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food to enjoy in restaurants on your trip to darjeeling


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India has been a land of hidden qualities, which are absent in the rest of the world. Such qualities have earned the people of India recognition, as such qualities are so meritorious in nature. There is no denying that India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-religious nation, and similarly, the vibes coming from the land are a mixture of many.

People from different sections of the society have carried through the name of the nation forward, and it is evident that many colonial empires fought to just have India under its control so that they could just enjoy the rich delight of the nation. Coming to the fact that the British Empire ruled over the country, their citizens enjoyed every single latent quality mentioned before, and appraised the nation for possessing such unique incredible characteristics.

 

The Magnificence of Darjeeling in terms of Food caters

The Queen of Hills, Darjeeling presents before the world an internationally recognized and highly demanded hybrid of Black Tea and thus in its very first introductory phase is related to the tea production. The hill city of the nation rules over the preferences of the tourists and serves their desires without any second thought. Going by the tourist's inflow, it is one of the most favored sites for making tourism and to honor the presence of tourists, passes on a mixture of cuisines to them. 

Nevertheless, as noted before the delight can be copied but not exactly presented, the food cuisines are diversified but the local food is what makes it the informal queen of tastes as well. It might lend threats from other states and offer them to the guests it receives. 

Being so grateful Darjeeling has got something of its own, apart from the renowned quality of black tea it produces. The temperature being low and chilling the locals, the food options are the majority of the time and more often than not, steamed and stored to a good extent. The steamed food is healthy to eat, rich to taste, and attractive to all. And what is hidden inside such small packs of steamed foods is the food heritage of India.

To honor the guest, there are several hotels, motels, guest houses, resorts, and banquets that prepare their food, and being locals of the city, always hold up the name of the city. Moreover, it is the craftiness of the cook that he might think of adding another component into the food item he is preparing. Therefore, the variety of food is diversified with respect to local cooks who are intellectual people, trying to give a memorable eating experience to those who visit them.

Food items to check out while visiting Darjeeling

As discussed above, there are a plethora of alternatives to choose from, but the highly delicious and greatly supreme taste can be afforded in only some of the dishes prepared in the city, a short account of which is presented below:

  1. Momos

A vegetarian or non-vegetarian steam-cooked pouch of items belonging to heaven is served hot before those who order it, and when eaten with local chili chutney can be quite relaxing. The pouch is prepared with whole wheat flour and inside has stored a combination or mixture of several food items chopped nicely and marinated with spices. There might be other fillings as well, that are known to enrich the taste of that pouch in particular. At times, the pouch is oiled in scented liquid, again unique in taste, so that when steam cooked and served wins the hearts of the people. Since the first impression is the last impression, nicely decorated balls of dough stuffed with fillings of cabbage, cottage cheese, cheese, meat, chicken chunks, eggs, or even a mixture of vegetable, marinated and roasted in spices, are placed on the table pretty much decently, along with mint chutney, pickles, red chili chutney, tamarind chutney or even a paste of every single chutney.

Moreover, it happens to be highly easy and simple food to cook and serve. The majority of people might just want to have a plate of momos, like quick food. Thus, momos are quick bites that can be eaten in several restaurants in the city.

  1. Platter from Nepal

As known by commoners, that the city is a local place to live for people from neighboring cities and even nations, the food items are highly reflective of choices of food from these different lands. One such example is the choice of the platter of food items from the land of mountains, Nepal. As the name of the dish suggests, the taste of Nepal is served in a single platter, with items ranging from hot soups to utterly buttered bread of the local land. A traditional platter always contains some vegetables, few curries, one or two soups, assorted bread, and a sweet item, adding flavors to which are pickles and chutney of diversified kinds, and papad to aid the digestion process of the consumer. Served in the cutlery of locals, bronze one or aluminum one, meat curries with vegetarian dishes, lentils cooked in a soup, soups, and other bread are served to the guest.

