The best way to know about a place’s culture and history is through food. While most of us know Ladakh as a perfect holiday destination for a road trip with its rugged terrains and picturesque mountains, not many know about all the mouthwatering delicacies here. The food of Ladakh is not just about momos and soup, from food items like Thukpa and Skyu to a few specially prepared dishes like Tapu, everything here is worth savouring. Also with influences from Tibetan, Korean, and Chinese cuisines, one can find endless food options to enjoy here. The staple food items like butter tea and cereals like barley and wheat the food here is perfect to beat the cold wintery days in Ladakh.
Let’s dig and explore all the must-try delicacies for your next visit to Leh Ladakh.
8 Must-Try Food of Ladakh
Image Credit: Sky Wok Ladakh for Facebook
A quintessential Ladakhi soup dish, the first one on our list of the best food of Ladakh is Skyu. A thumb-sized barley or wheat balls which are kneaded and then flattened, along with other vegetables like potatoes, turnips, and carrots are used to make this stew. Traditionally in a few villages of Ladakh, milk is added to this stew as the hero ingredient. This is the perfect comfort food for the Ladakh people to enjoy on a cold winter day.
51 Places To Visit In Leh Ladakh For A Spell Binding Vacation In The Year 2023
2. Ladakhi Pulao
As the name suggests, this is a rice dish made with vegetables or meat. But what makes it different is the use of local spices and subtle ladakhi flavors. Made with soaking white rice in aromatic species and mutton stock, which is then cooked to perfection with ingredients like caramelized onions, nuts, and carrots. This dish is quite famous and can be easily found on the streets of Ladakh, but nothing beats the taste of the authentic home-cooked Ladakhi Pulao.
One of Ladakh’s signature dishes, Chhutagi is a pasta-like dish made, made with small bow-shaped dough cooked with a base of vegetable sauce. As tempting as it sounds, this dish is also very nutritious given its preparation with green leafy vegetables, carrots, and potatoes. One can also find a non-veg version of this dish, where the preparation is done with meat. This dish is definitely a must-try for anyone visiting Ladakh for the first time.
Losar Festival Ladakh: A Cultural Sojourn In The Land Of Mystic Lamas!
Best enjoyed when it’s freshly baked, as a snack with butter tea, Khambir is a traditional Ladakhi bread. Made with fermented wheat dough which is then directly cooked on fire, the locals usually enjoy this with vegetables, eggs, or any soup. It is a breakfast staple here and the amazing thing about Khambir is, it can be stored for a week at room temperature.
Another one in the category of bread is Tingmo or Timok. With its origin in Tibet, this is steamed bread that is best enjoyed with Daal and cooked vegetables. This soft, fluffy bun-shaped bread is made with white flour and pairs really well with stews. It is a staple among the people of Ladakh and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
12 Festivals Of Ladakh In 2022 That Celebrate The Life In The Valley
Also known as Yak cheese, Chuurpe is made from the milk of dzomo, a domesticated yak that is a hybrid between yak and cow. With the scarcity of vegetables in Ladakh, it is widely consumed by people here and you can find two variants of this chees soft and hard. High in protein and vitamins, this cheese can be paired with dishes like Thukpa or is used in filling of the momos.
7. Butter Tea/ Tsaza
While this is not a food item, our list of the best food of Ladakh will only be complete with mentioning butter tea, locally known as tsaza or gur-gur chai The traditional drink in the Himalayan regions, butter tea is made with yak butter and salt added to water infused with tea leaves. This high-caloric tea is usually consumed in high-altitude regions, especially places like Ladakh to keep up with the cold weather.
Hemis Festival 2022: Your Gateway To Enter The Magical Realm Of Ladakh
The ever-famous noodle soup, Thukpa is a widely consumed dish here. While this dish does not originate from Ladakh, it is quite famous among the locals and tourists. A clear vegetable soup served with flat noodles that are made of wheat or barley is something that one can enjoy on a cold winter day. Its preparation with local spices and additional touch with the local chutney makes this a must-try among all the other food of Ladakh.
Apart from the stunning landscape and picturesque views, now that you have all the more reasons to visit Leh Ladakh, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Ladakh to taste these delectable local delicacies.
For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food in Ladakh
What is the food and culture in Ladakh?
Ladakh food is mostly influenced by Tibetan, Korean, Chinese, and continental cuisines. Apart from this, the staple of Ladakh includes cereals like wheat, and barley and food items like noodle soups, butter tea, Chuttagi, and much more, to keep up with the cold weather there.
What is the famous sweet dish in Ladakh?
Phirni, a rice pudding with its origin in Iran is a commonly served sweet dish here. It is usually served in kulhad (mud pot) and is loaded with milk, rice, dry fruits, and sugar.
Which is the main food crop of Ladakh?
Given the terrain and landscape of Ladakh, Grim (Naked Barley), wheat, and peas are commonly grown crops here and are also staples to the diet of Ladakhi people.
Which is the local drink in Leh?
Chaang, a local beer made from barley, millet, or rice grains is a famous drink here and is perfect to quench your thirst. Another popular drink here is butter tea which is traditional to all the Himalayan regions, as this high-calorie drink is helpful in beating the winter chills.
Which fruit is commonly found in Ladakh?
Apricot is commonly found fruit in Ladakh, and there is also a dish named Tapu which is made using apricots and wheat dough.
People Also Read: