Know more about Rich Thakali Cuisines (in Pictures) – Happy Toran La!

Happy Toran La!

Toran La, the biggest festival of Thakali community, is celebrated at the same time of Fagu Purnima or Holi, and falls on first month of New Year of the Thakali calendar. The significance of the festival is worshipping or paying homage to ancestors or forefathers, and celebrated by families by getting together, merry-making with good festive foods and drinks, gambling, and also a match-making time. Selroti, varieties of meat dishes from mountain goat, sheep or yak including blood sausage and sukuti (smoke-dried meat), chyang etc. are eaten during the festival. Traditionally, 84 varieties of food items are prepared during the festival.

We all know and love the sumptuous flavor of Thakali khana, but Thakali cuisine is much more rich and diverse than you may know. Many people outside of the community are barely aware of rich Thakali food culture. Thakali cuisines are heavily influenced by the terrain they live in- in between higher Himalayan and low hilly region, food they grow locally and trade. Here are some of the key Thakali cuisines.

thakali khana set

Thakali Khana: most popular and easily available Thakali food, which includes rice or dhido served with daal, vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, stir-fried greens, tomato-timur pickle, fermented pickle, gundruk achaar etc. Not to forget to pour some melted ghee over rice or dhido!

thakali buckwheat dumpling soup

Aalungkhu: buckwheat dumplings soup with smoke-dried meat (sukuti), fresh greens or saag, radish etc.

daal

Kaalo Mas Daal/Mustang Simi Daal: thick aromatic soup prepared from black lentils or locally produced beans, which are tempered with ghee and jimbu (aromatic Himalayan wild herb), and often eaten with dhido, rice or buckwheat pancake

thakali blood sausage

Ghinti– Thakali blood sausage made from sheep, mountain goat or yak blood and offal, and sometime with buckwheat flour, which is boiled and then fried, and also smoke-dried for preserving

Aalu dameko

Taya (Aalu) Dameko: Halved potato fried slowly on pan with little ghee over low heat

smoke-dried meat

Sukuti: smoke-dried meat of mountain goat, sheep or yak – much loved delicacy of Thakali community and can be cooked in various ways

Kanchemba, a Thakali snack, is buckwheat fries fried in butter/ghee, and served with garlic-chilli sauce.

Kanchemba: buckwheat fries fried in ghee, and usually served with garlic-chilli achaar or timur chhop

ghinti dhopra soup

Dhopra Daal: traditional daal or soup prepared from dried and then ground buckwheat greens. In Thakali language, ‘Dho’ means ‘edible greens’ or ‘Saag’ and ‘Prah’ means ‘flour’

aalu sukuti curry

Taya (Aalu) Sukuti Pla: delicious curry made from potato and smoke-dried meat flavored with ghee and jimbu

bhutuwa

Ra Sya (Bhutuwa): offal from mountain goat, sheep or yak fried with spices

buckwheat pancake

Khgen (Phapar ko Roti): pancake made from buckwheat flour, and eaten with daal or curries

dhido

Sangdhen (Dhedo): kind of porridge made from buckwheat or millet flour

Dhong: prepared by filling lungs with blood and buckwheat flour, which are then boiled and fried

Tyasyakhu: simple soup of mountain goat’s head and leg cooked with few key spices- timur, chilly, garlic and salt

Lepukhu: spicy and sour soup made from mountain goat’s tongue, brain, ear etc.

Faro Daal: daal or soup prepared from white bean flour

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