  1. Bengali Food Items

 

  1. The city might always contain the food items belonging to the state, and it is evident from the local peddlers selling some aloo kachori and litti at some street corners. These are the flattened circles of whole wheat, fried in oil, actually deep-fried to make these crispy, with some stuffing done inside. These are served with potato curry, which is absolutely insane in terms of spice usage it offers.
  2. There are some stalls that offer Kathi rolls, which are whole wheat bread cooked on a flat metal and rolling inside them a wide range of stuffing. The fillings range from meat chunks, cottage cheese, vegetables, noodles, kebabs, and even eggs, covered up with cheese and other mouth-watering chutneys that are the reasons behind the success of these.
  3. Bhelpuri or chana moori stalls are always ready to show their hands by mixing up all sorts of namkeens, spices, masalas, and puffed rice again with chutneys and lemon juice. These are ready-to-eat cheap food items, which are truly spicy.

 

  1. Aloo Dum

Potato is the king of all the vegetables and dum is what means strength in the Indian language. Therefore, the dish of Aloo Dum is what gives strength to the potato to rock the show and come up as the true commander of all the dishes. Aloo Dum is a potato curry, or sometimes a curry-less dish prepared in a pot or semi-hemispherical cooking equipment. Big pieces of potato are put along with gravy, sauté in essentially good spices like cloves, cardamom, red chili, white chili, coriander powder, and black pepper. Adding more of the flavor are the tomatoes and onions bulbs that keep the dish alive, more than ever. Thus, aloo dum is what makes the cravings for food so real, that it cannot be resisted by people.

  1. Hills Pickles

Pickles are the brothers of chutneys and are highly spicy to eat. Whenever added to the dish of food, tastes get developed and diversified. Pickles are pieces of mango, lemon, carrot, radish, and chilly that are immersed in oils of mustard or olives. The oil is not only the common oil but in addition to the oil, there are spices which are highly active, making the pickles so attractive and tasteful whenever eaten. The cooking procedure for these food items does not consist of any regular steams, or frying habits, but what prepares a classy pickle is a sunlight. These pickles are covered and placed in open sunlight to get prepared on themselves, and this forces the tastes to go natural.

  1. Thukpa 

Thukpa is essentially a dish of Darjeeling but finds its roots in Tibetan cuisine. A hot noodle soup, Thukpa comprises many veggies, some customary tinge of spices, and Hakka noodles. It is one of the most admired dishes within the town and is available at almost all restaurants and roadside stalls. One can also find a diverse variety of Thukpa noodles within the city too. Thupa originally is offered as a starter but can also be eaten as a wholesome meal itself, as it is delicious and healthy!

  1. The Naga Cuisine

The Naga population within the city is considerably lower; however, their population’s influence on food in Darjeeling is quite notable in the town. The Naga cuisine is famous for its meats and fish which are often cooked through the process of smoking, fermenting, etc. A heaven for the non-veg lovers, Naga cuisine, offers some lip-smacking dishes which are loved and eaten by all. The gradually small population of the Nagas has given rise to an upcoming kitchen admired by those food lovers. A grand thali/platter comprises fermented rice served with chicken or pork, also with fermented bamboo shoots, achaar, and a sweet dish.

  1. Churpee

Churpees are authentically snacks made out of Cow’s or Yak’s milk. A Darjeeling original, Churpees are necessarily a milk snack and resemble cheese with coming in both versions of hard and soft. Churpees mixed with cabbages can also be a filling for vegetable momos. Also, it is often used by the Nepalis to cook a version of Churpee with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, etc., to make what they call ‘Churpee ko achaar’.

  1. Seal Rotis

Sael Roti is another one of the Nepal specialties and is a delicacy during special occasions at home. They are ideally flat round pieces of bread prepared from rice paste and are then deep-fried, resembling the shape of a bagel. 

  1.  Chaang

Chaang, also known as ‘Tongba’ is prepared by fermenting yeast, and warm water is added to the fermented millet.  It is a brew like beer but with almost no alcohol and customers enjoy it in a Bamboo container, and they should drink it through a bamboo pipe as a traditional ‘Pratha’. It's a must-try.

  1. Darjeeling Tea

Quite popularly known for tea plantations, Darjeeling’s special tea is a must. The authenticity of the drink is such that it cleanses your mind, giving you spirit new energy. A special recommendation would be that while sipping on this tea, one can enjoy the beautiful view that Darjeeling offers and listen to some heartwarming music.

