgyal, strove hard until his death in 1962 to prevent the dissolution of his kingdom. Officially Sikkim was a protectorate of India, and the role of India became increasingly crucial, with the Chinese military build-up along the northern borders that culminated in an actual invasion early in the 1960s. His son Palden Thondup, the last chogyal, married twice; his second wife was an American, Hope Cook, whose reforms as gyalmo (queen) did not prove popular at home and irritated the Indian government. The embattled chogyal eventually succumbed to the demands of the Nepalese majority, and Sikkim was annexed by India in 1975 after a referendum with an overwhelming 97 percent majority. The chogyal remained as a figurehead until his death in 1981.
The state continues to be treated with care by the Indian government, partly through a lingering sense of unease among the disaffected Sikkimese minority and an increasingly complex ethnic patchwork but, more importantly, because Sikkim remains a bone of contention between India and China. Today, the Sikkim Democratic Front forms the government of Sikkim; generous government subsidies and loans have helped to ensure that people remain generally contented, while extensive road-building is bringing benefits to remote communities despite the many landslides in recent years.
Although earthquakes are a common occurrence throughout the Himalayas, the one that struck in September 2011, with its epicentre at Mangan 42km northwest of Gangtok, was particularly destructive, leaving around sixty people dead and a trail of devastation as far away as Gangtok. The effects of the magnitude 6.9 quake were felt throughout the region, in Nepal and as far away as Kolkata. Much of the destruction took place around hydroelectric projects and led to disrupted roads and infrastructure. To compound the states communication nightmare, unseasonal rains in 2012 resulted in deadly landslides and loss of life, and North Sikkim was virtually cut off from the rest of the state for several weeks.
Industrialization and the construction of dams and numerous hydro-electric projects on Sikkims rivers, such as the Teesta, has brought pressure on the states diminishing indigenous population, threatening their lifestyle and heritage, particularly in Dzongu, the heartland of Lepchas. Although the voice of their protest is now all but lost, the destruction of habitat and the extraordinary strain on the states fragile road system is self-evident.
Summer, from April to mid-June, is characterized by warm weather and clear skies. From late September to November, temperatures are moderate, cherry blossoms are in bloom and the skies intermittently clear for views of Kanchenjunga. An influx of tourists during these two high spells means higher hotel rates, especially in Gangtok and Pelling. Discounts are possible during low season, from February to March, when its freezing and the fog plays spoilsport. The monsoon lasts from June to September, when road conditions deteriorate and landslides are common. Winter can be bitterly cold in the northern reaches, but still a good time to travel. Check for road closures when it snows.
Sikkimese food is a melange of Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian influences; rice is a staple, eaten with dhal, forest vegetables and pickles, including the supremely hot, fire-engine-red dalley chilli pickle. Churpi, a fresh cow-milk cheese, is generally made with a fern called ningro. Gyakho is a traditional chimney stew served on special occasions. Phing (glass noodles), shisnu (nettle soup), gundruk (fermented spinach), gyathuk (soup with handmade macaroni and local herbs; usually with beef) are other typical specialities, along with chicken, pork and beef dishes. Khodo (millet pancake) and fafarroti (buckwheat pancake) are generally eaten for breakfast. Tibetan dishes including momos and thukpa are found easily.
Restaurants in Gangtok serve alcohol; Hit and Dansberg are the local Sikkimese beer brands. Look out for tomba, a traditional drink usually served in winter, consisting of fermented millet served in a wooden or bamboo mug and sipped through a bamboo straw. The mug is periodically topped up with hot water; once its been allowed to sit for a few minutes, youre left with a pleasant warm, watery drink thats best on a cold evening. Chaang is a local millet beer, milky and fermented, found more commonly in homestays.
Foreigners need to obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP; previously known as an Inner Line Permit or ILP) to visit Sikkim. Permits can now be obtained online at sikk.imilp.in, or in advance along with your Indian visa, but agencies abroad charge exorbitant fees so are best avoided. If obtained within India, Sikkim permits are free and can be arranged through the tourism agencies listed below, trekking operators or at the Sikkim border at Melli and Rangpo in a dedicated office. In order to apply, youll need two passport photographs, and photocopies of your passport and Indian visa. Check the latest information at sikkimtourism.gov.in. Permits are date-specific and initially valid for thirty days from entry (no return within three months); extensions are normally available up to a maximum of sixty days.
