Dham- This Himachali Dish Is Something Special


Have you ever met a Himachali person who is always praising about “Dham”? Suddenly, you feel like an alien thinking what is he talking about. Well, here is all that you must know about this Himachali food and once travel to the hills to have it.

Dham is one of the most commonly found delicacy all over Himachal. It is found in every district of Himachal. It is kind of a traditional lunch that is served during the local marriages in Himachal.

Every single person who is born in Himachal definitely enjoys this and sometimes, we even crave for dham when we are not here. Dham is cooked exclusively by the people whom we call in our local language as “Botis”. It is cooked in special vessels which are used for this particular occasion only. Some special flavors are added to the food they cook which makes it very delicious. The preparations for Dham begin a night before with the help of all of the neighborhood. All the people get together for cutting the vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, beans, cauliflowers and many others.


It is served in courses to people who sit on the floor which in the local language is known as “painth”. The food is served on leaf plates called pattlu( in local Himachal kangra language) and is eaten with bare hands.


The traditional dham differs in every region of the state. The typical menu for dham would start with rice, moong dal and a madra of rajma(red kidney beans) or Chole ( chik pea) which is cooked in yogurt and is prepared in a unique style by adding approximately twenty spices. This is followed by mashed dal, topped with khatta (sweet & sour sauce) made of tamarind and jaggery. The dham ends with the mitha bhatt (dessert) (Bhatt means rice in himachali language) – sweet rice or mithdee (made of boondi or bread crumbs etc.). And this is obviously enough to satisfy one’s appetite.


Everyone might be having a Himachali friend I guess, so just never say “NO” when they invite you for a family function because there is something special about their lunch. So, whenever you get a chance just have it once. I can guarantee that you will certainly cherish this wonderfully delicious experience!

-Megha Gupta

Edited by Mrinaal Datt

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