17 July, 2015
A Date with Nature – Jana Falls and Local Himachal FoodPosted in : Food World, Travel with TTR on by : Isha K Tags: Kadhi, Local HImachal Food, Makke Ki roti, Manali, rajma, Red Rice
The lush green Deaodar trees, turns and swirls, shining snowy mountains, whispering of fresh air, the sun playing hide and seek, and finally, after an hour drive from our resort in Dhamsu village, we encountered a magnificent waterfall and if you are a real foodie, then your excitement to taste the local food will boost up even more. Do not confuse the falls with a heavy waterfall in which you could swim or dance, it is a small fall mainly visited by the tourists to enjoy the lip smacking local Himachal food. No doubt, it is a real beauty unexplored by many, but do not blame me if you are expecting something more out of it other than the good food. Good spot for the photography though. As I reached there, I saw 4-5 Dhabas and people approaching the tourists to taste their platter. They have all the setup done near the fall. The foundation of this food business here was led by Mr. Maniram who started serving this local food here. He uses to cook in traditional vessels using local spices to preserve the Himachal tradition. The place was really crowded as it was lunch time, so we couldn’t get a seat in his Dhaba.
Then a boy from Sagar Cafe approached me and advised me to do a little trekking of 2minutes to enjoy the main point of view of that waterfall and relish the hot and steaming lunch near the fall, submerging your feet in chilled water coming from the Himalayas. I was totally convinced by him because I am a foodie and a nature lover too, plus I always have a fantasy like this and ThankGod, the trek was very easy and a sweet girl from the Dhaba accompanied us to that point. I seriously loved the people of Himachal, they are so humble and nice to you, so hardworking, the way they talk and behave and make you feel comfortable cannot be defined in words. I even made a plan to settle down there in my old age growing apples and serving people in my resort. 😉
Now lets talk about the food which was the main motive. I met Mr. Ramesh Thakur, a simple person who owns that small Dhaba in that graceful beauty. He served me a thali (platter) consisting of many known and unknown things. It has Rajma, Kadhi, local red rice, Siddo, Lingdi, Corn roti, local achaar, green chutney, and Desi ghee. Being an Indian, we all are familiar with Rajma, Kadhi, Makke ki roti, green chutney and a gallon of Desi Ghee but Red Rice, Siddo and Lingdi ki Sabzi were the three different things which I came across here interestingly tasting for the first time.
The local red rice is the very first crop variety of Himachal Pradesh. The grains are small and little thicker than the usual ones. The taste was quite similar to the one which we consume in our daily lives. It tastes good with Kadhi and Rajma.
Kadhi and Rajma were cooked with simple and local spices preserving the original flavors. The makke ki roti was soft and digestible which was made with organic corns. The roti was thin and crispy which was the best part. I loved the local achar(pickle), I treasured there in Manali trip, which is known as panchranga there. It has raw mango, amla, green chilly, lingdi, carrot, and cauliflower.
You must be wondering what is Lingdi I am mentioning everywhere. It is a kind of green vegetable which is found near the waterfall or lakes in Himachal. It is spiraled from top and straight like beans. I wish I could have a photograph of it. You will not find it anywhere in the whole world except here. The Lingdi ki sabzi was mashed green bhaji sort of thing, it was a real punch for my taste buds, something new and mixture of flavors, tangy, a little bit of bitterness too but it was yummy, nicely cooked. Now, Just like south Indians have Idli, people here have Siddo. You will find siddo at many food joints in Kullu but I first tasted it here. It is made with wheat flour mixed with yeast and then fermented. It is then stuffed with walnut chutney or sesame seed chutney and then steamed up. It is served with Desi ghee and green chutney or tomato chutney. It would be more delicious if served steaming hot! But it was delicious too. There was a crunch of walnut and the softness of fermented flour.
Rs. 150/- per platter
Lots of fun, photography, Memories, Rainbow – FREE, Free and Free 😀
So, if you are planning your trip to Kullu-Manali and if you are a real foodie, then a trip to Jana Falls is a must. Do not even think to miss it. I wish this hidden treasure is not ignored by the Govt. Of Himachal Pradesh and they do something to improve the condition of roads to Jana Village, which is the only messy thing I found in my whole journey. Try the food out there in Maniram’s Dhaba too, and if you have been there, then share your experience. Read more of my culinary experience in Manali here – Relishing the Fat Plate and The Himalayan Trout Fish
Keep Travelling and Stay Foodie.!!