  1. World Class Black Tea

The hybrid produced during colonial rule still rules the world in its name. The tea market might comprise of international flavors produced by different countries and regions of the world, but the perfect conditions for the black tea are found in this city which makes it superior to any other in terms of what it has to offer. Therefore, this black tea dominates the rest of the world, giving a taste of itself to those who do crave it. The exports made to other countries are so high in figures, and it is done only after the domestic needs are satisfied and served. Therefore, the production of black tea takes place on a very large scale, making it charming.

The conclusion of what food items mean in Darjeeling

This is not all that Darjeeling has to offer to its tourists upon their arrival in the city. There are several countless food items that allow tourists to fare better. Tourists hang on their boots, thinking of this place to be the one where their dreams come true. The magnificence of hills and their beauty makes them feel chilly with the cold vibes generating from their foothills, and the mornings in the city, which is known as the queen of hills are so charming. At this point, if someone has got home-cooked food with natural materials, making it healthier at the very first instance, the tourist can think of replacing and substituting the value of money with the comforts the city has to offer on its own. 

 

Some of the best places in Darjeeling to taste Momo

1 . Kunga Restaurant- Kunga is not less than a haven for all you momo lovers. Two decades-old this restaurant serves many Tibetan as well as Chinese delicacies. Soupy Noodle Momos, Chili Chicken, and Chowmein are the most popular dishes here. 

Location: 51, Gandhi Rd, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

2. Hasty Tasty - This vegetarian restaurant serves a wide range of cuisines but something that you shouldn’t give a miss is their momos. Located on Mall Road, this self-service restaurant has been operating for the past 18 years and has become a major part of the city’s heritage now. You’ll find them serving everything from dosa to noodles and even chole bhature. It’s like a mini India when it comes to the cuisines here. 

Location: Nehru Road, Chowk Bazar, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

3. Chopstix: This joint was known as the Royal Restaurant in 1958. Chopstix serves Chinese food with a sniff of Tibeto–Sikkimese and local Nepali touch to it. It will be a sin if a true momo lover skipped this awesome place. A piece of advice - get in early as possible, else be prepared to wait it out because this is a hot joint among the locals.

Location: Motor Stand, opposite Old Super Market, West Bengal 734101

4. Nawangs Restaurant: This little restaurant is a go-to if you’re looking for some good old authentic thukpa, momos, and tigmo bread. A favorite amongst the locals, these guys specialize in all things such as Chinese, Tibetan, And Nepali. One needs to visit personally to get amazed at how good their food tastes. This place specializes in regional dishes that are tasty and wholesome. 

Location: Robertson Road, Clubside, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

 

Some of the best places in Darjeeling to taste Thukpa

  1. Kunga Restaurant: 

Kunga is not less than a haven for all you momo lovers but it also serves the best Thukpa in the town. Two decades-old this restaurant serves many Tibetan as well as Chinese delicacies. Soupy Noodle Momos, Chili Chicken, and Chowmein are the most popular dishes here. Their steamed momos and soups are legendary in taste and so in Tibetian Dishes.

Location: 51, Gandhi Rd, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

  1. Nawang's Restaurant: 

This little restaurant is a go-to if you’re looking for some good old authentic thukpa, momos, and tigmo bread. A favorite amongst the locals, these guys specialize in all things such as Chinese, Tibetan, And Nepali. One needs to visit personally to get amazed at how good their food tastes. This place specializes in regional dishes that are tasty and wholesome. 

Location: Robertson Road, Clubside, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

  1. Penang Restaurant: 

Penang Restaurant is a personal favorite of mine here in Darjeeling. This charming place has it all – Tibetan momos and thukpa, Chinese chowmein and fried rice, and the divine Nepali thali set.  Many come for the restaurant’s delicious Chinese cuisine, but their Nepali thali sets are to die for. The place has an upscale vibe, with a comfortable, and even somewhat romantic, ambiance. The cushioned seats, wood-paneled walls, and great service make you feel comfortable and welcome. 

Location: Unnamed Road, Limbugaon, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101

 

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