As well as Gangtok and its surroundings in East Sikkim, the RAP covers all of South Sikkim and most areas in the east and west of the state, apart from most high-altitude treks. Sensitive border areas, like Tsomgo Lake (also known as Changu or Tsangu) in East Sikkim, most of North Sikkim except for Mangan and its immediate vicinity, and all high-altitude treks including the Singalila Ridge and Dzongri, require the additional Protected Area Permit (PAP); foreigners can only enter these areas in groups of at least two accompanied by representatives of approved travel agents who arrange the permits.
High-altitude trekking in Sikkim remains a restricted and expensive business. Firstly, foreigners have to acquire trekking permits (aka Protected Area Permits or PAP), which also act as entry permits for these areas. These are only available from the Sikkim Tourism offices in Gangtok, but can be arranged through trek operators.
Carefully check documents and itineraries you dont want to be rushed, especially at altitude before you set off. Trekking parties consist of a minimum of two people; tour operators charge an official daily rate of US$60 to US$150 per head per day, depending on group size and route.
While most major peaks require permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) in Delhi with at least three months notice, as well as mountaineering permits, the Sikkim government, through the appropriate Gangtok trekking operator, hands out permits for the following treks: Freys Peak (5830m) near Chaurikhang on the Singalila Ridge; Thingchenkang (6010m) near Dzongri and Jopuno (5935m) in West Sikkim; and Lama Wangden (5868m) and Brumkhangse (5635m) in North Sikkim. Recommended Gangtok agents include Namgyal Treks and Tours.
The high-altitude treks most commonly offered by the operators are the DzongriGoecha La route, plus its variation starting from Uttarey and the Singalila Ridge. The exhilarating trek from Lachen to Green Lake is possible, but permission must be obtained from Delhi (most easily arranged through a Gangtok agent) at least two months in advance. At the moment, Dzongri still bears the brunt of the trekking industry in the state, and the pressure is beginning to tell severely on the environment.
Low-altitude hikes often come without the restriction of permits, and makes Sikkim an alluring destination for quiet walks off the beaten track. The rhododendron trails around Varshey, West Sikkim, for example, are particularly pleasant. A word of warning: avoid trekking unaccompanied in forest areas due to the risk of black bears.
Ignored by most travellers en route to higher trekking trails and the great gompas of west Sikkim, southern Sikkim nevertheless offers quiet charm, its lichen-covered forests draped with a stunning array of orchids and inhabited by rare and endangered animals. The region is dominated by the great, forested peak of Maenam towering high above the town of Ravangla a challenging day-trek and famous for its plants and flowers and for the tremendous view from its summit. Easier options such as the delightful jungle walk to the lesser heights of Tendong are just as rewarding, while high above the district capital Namchi, the gigantic statuary of Samdruptse and Solophok are clearly visible from as far away as Darjeeling. Sikkims sole tea garden, the organic Temi Tea Estate, welcomes visitors and provides a good base from which to explore the area.
The beautiful land of West Sikkim, characterized by great tracts of virgin forest and deep river valleys, is home to ancient monasteries such as Pemayangtse and Tashiding and the rapidly developing tourist hub and hill-station of Pelling. The old capital, Yoksum, lies at the start of the trail towards Dzongri and Kanchenjunga. In the far west, along the border with Nepal, the Singalila Range rises along a single ridge, with giants such as Rathong and Kabru culminating in Kanchenjunga itself. Only two high-altitude trails are currently easily accessible but require permits, and are expensive; however, several low-altitude treks with numerous variations provide appealing alternatives. If youre coming directly from Darjeeling via Jorethang for a high-altitude trek, arrange permits and itineraries in advance.
The hallowed monastery of Pemayangtse, perched at the end of a ridge, with a grand panorama of the entire Prek River watershed including the Kanchenjunga massif, is poised high above the Rangit River. Its a 9km journey along the main road from Gyalshing; or you can take a steep, 4km short cut, walking through the woods past a line of chortens and the otherwise uninteresting remains of Sikkims second capital, Rabdantse, now made into a pleasant park.
Pemayangtse, the Perfect Sublime Lotus, was founded in the seventeenth century by Lhatsun Chempo and is one of the three lamas of Yoksum. Extended in 1705 by his reincarnation, its one of the most important gompas in Sikkim and belongs to the Nyingmapa sect. The views and the surrounding woods create an atmosphere of meditative solitude.
