There’s something mystic about the hills that just can’t be put in words. It seems like every curve in a hill-station brings along something unique and soothing to eyes. The hilly terrains, everlasting sound of the river flow, lush green valleys and breath-taking view make us fall in love with mountains time and again. But in between these sublime experiences, what we often miss or ignore is the exquisite local food ‘pahad’ offers. Yes, you heard us. Hills in northern India have various sub-regional food cultures that are presented before the world under the umbrella of ‘pahadi cuisine’. For the uninitiated, the word ‘pahadi’ is derived from ‘pahad’ – the Hindi term for hills and mountains.
In Uttarakhand, every region has its unique food culture that makes the cuisine of the state rich and extensive. One such popular instance is Kumaoni cuisine – the food culture of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Given the cold weather almost year-round, one might think this cuisine is loaded with everything greasy decadent. But to your surprise, food here is simple, soul-soothing and flavourful. Keeping sync with the hard and extreme environment of the Himalayas, Kumaoni dishes are loaded with local produce like gehet (a local bean), mandua (finger millet) and more. Most of the recipes here are highly nutritious, easy to make and appealing to palate. They also include locally grown spices in the recipes, making each dish yet more rustic in flavour – badeel being one popular example of Kumaoni cuisine.
In fact, badeel defines the food culture of the locals in Kumaon region. It is a kebab-like snack item, made with local masoor dal, ginger, garlic, garam masala et al. It is deep-fried, crunchy and makes for a great breakfast food or evening snack when paired with chutney and a cup of chai. If you ask us, we suggest, do try badeel on your next visit to the hills.
Meanwhile, we bring you a recipe that can help you recreate the dish and enjoy a ‘pahadi vibe’ in the four corners of our homes. Let’s find out.
How To Make Kumaoni Badeel | Pahadi Dal Kebab Recipe:
For this dish, we need masoor dal, ginger-garlic paste, chilli-coriander paste, garam masala, salt and oil to deep fry. First soak the masoor dal overnight and grind into a smooth paste the next morning. Add all the other ingredients (except oil) to the dal and mix together. Now, cook the mix in a pan with some oil for at least 15 minutes and evenly set it on a plate. Make sure, you grease the plate well to avoid the dal paste from sticking to the base. Now cut it into small pieces and deep-fry. Serve badeel hot with some green chutney by the side.
Click here for the step-by-step recipe.
Prepare this scrumptious snack in the evening and enjoy with your friends and family. If you want to explore more such Pahadi dishes, click here for some lip-smacking recipes.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.