Exploring the local food & culture and learning about the different ways of life is always one of the experiences of travel. Kumaon is no exception to the variety found in India, and has a rich & varied diversity of food that is eaten here, which is distinct and is made from what is locally available.
At Singing Winds we try to give our guests the flavour of local cuisine as well, cooked by the village folks. Here are some of the unique dishes of Kumaon that we personally love
Bhaang ki Chutney : Yes your read that right! Its a unique chutney made from bhaang seeds and had with meals (sorry it has none of the intoxication associated with bhaang)
It all starts with the humble bhaang seeds. Locally grown & sourced, they are available at most local grocery stores. They are browned in a tawa and then are ready for the next step
Salt, chillies, garlic & bhaang seeds - all the ingredients are simply thrown into a grinder. (The locals prefer doing this in a sil baata and claim that brings out better taste and flavours).
A quick blitz till the seeds and the ingredients are combined and then we add in some water to the mixture. A blitz to make this more of a paste and the bhaang ki chutney is ready. A wonderful accompaniment with all Kumaoni foods. Do try it the next time you head over to Kumaon
Sana Hua Nimbu : My personal favourite, this is a unique sweet & savoury chutney / raita made from the local pahadi nimbus. Again a great accompaniment to the local cuisine and its simplicity makes one wonder why this is not eaten more widely
It all starts with the pahadi nimbu, the star of the show. Bigger than the lemons found in the plains, it is not as tart and has a more fibrous texture
The nimbu is combined with some sugar, curd and the secret sauce - the bhaang ki chutney! A vigorous stir is given till the sugar is all dissolved and absorbed in the curd - bhaang chutney mix.
Simple as can be, we now have our Sana Hua Nimbu ready.
Another great accompaniment to the Kumaoni food