The rapidly swelling town of Pelling, situated 2085m above sea level, is most notable for its expansive views north towards the glaciers and peaks of Kanchenjunga. High above forest-covered hills, in an amphitheatre of cloud, snow and rock, the entire route from Yoksum over Dzongri La to the Rathong Glacier can be seen. Frenetic building activity has somewhat detracted from Pellings quiet charm, and the area is a magnet for Bengali travellers; the main drag from the crossroads to Lower Pelling is chock-full of hotels and not much else. However, on a clear day, you can gaze in awe at the worlds third-highest peak from any of the numerous hotel terraces in Upper Pelling, and theres easy access to attractive walks in the hinterland. One noticeable element missing is a bazaar, although a few shops are now beginning to appear.
A new road blasted up the steep ridge from near the helipad just above Pelling makes a good 4km walk to reach the small but highly venerated Nyingmapa monastery of Sanga Choling, one of the oldest gompas in Sikkim and another of Lhatsun Chenpos creations. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1948 and houses some of the original clay statues including a stunning Samantha Bhadra.
You wont need a guide for this most rewarding circuit which has come to be known as the Monastery Trail, taking in the highlights of western Sikkim including several holy places and monasteries; do ask advice from either hotels Kabur or Garuda in Pelling, where you can pick up a rough map of the trail. Each section takes between 47 hours and the growing network of home-stays allows the intrepid trekker to explore off the beaten track. Most walkers start the popular 34 day trail from Pelling via Darap to Kecheopalri, then continue to Yuksom (with a steep descent and a knee-grinding ascent to the small town) where there are some decent hotels and home-stays. Continuing from Yuksom takes in monasteries such as Dubdi (above Yuksom), Hongri and Sinon before descending to Tashiding. To return to Pelling, walk down to Sakyung from where there is an unrelenting ascent to Pelling. Along with several extensions, alternative routes from Tashiding include walking to Borong, Ralang and Ravangla with a dip in a hot spring along the Rangit River; the advantage of this variation is that it would help you get on to the road for Gangtok. For trail information in Tashiding ask at Sanus home-stay.
The sleepy, spread-out hamlet of Yoksum at the end of the road which runs north of Pelling and at the entrance to the Rathong Chu gorge, 40km north of Pemayangtse, holds a special place in Sikkimese history. This was the spot where three lamas converged from different directions across the Himalayas to enthrone the first religious king of Sikkim, Chogyal Phuntsog Namgyal, in 1642. Named the Great Religious King, he established Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. Lhatsun Chenpo is supposed to have buried offerings in Yoksums Norbugang Chorten, a vast white stupa built with stones and earth from different parts of Sikkim, to be found in Norbugang Park, a kilometre north of Yoksum, which also houses the Coronation Throne, a simple stone throne of the first chogyal. In front of the throne, a large footprint embedded in a rock belongs to one of the lamas. Kathok Lake, a small pond nearby at the top end of town, was also part of the original ceremony, but its disappointing and pretty scummy these days.
The villages main role these days is as the start of the high-altitude Dzongri Trail, but unless you have a trekking permit, youre not supposed to venture any further and the authorities are quite vigilant.
Considered the holiest in Sikkim, the beautiful gompa of Tashiding occupies the point of a conical hill 19km southeast of Yoksum, high above the union of the Rangit and the Rathong. The Devoted Central Glory was built in 1717, after a rainbow was seen to connect the site to Kanchenjunga. While a new road has eaten its way through the forest to the monastery, the climb is still recommended the well-marked path leaves the main road near an impressive mani wall (inscribed with the Buddhist mantra Om mani padme hum: Hail the jewel in the lotus in silver paint) and leads steeply past rustic houses and fields and along a final flag-lined approach. On the fifteenth day of the first month of the Tibetan New Year, devotees from all over Sikkim gather in Tashiding for the Nyingmapa Bhumchu festival, when they are blessed with the holy water from an ancient bowl, which legend has it never dries up. Oracles consult the waters level to determine the future.
On the increasingly popular monastery trail, Tashiding provides a good base from which to explore the treks along watershed of Mt Narsing and the Rangit River, with several holy lakes and caves a few days walk away.
