Nestled in the breathtaking Indian Himalayas, Ladakh is a land of incredible beauty and fascinating traditions. We take you on a delicious adventure through the famous food of Ladakh.
We will explore the secrets behind this mouthwatering Ladakh food. We will try to uncover the flavours and customs that make it truly unforgettable.
A Quick Guide to 15 Famous food of Ladakh
15 delicious famous food of Ladakh that will make your Ladakh trip unforgettable. Don’t forget to add these food items to your itinerary.
Let’s get ready to travel to the less spicy world of food in Ladakh.
1. Apricot Jam or Chuili- Popular jam of Ladakh
Apricot is a widely grown fruit in Ladakh, known as “Chulli” by the Ladakhi people. It is highly nutritious, delicious, and holds significant commercial value. Apricot jam is a popular food in Ladakh, often served with Khambir, a type of local bread.
The locals also utilize this fruit in various other forms such as juice, dried apricot, and pickles. The versatility of apricots adds to the culinary charm of Ladakh, making it an integral part of the region’s gastronomy.
2. Po cha/ Gur Gur Chai- Famous tea of Ladakh
A special beverage of Ladakh is tea, also known as Po cha, Gur Gir Tea, Tibetan Tea, or butter tea. Po cha holds a significant place in Ladakhi tradition and is considered essential, especially in the challenging climate of the region.
This popular food of Ladakh is consumed during festivals and celebrations, offering a unique salty flavour rather than a sweet one. The tea is prepared by combining butter, milk, salt, gur (unrefined sugar), and boiled tea leaves.
3. Chhurpe/Chhurpi / Durkha Dried Cheese of Yak)
Chhurpe, or Chhurpi, is consumed in various ways. The soft cheese variety is commonly used in noodles, momos, chutneys, and soups, adding a delightful flavour. It is also enjoyed as an appetizer.
On the other hand, hard cheese is incredibly popular as a dog chew and is known by various names such as Himalayan dog chew, Desert dog chew, Yeti dog chew, Chhurpi bar, and Chhurpi puffs.
Chhurpe is rich in protein and serves as a superb food for both humans and dogs. It is particularly popular in Nepal, Tibet, and other snow-laden regions. Once prepared, the charge can be stored for 3-4 years without the need for preservation, making it a long-lasting and convenient food option.
4. Chhutagi -A Soup from the List of Ladakh food
Chhutagi is a delightful dumpling soup dish from Ladakhi cuisine. Its literal translation refers to “water bread,” with “Chh” meaning water and “tag” meaning bread in the local language.
This traditional Ladakhi dish revolves around a flavorful broth. Bow tie-shaped dumplings are prepared and cooked in a thick soup made with ingredients like carrots, peas, leaf vegetables, and more.
The dish is a scrumptious delight and is also available in a non-vegetarian version for those who prefer meat-based options.
5. Khambir- Traditional food of Ladakh
When it comes to the staple food of Ladakh, Khambir holds a special place. Khambir is a traditional Ladakhi bread that stands out with its unique shape. Unlike regular bread, Khambir is round in shape.
This Ladakhi bread is commonly enjoyed for breakfast or as an evening snack, accompanied by butter tea. It features a thick crust and a delightful crisp flavour.
Additionally, Khambir is often relished with the accompaniment of apricot jam, adding a delicious touch to the dining experience.
6. Momos- Popular food of Ladakh
Momos, often referred to as dumplings, are one of the most popular of Ladakh and the Country. They come in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties.
Made with wheat flour, momos are filled with either vegetable or meat stuffing. These delectable treats are prepared using a special type of utensil called a “Mokto” and can be found in various shapes.
The stuffed dumplings are either steamed or fried to perfection. Served piping hot, they are enjoyed with a side of spicy chutney. Momos are also renowned as one of the famous street foods of Ladakh, offering a delicious and satisfying culinary experience.
Skyu is a popular soup-based local dish, primarily consumed during the winter season. It is prepared using thumb-sized dough balls and a variety of vegetables, all cooked over low heat.
Skyu bears a resemblance to Chhutagi, another traditional dish. Known for its high-calorie content, Skyu has the ability to warm the body. It has gained fame among tourists visiting Ladakh as well.
This beloved Ladakhi delicacy is often enjoyed with meat, adding a rich and savoury touch to the overall flavour profile.
