"Home is where you feel at home and are treated well." - Dalai Lama
The traveller in me is always on the move and this way I travel to known and unknown lands. And my love for food doubles it up. The craving and the craziness to try variety of cuisines as I wander to different lands has only grown over the years. This was not my first trip to McLeodganj (I have bee there twice before) but somehow I have not been able to explore the real flavour of food in this quaint little town. The seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, McLeodGanj is a backpacker's delight. I knew in my heart that I will be trying a different and exotic food trail in this holy land.
The juicy and succulent mutton momos, at Clay Oven, priced at Rs 80 a plate seemed like a steal. This eatery also serves Indian, Mexican and Thai food. The pleasant outdoor balcony makes for a perfect setting to dig into some of yours favourites.
Typical Tibetan noodles soup made with meat stock, with very mild flavours at Momo Café, priced at Rs 70. The main ingredients were wheat flour dough (mostly like flat noodles), mixed vegetables and some pieces of chicken. This happens to be a perfect winter meal.Glass noodles soup with black Mushroom:
While you visit the Norbulingka Institute, don't forget to try their open air Norling Café. The café is known for it's vegetarian international cuisine be it the fresh-baked pita bread or typical Tibetan dishes. Their USP dish is for glass noodles soup with black mushroom Rs 200.
Banana and Chocolate Waffle:
With a array of waffles in the menu of Clay Oven we decided to settle down for Banana and Chocolate Waffle. The first look of it was simply heavenly. One sinful plate of this dessert is priced at Rs 95. Have it to love it.
Honey Lemon Ginger Tea:
While you in the hills you just can't miss having a sip of this. Priced at Rs 40- 60, it's available almost at all cafes.
Having read a lot about Nicks, we headed to try some of it's delicacies, but came out with sheer disappointment. Tomato Bruschetta mediocre in taste, priced at Rs 60.
Baked Potato with stuffed Mushroom:
Being true to its name of serving authentic Italian food, Jimmy's Italian Kitchen
Tucked in a dark and less explored lane, Jimmy's Italian Kitchen, known to serve the best Italian in town. And yes have it to believe it. With old Retro music being played at the background, happy-to-help staffs make the place worth the visit. The Wood Oven Pizza priced at Rs 150 is enough for three hungry souls.
Steam rice with chicken cooked with spinach and mild spices. The thali is accompanied by a chunk of raw onion ( as seen in pic). It adds to the flavour of the curry cooked. People generally prefer eating their main course by 11.00 - 12.00 noon.
Churpi Durkha (Cheese):
Cheese is a common item being sold in the local street side market. These Cheese are very hard and eaten raw. Mostly one can find Yak cheese. Churpi is a hard, chewing, traditional cheese consumed in the Himalayan region. This is made in a very unique process. It's made in a three chambered wooden drum called Shoptu which is filled with milk and corked tight.
Made from buttermilk or yak milk, these are easily available on the streets of McLeodGanj. It's hung in strings and sold. They have this distinct gumminess and chewiness. Yak cheese has a very distinct flavour of it's own and a big bite is enough to fill your tummy.
Mcleodganj is an experience which you would like to go through again. Sit in a cafe, sip your poison, or talk a walk to Bhagshu falls or trek to Triund. The beautiful valley leaves you enchanted.