The numerous trails crisscrossing through West Sikkims wonderful profusion of orchid and rhododendron forests, waterfalls, terraced hillsides and river valleys, give independent walkers the opportunity to explore the region without the headache of red tape (permits) and the expense of tour operators and expedition costs. Apart from the occasional forest lodge or guesthouse, a growing network of homestays allows intrepid trekkers to wander off the beaten track, especially along the Monastery Trail from Pelling. On the western boundaries of the state, the rhododendron forests are best seen around Varshey.
The Singalila Ranges rhododendron forests, lauded by the famous botanist Sir JD Hooker who travelled here in 1848, are best visited between mid-April and mid-May when the flowers are in full bloom. Of these forests, the Varshey Rhododendron Sanctuary (aka Barsey or Varsey) covers 104 square kilometres, ranges in altitude from 2840m to 4250m and is home to black bear, red panda and pheasant. Entry to the forest is via Hilley, Soreng or Dentam and entry permits for the sanctuary are available from forestry departments at Hilley, Soreng, Uttarey and Gangtok. The most popular route is the 8km round trip from Hilley to Varshey (3030m), which offers majestic views. You can extend the walk to Uttarey (34 days with tented accommodation), from where you can either take transport out or continue on foot to the small town of Dentam.
From Dentam, a river-valley trail leads to the quiet village of Rinchenpong (45hr), a good base for West Sikkim village walks; another trail from Dentam leads east up the ridge to Pelling (45hr). There are numerous permutations and possibilities for trekking around Varshey including an extension (with prior arrangement with tour operators and the appropriate permits) into the long high-altitude Singalila Ridge trek to Dzongri and beyond.
Two high-altitude treks are currently allowed in Sikkim. The first, from Yoksum to Dzongri, in the shadow of Kanchenjunga, passes through huge tracts of forest and provides incredible mountain vistas; all-inclusive rates from a decent agency are from around US$50 per head per day including permits. The second, the Singalila Ridge, explores the remote high pastures of the Singalila frontier range with breathtaking views of the massif. Trekkers for either route must have special permits, travel in groups of at least two and organize the trip with an authorized agency. General advice on trekking equipment and health issues is given in Essentials.
Although Dzongri is the junction of several trails, the prescribed route onwards leads to Goecha La via Zemanthang and Samiti Lake. Well-marked and dotted with basic accommodation, the trail, also used by yak herders, is at its best in May when the rhododendrons bloom.
It takes approximately six hours to climb the 16km from Yoksum (1780m) to Tsokha (3048m). The forested trail begins gently before arriving at the Prek River above its confluence with the Rathong. The next 4.5km involve a knee-grinding ascent, entering the lichen zone and cloud forests, past the Forest Rest House at Bakhim (2684m) to the Tibetan yak herders settlement of Tsokha where there are a couple of trekkers huts.
Once again, its worth staying around Dzongri for further acclimatization. This gives you the opportunity to climb Dzongri Hill above the hut for views of Kanchenjungas craggy south summit and the black rocky tooth of Kabur, a holy mountain towering above Dzongri La (4400m), a pass that leads to the HMI base camp, 12km away at Chaurikhang, and the Rathong Glacier (a recommended variation).
The 8km trek from Dzongri to Thangsing (3841m) takes around four hours, descending against an incredible backdrop of peaks to a rhododendron forest, crossing a bridge and continuing through woods to Trekkers Hut at Thangsing at the end of a glacial valley.
The 10km short, sharp shock up to Samiti Lake (4303m) takes around three hours, through alpine meadows traversing glacial moraine before arriving at the emerald-green Samiti Lake (local name Sungmoteng Tso). If you are still going strong, you could continue to Zemanthang (4453m), where theres a trekkers hut.
This is the climax of the trek and its most difficult section by far, due to the high altitude. From Samiti Lake, the 14km round-trip climb takes around four hours up to Goecha La and two to three hours back down again. The trail follows glacial moraine to Zemanthang, before a final grinding rise following cairns and the occasional prayer flag to the narrow defile at Goeche La (5000m), where Kanchenjunga South is visible on a clear day.
Most of the long 24km hike from Samiti Lake back to Tsokha is downhill and takes around eight hours, involving a short-cut after the bridge to avoid Dzongri. There are several variations to this finish.
