Kaaphuli, phaanu and jhangore ki kheer will soon be on every one's lips. The traditional and popular Uttarakhandi cuisines - so far confined to the kitchens of native food lovers - will figure in the carte du jour of government-run guesthouses and tourist bungalows.
The state government has issued a directive to include the local delicacies of devbhoomi -- as Uttarakhand is fondly called -- in the menu of government-run guesthouses and tourist bungalows.
As per chief minister Harish Rawat's directives, the hill food would soon be served in the tourist houses run by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), the tourist corporations for the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions of the state respectively.
GMVN has 90 while KMVN around 42 guesthouses running under them. "The inclusion of traditional dishes in the menu will not only popularize them among national and international tourists coming here, but also augment employment opportunities and boost economy of the hill state in the long run. The officials have been asked to implement the directives as soon as possible," state tourism minister Dinesh Dhaney.
Despite having a rich culinary heritage, the authentic gastronomical flavours of the state have over the years remained largely confined to household kitchens or food stalls in the absence of adequate avenues for their presentation. The move, thus, is expected to help create more awareness about the rich delicacies of the state.
Welcoming the move, Roshan Dhasmana, general secretary of Garhwal Sabha, a cultural group of Uttarakhand, said, "Even in the state, the native delicacies have of late been somewhat eclipsed by the popularity of dishes like fast food. We hope this step will bring back the much-needed spotlight on the pahadi dishes with the platter offering items like kulath ki daal and aaloo ki thichwaani."
Mumbai-based noted food writer Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, who is married to an Uttarakhandi and is currently researching on a book on pahadi cuisines, said: "The government's decision would go a long way in preserving the hill state's food culture besides giving the (outstation) tourists a rich glimpse of the native dishes."
So get ready to relish the fragrance of clarified ghee melting on the mandue ki roti and the exquisite tang of kandaali ka saag served along with some piping hot-roasted red chilies!
Chainsoo: Made with gram dal
Khaphli: Thick gravy with green leafy vegetables
Jholi: Thin gravy made with curd
Phaanu: A lentils preparation
Thechwani: Made with potatoes or radish
Ras: Stock of mixed lentils
Gulgule: Sweet dish made with flour and jaggery