Thukpa holds the status of being the special food of Ladakh. It is a flavorful soup dish centred around noodles and is available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions. The noodles used in Thukpa are typically made from wheat or barley, and they originated from Tibetan cuisine.
The soup, or broth, accompanying Thukpa is infused with an array of spices that provide a comforting warmth to the body.
Thukpa boasts a range of delightful variations and is widely enjoyed in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet as well. Interestingly, the term “Thuk” in Thukpa translates to “heart,” emphasizing the soul-warming nature of this beloved dish.
Tingmo, also known as Ting Momo, is a type of steamed bun-shaped bread. It is an immensely popular food in Ladakh and belongs to the rich culinary heritage of Tibetan cuisine. Tingmo is made from wheat flour, resulting in a soft and fluffy bun-like texture.
Tingmo bread is commonly served alongside meat-based dishes, making it a staple for lunch and dinner. The preparation of this local delicacy involves the use of a special utensil called a Mokto.
Interestingly, Tingmo bears a resemblance to Chinese flower rolls, showcasing the interconnectedness of culinary traditions.
With its delightful texture and ability to complement various dishes, Tingmo stands as a beloved and iconic Ladakhi dish.
10. Mokthuk – Soup Momo
Another famous food of Ladakh is the mouthwatering Mokthuk. It is a delectable soup-based dish that combines the flavours of soup and momo. If you’re seeking a variation in your soup-based dishes, Mokthuk is the perfect choice.
This delightful dish is available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, catering to all tastes. Momo lovers are bound to fall in love with this culinary creation.
Make sure not to miss out on savouring this unique delicacy from the enchanting Himalayan valley.
11. Kothey Momos
In the valley, you will come across a variety of momos, and among them, Kothey Momos stand out. These delicious dumplings are a speciality of Ladakhi cuisine, distinguishing themselves from other momos that are typically either steam-cooked or fried. Kothey Momos, on the other hand, are unique as they are half-fried and half-steamed.
With their elongated shape, these momos have gained significant popularity in the region. The filling of Kothey Momos can be either vegetable or meat-based, catering to different preferences.
They are typically served with a range of sauces or chutneys, enhancing their flavors. Kothey Momos are a must-try traditional food of Ladakh, providing a delightful culinary experience.
Paba is a dish that is crafted using roasted barley flour. It is commonly enjoyed alongside Tangthur and Zathuk. Tangthur is prepared by combining buttermilk or yogurt with various vegetables.
On the other hand, Zathuk is made using nettle, a local herb found in Ladakh. The nettle soup, known as Zathuk, is particularly popular during the winter season and is often paired with Paba.
13. Tsampa- Popular food of Ladakh
Paba, a beloved dish in Ladakh, is made from roasted barley. The barley is ground into flour, which is not only popular in Ladakh but also in Tibet and Sikkim. The locals have a deep appreciation for this nutritious food.
To prepare Paba, the dough is created by mixing butter, sugar, and cheese with roasted barley flour. The ingredients are combined until a ball-shaped dough forms. Paba is considered a healthy choice due to the high nutritional value of barley.
The roasted flour can be stored in an airtight jar for future use. With its fibre content, Paba supports a healthy digestive system.
14. Sea buckthorn Juice (Leh Berry)- Amazing juice from Ladakh food
Sea buckthorn, also known as Sand thorn, seaberry, and Sallow thorn, goes by the name “Leh Berry” in the Leh-Ladakh region. It is a shrub that bears small-sized orange-coloured fruits or berries.
These berries are utilized to prepare a delicious and nutritious juice, which offers various health benefits. Additionally, sea buckthorn fruits are commonly used in cosmetic products.
The juice, known as Leh berry juice, holds immense popularity. It can be easily found in supermarkets, ensuring convenient access for those seeking to enjoy its flavours and benefits
15. Holkur- Special food of ladakh
Holkur is a special cookie that holds a significant place in local cuisine. It is a homemade multigrain biscuit, cherished by the locals as a snack to accompany their tea or coffee during breakfast or in the evening.
This authentic food of Ladakh is enriched with the goodness of various grains. Additionally, nuts are incorporated into these cookies, adding a delightful crunch and flavour.
Holkur represents a unique and beloved treat, enjoyed by the people of Ladakh as a delicious and wholesome indulgence.
Read More: Famous food of Uttarakhand