Itineraries for Singalila Ridge treks range between ten and nineteen days, and though more expensive due to the areas remoteness, they prove exceptionally rewarding, with views from Everest to the huge Kanchenjunga massif ahead. Its best done from south to north, facing the views as the trail rises towards the snows through remote alpine pastures and past hidden lakes. The most common variation starts from the road-head at Uttarey (1965m), 28km to the west of Pelling, and ascends to Chewabhanjang (3170m) on the SikkimNepal frontier. Thereafter, the trail rarely descends below 3500m, high above the tree line; the highest point of the trail is the Danfeybhir Tar, a pass at 4400m. The route descends to Gomathang (3725m), a yak-herders shelter on the banks of the Boktochu, then passes through delightful forests of silver fir and rhododendron before arriving at the welcome sight of the bungalow at Dzongri which connects with the main trekking trails.
A fragile road etches its way up the Teesta Valley and splits at Chungthang with one branch bearing northwest to Lachen and beyond, the other due north to Lachung, to the beautiful valley of Yumthang and eventually Zero Point on the high plateau.
The huge earthquake of 2011, with its epicentre near the capital Mangan, severed the roads to North Sikkim and left over sixty people dead. Then, a year later, unexpected late-season rains caused deadly landslides that once again isolated the region for several weeks. Travellers to North Sikkim need to show their permits at Tong, from where the stretch of road to Chungthang has greatly improved in recent times.
Travelling north past Phodong, the highway reaches the town of Mangan, 67km north of Gangtok, the district capital of North Sikkim and perched high above the Teesta Valley. Recovering after the devastating earthquake of 2011 which all but demolished the bazaar and destroyed Rinzing Gompa, Mangan is nevertheless a convenient stop on an arduous route to the north (note that its the furthest you can go without a Protected Area Permit). The town itself has little interest other than its busy bazaar, a handful of hotels and the District Collectors office, which is a relatively easy place to get a permit if you havent already picked one up in Gangtok.
The road forks at the grubby town of Chungthang, 40km north of Mangan the road to the right climbs rapidly to the group of small settlements of Lachung, the big pass, a mere fifteen kilometres west of Tibet. Across the river from the main cluster of settlement, Lachung Monastery is a two-storey Tibetan-style gompa belonging to the Nyingmapa sect, and worth visiting especially for its wonderful murals.
As the road north ascends past yak pastures, it enters the Shingba -Rhododendron Sanctuary, announcing the start of Yumthang (3645m), 25km north of Lachung, with spectacular rock and ice pinnacles towering to 6000m on either side. This beautiful tree lined valley does not have accommodation but boasts somewhat neglected hot sulphur springs. A pleasant purpose-made walking trail leads 10km along the valley floor, back to the sanctuary gates due to the high altitude and problems with acclimatization, descent rather than ascent is recommended. Past Yumthang, the road continues up the valley and emerges on the high plateau land at Yumesamdong or Zero Point (the end of the road), at an altitude of 4770m with a backdrop, weather permitting, of the snowy sentinels along the Tibet border.
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The second smallest state of India, Sikkim is home to glistening glaciers, countless waterfalls, beautiful valleys, rivers, and varieties of flowers. Nestled in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is one destination in India that attracts tourists from all around the world. Among its mountains is the majestic Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. Also, Sikkim is the least populous state bestowed with a greater variety of vegetation and undisturbed valleys, five climatic zones, total sanitation, a peaceful environment, hospitable and humble people, and rich cultural heritage. It is famous not only for its beauty but also for its delicious cuisines. If you wish to understand Sikkim and the culture, you must try the culinary delights here. Any food that we eat has been passed down through generations. Also, food has a way of bringing people together.
Sikkim has people of different cultures and traditions. It is bordered by Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal, and these neighboring countries have also made a major impact on the cuisines of Sikkim. Combining the local influences and the ones from the countries around, theSikkim food itemsare varied and made of profusions of layers of flavors. There are soups, dumplings, stews, meats, and a whole lot of vegetables in this amazing intermix of the flavors of Sikkim resulting in a variety of delicious food.
It does not matter if you consider yourself a foodie or not, we all have to eat. And while you are in Sikkim, there is no way you can escape the delicious mouth-watering food that ranges from sweet and salty to spicy and sour. In fact, it is recommended to try everything rather than limiting your choices.
Sikkim is known as an organic state, and the locals usually prefer organically grown fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat produced by local farmers. Therefore, you can mostly see locally sourced ingredients and the many different flavors that wouldnt otherwise be used in food dishes across India and that makes the food options a delight to savor. You must try out the many local cafes, restaurants, and street stalls to make the best of the many culinary delights offered in this beautiful state.
