Sikkim has a blend of cultures and traditions of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet. So, does the cuisine of this state. The bizarre combination of various cuisines has resulted into one specific cuisine, which is now called as cuisine of Sikkim. Today, Sikkim boasts of its own dietary culture that comprises of different food habits and some special recipes. These recipes and habits have emerged with the traditional wisdom and experiments of generations. The traditional food of Sikkim, is gaining popularity among the masses. In the present day, Sikkimese cuisine has entered the kitchens of the world.
In Sikkim, Himalaya’s traditional foods form an essential part of dietary culture. Rice is the chief food of the Sikkimese. Depending on availability, meat and dairy products are consumed as well. Apart from these foods, a range of traditional fermented foods and beverages, make the basic diet for centuries. The pattern of food production also reveals the gastronomy of Sikkim. With high altitudinal variation, crops like finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetable, potato, soybeans etc. are grown.
The cuisine is also incorporated with Dals (lentils), fresh vegetables, bamboo shoots, wild flowers, mushrooms and nettle leaves. Talking about non-vegetarian food, beef, pork and fish are relishing items. The main thing about the cuisine of Sikkim is that it materialized under the changing needs, geographical compulsions and cultural contact of the adjoining countries. Sikkim cuisine demonstrates the good sense of the residents, who took only those styles and methods from other cultures, which helped their mode of life, maintaining their own distinctive cuisine.
Momo (steamed dumpling), Tomato Achar (Pickle), Thukpa /Gya-Thuk (Noodle soup), Kinema curry (Fermented soybean), Gundruk and Sinki Soup (Fermented vegetable soup), Gundruk ko Achar (Pickle), Chhurpi Soup (Traditional cottage cheese), Chhurpi ka Achar (Pickle), Chhurpi-Ningro Curry (Chhurpi with wild fern), Sel Roti (Fermented rice product), Shimi ka Achar (String bean pickle), Pakku (Mutton curry) and Mesu Pickle (Fermented bamboo shoot) are some of the local dishes that are enjoyed by all the communities in Sikkim.
Fermented vegetables and beverages are very common in the Sikkimese tradition. Owing to this, people can preserve vegetables, when they befall out of season. To cope up with the chilly weather, the residents of Sikkim rely on alcoholic drinks that are popular amongst both men and women. An assortment of soups, pickles and beverages make the Sikkim cuisine more flavorsome and delicious. Slowly and steadily, the cuisine of Sikkim is getting more and more popularity due to its rich taste and enticing flavor.