Tropical Leaves



   The Dham dishes included are

  • Madra - a thick yogurt-based gravy made from chickpeas

  • Kale Chane ka khatta - A tangy soup made with black chickpeas  

  • Maa ki daal - A creamy gravy of black lentils

  • Chawal - steamed rice

  • Mukund wadi curry - Sundried lentil squares cooked in onion tomato gravy

  • Matar Paneer - Cottage cheese and green peas curry

  • Kaddu ka khatta - A tangy dry Pumpkin vegetable curry

  • Bhey - A spicy Lotus Stem dish

  • Meethe Chawal - Flavorful sweet rice with saffron and dry fruits

  • Salad


Dham is a traditional vegetarian festive meal of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a mid-day meal prepared on auspicious occasions, festivals, weddings, and other religious functions.


Traditional Dham is served to people in Himachali cuisine on all such occasions typically on the floor in pattals (plates made of leaves).


Himachali cuisine has a unique aroma and flavor due to the use of a lot of yogurt and spices like chilies, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and coriander powder. The food is typically cooked in mustard oil and on low flame.

As the availability of vegetables is a challenge in the hilly and cold region, the traditional Dham has no vegetable dish in it and most of the dishes are made with different lentils and dairy products like curd, ghee, buttermilk, paneer (cottage cheese). 

I believe the people surrounding us do influence our lives with their thoughts, their way of dressing, and their food too. I have learned a lot of south Indian dishes from my neighbors during my stay in Hyderabad.


I have a dear friend, Garima staying in my society who is from Himachal Pradesh. I first tasted a typical Himachali food at her place. My hubby too loved the humble food full of flavors.


I always found a mention of Dham in her food talks. The foodie in me could not settle with just tasting the food, I kept on bothering her to tell me about all the dishes served at their Dham.


I jotted down all the dishes she mentioned with their recipes she could recollect ( for some recipes I referred to google and about a dozen of sites on the Internet), got the required ingredients, and in her supervision cooked this utterly delicious festive meal at my place :)