Whenever you hear about Sikkim, you definitely hear about the delicious momos here. You can say that Sikkim and momos are complementary to each other. It is a very popular food in Sikkim. In Sikkim, you will be served the best momos that you ever had in your entire life. Believed to be a Tibetan delicacy and modulated by the Nepalese cuisine, momos are the lifeline of Sikkim. Momos are basically steamed dumplings made of flour dough with fillings. The fillings can be meat of different kinds or mixed vegetables like cabbages, winter squash, carrots, onions, ginger, and sometimes cheese and cottage cheese. It is cooked in a 3-tier vessel with perforations in 2 tiers, and soup is made in the last one. The perforations allow the flavor of the soup to rise to the dumplings. Momos are served with hot chilli sauce/chutney. Momos are something that no one can dare to miss in Sikkim.
Thukpa is a famous and healthy local food. It is basically a noodle soup made of mixed vegetables and is of Tibetian origin. You can either opt for vegetable thukpa or egg and meat thukpa, where eggs and meat such as chicken are added. It is loved a lot in Sikkim and one serving is filling, though its hard to stop at one. You will get a huge bowl filled with noodles and soup of your choice, either vegetables, potato soup noodles famously known as alu thukpa, or chicken soup thukpa topped with eggs, and they are all topped with chopped onion, coriander leaves, green chillies, finely chopped cucumbers, and carrots. If you want, you may also add hot spicy chutney on top, mix, and enjoy it. This food is available at almost any restaurant and caf, as it is as common as momos in Sikkim.
One of the most loved and famous dishes in Sikkim is sel roti. This is among the many recipes Sikkim has adopted from its neighboring countries. Sel roti is a famous dish in Nepal, but it is also not uncommon in Sikkim. It is made from rice flour, which is painstakingly made at home. Rice is washed, soaked in water, and ground to form a good flour. It is mixed with water to form a paste, and sugar, cardamom, and other spices are added according to the choice of the eater. The mixture is dropped into hot oil in a ring shape. You must be a well-practiced person to fry it because though it may look easy to make, it is in fact very difficult. It is usually made on celebratory occasions in a huge amount and served with potato curry locally known as alu dum. It is also available in many restaurants in Sikkim, and you can always get to taste it any time of the year.
Another favorite food in Sikkim is phaley; this wonderful dish of Tibetan origin is literally heaven on your taste buds. It is somehow similar to momos but bigger and not steamed but fried. It is made out of flour dough with fillings such as ground beef, boneless chicken, or vegetables. It is then shaped in semi-circles and deep-fried. It is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. With different people having different demands, a lot of variations have been made to the traditional dish, and people have readily accepted the addition of cheese and tofu to the stuffing. Even if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can enjoy this delicacy with vegetables or tofu filling. You can find it as commonly as momos and thukpas in any restaurant in Sikkim.
Phagshapa is a food item where pork fat is the key ingredient. It is a strip of pork fat, which is stewed with dry chillies and radishes. At first, the fat pork strips are cooked separately and then stewed with the radishes. It is quite spicy due to the usage of red chillies. There is no substitute for pork, so there is no alternative for vegetarians.
Gundruk is a very common food in Sikkim. It is made from mustard leaves, cabbages, or radish leaves. These leaves are washed, dried slightly, and stored in a container, most likely earthen pots, and kept aside for fermentation for some weeks. It is then taken out and dried. It tastes a bit sour but delicious. Gundruk can be made as a soup after mixing with onions, tomatoes, and ginger with spices and some chillies to be served with rice and other dishes. It can also be mixed with chopped onions and other chopped vegetables with chillies to be served as a side dish. It is good for maintaining the metabolism of the body.
Sinki is another famous traditional dish that is similar to gundruk. The difference is that it is made out of radish taproots. Radish roots are chopped and put into bamboo and pressed over with straw, which is then covered with vegetation and mud for about a month, and bacteria doesthe miracle. This can now stay fresh for a year and is ready to be used in stews and soups. Sinki soup is a very famous food. This soup is something one cannot miss at any cost. It can also be used as a pickle and eaten with paranthas and other dishes.
Kinema is also a favorite food of the people of Sikkim. It is made of soyabeans, which are boiled and fermented to attain a sticky texture. While cooking kinema, the beans emanate a pungent smell. The locals serve kinema with rice. Some vegetarians take it as a substitute for meat. It is super high in proteins. Soybeans, when dried under the sun, give a different taste to the curry and are a very common food for locals in Sikkim.
Bamboo shoots are basically edible shoots; they are new bamboo culms that come out of the ground. The people of Sikkim love bamboo shoot curry and also like to add bamboo shoots to a variety of dishes to enhance the taste of the dish. They use fermented bamboo for cooking delicious curry, but it is not a mandatory ingredient. Locally, in Sikkim, this bamboo shoot curry is also known as tama curry. Turmeric powder is also added, which gives color as well as removes the bitter taste of the shoots. It tastes best served with rice.
Churpi is the local name for cottage cheese in Sikkim and is loved by all. It can be mixed with many items to make a dish, but the most famous is churpi-ningro curry. The people of Sikkim eat many varieties of wild ferns commonly grown in their backyards, jungles, and gardens. Ningro is the local name for these wild ferns. Churpi ningro curry is a mix of wild ferns with cottage cheese cooked along with onions, tomatoes, chillies, and many other spices like turmeric powder, chilli powder, and sometimes bamboo shoot. Churpi ningro curry is common for the locals, but if you never had it before, you must try it for its delectable taste.
The finger millet is known as kodo in Sikkim. The millet is ground to flour and mixed with water and either salt or sugar to make pancakes. This food can be eaten with tomato chutney or other local side dishes. People usually have this as a light lunch or snack in the evening.
One of the most famous delicious foods in Sikkim served as a side dish is ghorkhey chutney. The recipe is really simple but is mouth-watering. It is made with onions, tomatoes, green chillies, and spices. Sometimes cottage cheese is also added.
Nakima belongs to the family Liliaceae and is a vegetable with various species of flowering plants found in South Asia from South China to Sumatra Ambon Island. It is cultivated throughout Sikkim and is extensively cultivated in regions with low temperatures. It is bitter in taste, but once you overcome it, it tastes delicious. It can be made as a curry or stored in a bottle as a pickle to be served with rice and rotis.
Wachipa is a typical food in Sikkim belonging to the Kirat Rai community. It is a dish made with rice, minced chicken, and powder made out of burnt chicken feathers. The powder gives a unique bitter taste. Vegetarian wachipa is made by replacing meat with leaves or flowers of a plant called Damlapa, which is also bitter, and dry fruits are added. It is eaten on special occasions. It is believed that consuming this food can cure body aches.
Khapsey is a deep-fried pastry that can be either mildly sweet or salty. It is eaten and made mostly on occasions and also at Tibetan weddings. These are dough shaped in beautiful different shapes, and sometimes colors are also added to make it look appealing.
This is a Tibetan dish adopted by Sikkim and one of the mouth-watering local dishes in Sikkim. It is also known as chimney soup as the soup is served in a bowl that resembles a chimney. It gets cooked under coal with a lot of delectable ingredients in it.
Thenthuk is a Tibetan dish; a form of noodle soup. It is made of vegetables, meat or mutton, and wheat flour. If you are a vegetarian, you can have vegetable thenthuk. It is basically a soup with either vegetables, meat, or both, where little pieces of dough are added to be cooked along with the stew. People of Sikkim usually have this food as dinner.
Dal bhaat is the daily food of the people of Sikkim. Dal is cooked lentils. Bhaat is the local term for rice. Since the people of Sikkim eat dal bhaat as their staple food every day, you must try this dish. It also consists of sabji, which is a vegetable curry or fry; achar; and some other side dishes.
Food is an essential part of any community; it is more than just a means of survival. It is also the main factor in how we view ourselves, others, and helps to understand the culture and tradition. Recipes, ingredients, and the way of cooking help people understand their ancestors and the availability of products and circumstances in the past and how it has been modified and evolved with time. Food speaks a language of its own. The food in Sikkim has all the flavors you can think of, and you will definitely love everything here. These are just some of the finger-licking, highly moreish food found in Sikkim. There are so many other food dishes that you should try in Sikkim to give your taste buds a whole new experience in flavors.
Hi Vanshika, thank you for showing interest in the 'Food of Sikkim'. You can learn more about the stinging nettle or Sishnu from here: https://www.tourgenie.com/travel-diaries/travel-blogs/rendezvous-with-the-stinging-nettle-or-sishnuGet in Touch with Mechanic